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Location: toronto, ontario, Canada

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

onions

.
so i've been okcupidding again.

i know, i know, but i go check my mail every couple of weeks and sometimes if i'm bored i play around a little and play 'rate the pictures' [so evil!] or do quizzes or just surf my matchlist for fun. i don't really pay that much attention because i don't have the energy or the time to dedicate to online dating that it really requires so i'm more of a dilettante.

every now and then i email someone but mostly i just see if anyone emailed me. ahh i'm so lazy. :) anyway so i updated my photos and changed my profile around a titch and added a couple of things and a couple more got dropped cause i don't have a chance to do them anymore and just generally decided to keep it current after all.

which was not the decision that i expected to find myself making because online dating is annoying.

anyway i just logged in to check my email and had a glance at the recently uploaded photos section of the homepage and there's a picture there of a man from his shoulders to the top of his underwear who is standing full frontal and not in any way appearing to be worried about his posture.

and he's not fat but he's not thin or ripped or particularly fit either. he's like hrm... a little bit round and generally on the thick side of attractive. football rather than swimming so to speak [and not one of the skinny running guys or the quarterback but also not 'fridge']. and he's standing there unabashedly in all of his half naked glory and not for a second thinking that maybe this isn't the nicest picture in the world.

that picture would have been so far into my rejects pile that i'm not sure it would even have made it into my temp directory. i don't know that it would have made it off the camera.

and there he is all tummy hanging out and not thinking that maybe a shirt wouldn't kill him.

i have to say that in the long run i think that his is the healthier attitude. (and by the way the guy has a nice enough body that i wouldn't be sad to see it up close and less dressed... that's the thing!)

it's like when you go to europe and you see people taking their time over their food or standing on a beach in a speedo. sure the guy isn't pretty but you know he's sure feeling nice letting the sun hit his skin all over like that. [okay some of the europeans are actually hot enough for speedos but i digress] he's (or she in a bikini) not busy worrying about how his ass looks in his bathing suit. he's not worried at all whether or not you think that he's hot.

he's being himself and he's having a lovely day at the beach and fuck you if you don't want to look at him because he was here first.

and then there's the other guy. the one who looks embarassed and covers himself with a huge t-shirt and giant baggy shorts. the one who doesn't go in the water. the one who sits on the beach not having any fun and wondering why he bothered to show up.

i saw someone change from the latter to the former once. right in front of me... and it was good.

now, at the beach i am fully the girl in the bikini who does not give a shit if her rolls are hanging out (i grok that they're not really there anymore BUT when they were this was true) because there is water to be played in and sand to curl your toes in and fun to be had.

stay out of the water????

are you mental?

wear fourteen layers of clothing to SWIM??????????????????????????????

yeah no.

so i'm good at the in person lack of embarassment about my body but i really fucking suck at the pictures kind. all i do when i look at pictures is see the things that i'm not satisfied with. the really odd thing about that is that when i look at myself or in the mirror?

i like what i see. sure okay i have a couple of pairs of tights that could stand to never be worn by my saddlebags again but EVERYONE has a couple of pieces that aren't right for them and that they don't like to wear. i wear said things when i don't care or i'm teaching a short day or i need to do laundry.

but aside from that? usually i get dressed and do the mirror glance and the look down and i'm like 'right on, i look pretty good' or 'damm' or 'ahh whatever' [generally followed by either changing or going somewhere that doesn't involve giving a shit how i look] or 'eek' [followed by immediate changing or hair fixing.]

i just hate pictures sometimes is all. i think there's been maybe ten photos of myself that i've ever seen where there wasn't something that i hated about them. somehow on film i can see every single ounce of fat left on my body and every muscle that isn't quite just how i want it and each millimetre of jowl that i've grown since i was fifteen.

what's ridiculous is that i would NOT take back that girl's face. now my face is lived in, it's mine. i've done things with it and to it. it's laughed and cried and hurt and blissed. we've been there together it and i and i like where it's going.

i think so far almost all my lines are the pretty kind. the kind that turn up at the corners. and i'm getting this interesting double line on one side of my mouth... so whatever, it turns out i get jowls too... my nana had those and she looked pretty good in her eighties.

