By societal standards, I have pretty horrible skin. Oddly, my complexion was relatively normal during my teen years and it wasn’t until my pregnancies that my skin from hell really revved up. Suuuuper cool for all of you out there that got to rock that gorgeous pregnancy glow. That was not my journey. Yours truly looked like a ruddy, pock marked 14 year old teenage boy.
A few years ago I was watching this cop show that featured female officers in their line of duty. It was so inspiring to watch these women excel in this male dominated career and just completely kick some ass, and take some names. I will never forget this one particular episode that featured a prostitution sting. You know what I’m talking about, right? The female cop dresses up to appear to be a hooker and then she “works the street” attempting to find dirt bags that are willing to pay for sex. And then, you know, the nasty guy falls for it, they negotiate a deal, and they go back to a hotel room. In the next room over there’s a million other cops waiting to arrest the dirt bag and then BOOM, everyone swarms with a million guns and it’s like, “You are DONE son!!” The cops are everywhere, the John goes to jail, and the streets are safer with one less deplorable creep out there. You get the drift.
So that is what this female cop was attempting to do during this episode. She was attempting to get the creepy guys to believe she was a hooker. But you’ve gotta hear this. This female cop was so freaking gorgeous, none of the creepy guys were falling for this act that she was a prostitute. I kid you NOT at one point during the episode, the lady cop looks at the camera and dead ass says, “I just don’t have the crack whore skin. They aren’t falling for it. I’m too pretty.” I’m too pretty. And this didn’t come from a place of vanity- homegirl was just speaking her truth. She legit was just too healthy and gorgeous looking to be considered a prostitute. She even rubbed dirt all over her effing face you guys, in attempt to dirty herself up and she still couldn’t convince anyone she was a prostitute. Can you reread that last line please? It’s fine, everything is fine, I’m fine.
I swear to you, ALL I could think of when I watched this episode was… Um, do you want to hire me to be the fake prostitute?? (Yea, I never thought I would say those words…) I could take off all my make up. You could hand me a trashy looking trench coat of some variety and maybe some beat up high heels and I tell you WHAT- I would have the Johns just linin’ up for daysssss.
THAT is how bad my skin is, my friends.
And for the longest time felt so BADLY about my bad skin. Like, I felt the need to apologize to the world for it. If, on a rare occasion, I went out with little to no makeup on and I saw someone I knew, I felt this need to let them know, that I KNOW that I have a bad complexion. Sort of like, “Omg, hi! So nice to see you! Yes, my skin is atrocious- I see you looking at me with utter disgust. I’m so sorry.” And I just felt bad about it. Like, how dare I show my face in the world with no makeup when I look like this? I’m not telling you about this delightfully unhealthy thought process to earn your sympathy, because I really don’t need it. I’m telling you this because I’m at this point in my life where I’m like, okay, you know what? I don’t have a clear complexion, but… WHO CARES? I’m so. freaking. tired over feeling bad and embarrassed and self conscious about it. Do you have anything like that in your life? Do you have something that you are just soooo tired of feeling bad over? Loose skin, moles, your teeth, your hair, your boobs, your weight?
Ladies, I’ll tell you what- I’m done. I’m done feeling badly about things that I shouldn’t have to feel badly about. I’m done with the shame, and the fear of being judged, and the utter mental fatigue that comes along with those feelings. And you know what I’m doing, you guys? I’m taking all that energy that I would have spent on feeling like shit and I’m effing reclaiming it. That’s right. I’m taking it back. So I’ve got some zits on my face. So your boobs are aren’t perky anymore after breastfeeding 3 kids. So you have some cellulite on your thighs. Okay. And what? AND WHAT? You are NOT your breasts, or your cellulite, or your complexion. You are SO much more than that. You are beauty and light and energy and power, mama. You have creative ideas, you have meaningful opinions. Mama, you freaking run the show in your home… and ALSO in your HEAD.
So here are a few ideas I put together for what you can think about/do the next time you have one of those days where you are just feeling badly about shit you don’t need to feel badly about. You can also take a look at this post for even more ideas and strategies to help empower you to turn your day around. Please try them and let me know your thoughts!
