Sunday, September 23, 2007

Focus on what you Like about Yourself

The Transgender Companion, THE MUST HAVE guide for all TG women, from CD to TS,

I was fixing my hair this morning, and I got to thinking about how we all have things we like about ourselves, and things we don't like about ourselves. We also tend to focus on the things we do NOT like about ourselves, more than the things we do. I think it is key to switch this so that we focus more on what we LIKE.

My hair has always been my own personal "challenge". When I was a little kid, I had horrible dandruff. So I got the nickname of "Dan" in 7th grade. I got that cleared up as puberty was hitting and then my hair started to curl. I had very thick, wavy hair. In fact, it was so thick, it would barely move in the wind. Kids called me "Brillo head". I really hated my hair. I hated how curly and frizzy it was. I wanted straight hair so bad.
Well I guess I hurt my hair's feelings because my second semester of my senior year of high school, it started to thin. It didn't seem quite fair that I would lose my hair while still having a face full of pimples!

Throughout college I kept losing my hair. This was very distressing to me. First off, people have no problem making fun of your thinning head of hair, not realizing how traumatic it can be! There is so much pride in having a full head of hair in our society, and I was not immune to this, even if I did hate how curly my hair was, I still wanted to keep it!

Then at 22 I moved to Georgia for my first post-college job and I decided since I had some money I was going to do something about it and I got a hairpiece. You can imagine the grief I got at work with a group of about 20 engineers, 98% of them male and not a one over 23. Ugh. So I hated that.

Over the years, the hairpieces morphed into what they call "hair systems' now. I do like the way my hair looks now, and I do take comfort in realizing that my hair never would have been this long or thick if I'd grown out my own hair (provided I had kept it).
However, I still find myself envying at times people with full heads of hair. And griping what a pain it is to put my hair on! I still feel self conscious about my hair at times seeing how women can fix their hair, and my options are limited with what I have.

And yet, guess what I get some of the most compliments on? My hair. Usually on days when I hate it!

Bad hair days are the worst. It just makes me crabby the whole day! Ok, maybe not that bad, but I do feel better when my hair looks nicer, I admit.

Getting back to my original point though, even I tend to focus on my negatives (my hair, that pimple on my chin, etc) rather than all the things I was blessed with. We all tend to do this.
What I try to do is, when I find myself obsessing over my hair or something else I don't like, I look in the mirror and say, you look great, Jen. Your skin looks beautiful. You have a beautiful set of teeth. You have a nice face. You have nice legs Whatever it is. Because there are certain things i do not have to struggle with that other people do, and visa versa! Some people have bad teeth. I have hardly ever had to worry about them my whole life (other than braces when I was a kid), and I tend to take them for granted. The person constantly getting cavities and who can't get their teeth white probably envies my teeth, while I probably envy their full head of hair! Hopefully you see my point. We all have strengths and we all have "challenges".
So when you catch yourself envying someone else's hair, or skin, or face or whatever it is you wish you had, realize that they are dealing with their own insecurities too and comparing themselves to others.

Besides, looking perfect all the time is too much pressure! Nobody can look perfect all the time, so why make yourself miserable worrying about it!

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