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SALT LAKE CITY — The other day, a friend of mine posted the following statement that so many women (myself included) can relate to:
“ ‘Look at her perfect little body; maybe someday I'll look like that. … Probably not,’ I thought to myself as I saw the beautiful 'Stepford Wives' at the park.”
She went on to describe, in detail, the conversation she had with one of the women, whom she felt she was physically inferior to. She related a quite nice conversation that ended pleasantly, with the woman giving her a kind compliment, but she still ended her post with, “Maybe someday I can look like her.”
As I read her post, I recalled many times when I have been in this same situation. Just this week, in fact, while standing at the sidelines at my son's soccer game, it happened. There I was, all 5 feet 4 of me, in my faded jeans, beat-up running shoes, hair pulled back in a baseball cap, hiding the many fly-aways, when one of the other moms came up to talk to me.
She, a perfect 5-foot-9 with silky blond hair, perfect teeth, stylish clothes … everything I was not.
I really like this mom, and have had many nice conversations with her, but that day I had a hard time looking her in the eye, let alone talking to her. I tried to respond to her as much as I could, but my insecurities kept getting in the way.
“She must think I'm gross,” I kept thinking.
Just as my friend's conversation went, mine was pleasant, with her saying nice things about me and my kids. Never once did she say any unkind thing or glance at me in any manner that would indicate disdain or judgment in my direction. Yet, I left the game thinking, “Maybe someday I will look like her … probably not.”
Why do we women do this to ourselves? Why the insecurities? Most of all, why do we imply thoughts and feelings on others, when most of the time they are not thinking those things about us at all?
I don't know all of the answers. I'm no psychologist; I am a wife and a mom who has insecurities just like every other wife, mom and woman.
I may not be as tall as I would like, I may not wear stylish clothes, it may be (well, it is a fact) that I don't wear makeup (mostly by choice, but I also don't know how); I may only visit the "hair doctor" once a year, and I may be, well … plain.
But … I do try my best to remain healthy and fit. I shower daily. My clothes are clean and well-kept (even if I wear the same outfit twice in a week). My smile, although not perfect, is an important part of my "wardrobe,". And most importantly of all, my husband and kids think I'm beautiful.
Although I can't promise that these insecurities won't creep back up from time to time, I will do my best to leave these situations thinking, “Maybe someday I will look like her … probably not, and that's OK.”
*Arianne Brown is a graduate from Southern Utah University, mother to five young kids and an avid runner. Contact her at email@example.com, go to he blog at runariran.wordpress.com or follow her on Twitter @arimom5.**