Sunday, October 12, 2008

Striving to love myself..

The first time I was told I was ugly, it was my 11th birthday. I had worn what my mother had picked out for me, checkered shorts with a silver belt, and a black tee-shirt with something silver on it- I was quite skinny that time. You know you dress well in school for your birthdays, distribute chocolates? When I was doing that, my so-called brother Amey, pulled me closer and said
"I know I shouldn't say this to you today, but you look ugly. Why are you wearing that?"

I never wore that outfit again. I steadily gained weight that year on. Sometime when I was 13, I had my first crush, and the guy told me I was beautiful, and I did not believe him.

When I was 16, I was in a theatre group. I was one of the youngest there. The two other sixteen year olds were reed thin, I was, by now, plump and chubby, as everyone would call me. Obviously I never got the main part, until in the end I was given one as charity. One guy who was dating one of the reed thin girls, once remarked out loud,
"Girls just look so breath-takingly beautiful with wet hair."
The three of us had just come in from the pouring rain. We all had wet hair. We all looked at each other at this statement. The guy smiled and then after a pause said,
"But not you Pragni, your hair is horrible, how can you ever look good"

I have been out with models, a dangerous looking guy, an ok-looking guy, a gayish-looking guy, intelligent guys, rich guys, one player or casanova and one semi-celebrity too. But I have never believed myself to be worth them, physically or looks-wise.

I hate it, and I hate admitting it, but everytime one of the guys here tell me I look beautiful, I pause for a moment. That pause is to convince myself that even if I don't think so, maybe they do. They are not saying it to please me. They are not saying it out of any obligation. They mean it.

Till a really long time, everytime someone told me I looked good, my instant reaction would be "yea, right" or "Stop kidding around?", until one day, R got really angry with me and told me that he wouldn't say it if he dint mean it, and I d better start believing him or saying it out right that I did not trust him.
I said, "I don't know what other reaction to give!"
Said he, "Try thank you. It normally works."
I did not believe my thank you's after that for a long time too.

It's just recently that I have admitted to my being very very conscious about my body. About my self image. And admitted it in front of friends and now publicly. I know this is not going to liberate me. But maybe, somewhere along the line, I will be re-introduced to my self-esteem. Ironically, I do not lack in the department of self-confidence. Funny how I have made that thin line so thick for me.

P.S - Last two days of the pills. I promise this confess all mode will stop then and so will the sappiness.


aks said...

The funny part is the nasty comments that are thrown are actually a sad attempt by most people to get rid of their one demons and really that is not psychobabble. Spend a little more time with them and you'll know the most inane things tear them apart.However if it helps,your story will have a "oh yeah!" with most people...glad to know you stuck out well :)
Like I keep telling ashwin, your blogs are engrossing!

Ashwin said...

I don't think I've ever called someone beautiful and never meant it.

Monsoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Monsoon said...

"Oh yeah!" :-)

I want to say - outer beauty doesn't even matter at the end of the day (and I really truly believe that as well), and yet, I spend a huge part of my day judging my looks one way or another. It's a hopeless trap, but it's just so useless!

It's worse when we also add to our pressures by feeling how superficial we're being by constantly worrying about our bodies and looks. And yet, we can't / don't stop ourselves from doing it...

A very touching video, I must say... And so many "Oh yeah!"s in the world! :-)

puneet said...

Prags u r the most beautiful person i have met, n i mean it....

sillysneha said...

Pragni.. it was how u looked to me in that bus more than 15 yrs back that probably made me talk to u .. beautiful or ugly or whatever other adjective you want to use... it was you.. that's what mattered.. i was 4 or 5 i think... and well the rest is history...

you are the most beautiful person on this planet!

believe it or not.. i know i do.. and can vouch for some others too..

manjiri said...

Dear Pragni,
You are quite pretty. you don't have to be conscious about anything.

~The Dream Catcher~ said...

aks - First, nice to see you here! I guess we are both mutual, but silent admirers of each others blogs..

Its reverse psychology for these people, but nevertheless, even understanding that doe not make things better for anyone. I wonder how many will actually accept their "Oh Yeahs" though..

Ashwin - I'm glad. It's this kind of faith that makes me believe it too.

Monsoon - Woman, if there is one person I expected would burst out openly with an "Oh Yeah", its you! Outer beauty does not matter really, but I guess the world does not accept plain reality, it has a very twisted notion of it.

Puneet - Thanks.

Sneha - Your belief? Makes it easier for me. Really. I love you.

Manjiri - The issue is not about looking pretty or beautiful. Its about a damaged self esteem. :)

HARDIK said...

hey how can you even think about some moron who think you are not beautiful...agreeing with sne, yes I truly believe you are one of the beautiful person I have met ever in my life and you are one of very few people who gives meaning to my life....look you cannot loose faith in your self coz if u do I will loose my world.....

Priyanka said...

the people who really matter probably dont care whether you have long lashes or not, or how your smile is enough to light up a room, or how your cheeks could give babies a run for...well their cuteness..I could be blind for all I know but I will still see you the same way...physical attributes are just one of the things that make a person...but they dont make a person complete...look at yourself in the mirror long and hard..and if you think you are ugly then you probably are..but if you think there is something more to those facial muscles which are going to vanish in some years then you can probably start looking at yourself differently.

Trailblazer said...

You can probably measure the authencity of a compliment like "You are beautiful" by the thrust generated from within yourself of whether to return a "Thank You" or not.