Embrace the hell out of it. That’s RIGHT, ladies. You heard me. Embrace those days when you look like crap. You’re probably like, okay I’ll just be closing this tab right about now because this chick is straight up bogus, but HEAR ME OUT. This is the way I have come to embrace my days when I just look and feel out of sorts/just really ugly:
Okay, to explain this we need to take a step back. You know those days when you are just BEAMING and you look GOOD girl, and your hair is gorgeous because you just washed it after 6 days (just me?), and the fashion gods have blessed you by helping you select an outfit that is just on point and like 2.5 co-workers have complimented you and strangers are smiling at you and you’re just like YES. I SLAY. Tell me you have those days every once in awhile?! (I summon the universe to give you thousands of these days, mama.) My question to you is this, (and this is what I pose to myself, right there with you) HOW are you supposed to have those amazing, gorgeous hair, outfit-on-point, confidence bursting days, without having the days when you look average, so-so, or just plain bad? You can’t. You have to have some ying with the yang, ya know!? It’s the same concept in that we llneed to know struggle and heart break and pain in order to reallly understand and appreciate joy. If every single day you are striving to look like a celebrity…what room does that leave for those truly amazing days when you really do feel like a million bucks?
What I’m trying to say is that we were not meant to look picture perfect day after freaking day, every day of our lives. When did that expectation start!? We scroll through social media seeing gorgeous pictures and suddenly we think that everyone leaves the house looking put together and on point, 100% of the time. Can I just take a moment to remind EVERYONE out there that social media is FAKE!? Have you guys seen that quote out there that says, “Pretty is not the rent you pay to exist in this world”? PREACH. I’m learning to embrace my not so good days because there is such power in them, you guys. When the world expects you to look a certain way, and you don’t deliver, but you STILL show up and you’re still amazing and powerful and you don’t apologize, that is revolutionary. Look the world in the eye and say, I’m bloated, I’m greasy, I have acne… and WHAT? When you know your power and your worth, no one can take it away from you. Show up no matter freaking what, mamacita.
Reach TF out. I have this horrible habit of isolating myself when I feel down. Omg, you do too?! You guys, I’m really trying to change that bad habit. I’ve come to realize that when I reach out to others and make even the smallest connection, I feel so much better. I’m not telling you to send out a group text message to all of your girlfriends telling them you are on the struggle bus and that your day is shit. Mamas, making a connection with another human being even in the SMALLEST way can do WONDERS for your mood.
Try having a meaningful conversation with a co-worker or a family member. Compliment a complete stranger when you are line waiting to pay. Text your bud to set up some plans for the weekend. Post an inspirational quote to your social media and tag someone that you think it could help. When we make a conscious effort to choose positivity, it’s freaking CRAZY you guys, but the universe responds with positivity. So the next time you are feeling down about whatever, push out of your comfort zone and reach out to someone- anyone.
Smile. Okay seriously don’t punch me. Hear me out, mama. The body-mind connection is so real and so powerful that we can harness that connection to help us feel better. According to an article by Psychology Today when we smile, we can actually trick ourselves into thinking we feel better than we do. I know you have experienced this. It happens to me all the time. I’m feeling lousy, so I kind of hype myself up and I “pretend” to be happy. But before I know it, I’m actually feeling so much better because the people around me are vibing off of my “fake” happiness, which then turns into actual good happy feelings. Crazy town how that works.
The article explains, “Facial feedback works because the brain senses the flexion of certain facial muscles (like the zygomatic major, which is required to smile) and interprets it as “Oh I must be happy about something.” Similarly, if that muscle isn’t flexed then your brain thinks, “Oh, I must not be happy”.
In addition to the direct neural feedback, in the real world you also get the added advantage of social feedback. Smiles are infectious (perhaps another post on mirror neurons in the future). So even if you don’t feel much happier, the people around you are more likely to smile, and that can improve your mood as well.”
I’ll tell you what, I know a lot of boss babes out there with a killer RBF (Resting Bitch Face), and I love that about you all. But if you are having a bad day and you are trying to turn it around, just experiment with this strategy for like, ten minutes and see what happens. When we see others return a happy smile, it can help you to forget that bad hair day, or the fact that you don’t feel 100%. I’m smiling just thinking about it.
Mamas, take back that energy. Take the self loathing, the anxiety, the self doubt and turn it into what YOU want it to be. NO ONE gets to tell you how to feel besides YOU. Reach out to a stranger, smile a little, and embrace the hell out of that shitty day. I hope you all have a joy filled, positivity, healthy week. I hope the fashion gods bless you. I hope you make a friend. I hope more than anything you empower yourself and you work to empower others. I’m right there with ya, mama. xoxo Emily