but somehow i expect to see that stupid body. that swimmers body that i had once. and even though i wouldn't... oh fuck who am i kidding. i would take that body back in a second. but my brain would still know pilates.

i was so much less broken then, and i know how to fix what was already wrong. man i would be in such a fucking amazingly happy body if i had learned pilates back then. so many of the rest of my injuries would never have happened or would have healed up so much better. i'm fixing things that i did to myself twenty years ago (and last week) and some of it is pretty frozen.

man this post is digressing from where i expected it to end up.

i just don't get what my problem is. rationally i grok it. i'm nice looking and i have this great length of muscle from my head to my toes. long arms and pretty feet and a tummy with a cute little mole where my belt is. green eyes with yellow rings in them and hair that looks good when i crawl out of bed in the morning.

what the fuck is not to like?

it is fucking amazing how mental bullshit you thought you had dealt with can come back to haunt you. i thought i was over all this shit and then i got in an accident and got fat and here i am right back there.

i know it's a powerful pattern, it was formed when i was young and impressionable and nobody liked me at all. it has teeth and it's fucking more stubborn than a bulldog with a toy but still i thought i got it.

nope, i just got a layer of it. here's the next one...

17 Comments:

Blogger Kristen said...

This made me think.....

Finding the beauty in others is easy, I think finding the beauty in ourselves is the hardest thing to do.

4/19/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

Did I write this? It sounds so much like me. If my kids go back through our family albums, they'd think they were raised by a single father. I've been camera shy since I was a little kid. Absolutely hate the camera...and mirrors...and store windows, lol. I've never been able to see in me what other people see in me. I wish I could.
So, yeah, I understand.

4/19/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger all bitched out said...

Hi Sassy, your post just hit me in the face pretty hard. In a good way, though.

I think in the end it's just too hard to get that mentality out of you. It's yours and you grew into it, and personally I think you're doing pretty damn good with your thoughts about yourself AND how you take care of yourself. But the reality is that even the most amazingly gorgeous people will see their flaws because they know themselves better than anyone else. You've seen it all and been there and done that and you've come to grips with what you've been given because, damnit, you've been given some great things.

I hate pictures of myself too, and I think that it boils down to the fact that a picture captures less than a second of who you are. You are so much more than that one little moment, and pictures are so misleading and misguiding sometimes.

4/19/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

At times I so don't care, but every now and then I become a huge quivery mass of mental angst that just wants to die because I don't conform. I always have been overweight so I get pretty happy when I get to the low side of 200 lbs, being that for a long tween/teen/20's aged time I was just barely less then 300. Somehow the world seems set up to trigger that idea we aren't enough (hello advertising/tv/movies) and the shame is we buy it. I'm trying to stick with the attitude that I'm ok, and getting better at it all the time. You're way rocking it better than me, so have a chocolate-tini and relax and forget all that. Or do what I do when I hear that stuff in my head - I pause then I tell myself I'm super fabulous and beautiful/wonderful (whatever you want to add or say) until I feel it. It works, even when I'm so angsty I could cry, it just takes longer :)

4/19/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Hubris said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/19/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Hubris said...

sass- that day is one of my favorite memories. ever.

4/19/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

kristen: that's it right there. i don't know any women that really appreciate themselves, all of them look in the mirror or at pics or whatever and cringe and it's so fucking ridiculous. ah well all we can do is try.


kathi there are dozens and dozens of photos of me sticking out my tongue at the camera... and eventually i realised that i wanted real ones so i stopped but that's still my first instinct.

funny how we're our own nastiest critics alla time.


treesa! i'm sorry that it hit you in the face... no i'm not cause it's in a good way. funny how things we think about ourselves sometimes hit other people harder than us. my blog does that to people on a semi regular basis which i find weird as hell but strangely cool :)

i don't know if it's too hard exactly but i know it's so hard as to be totally ridiculous. i'm sure it's POSSIBLE but i haven't managed it yet :)

it's true you know, i'm used to my eyes, i've seen them a couple of times now :)

i have a few pics i like but not that many. more in the last few years as i get less critical of myself but it's still really tough...

4/19/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

amber: yeah dude that's me in a nutshell, most of the time i just do not give a shit and the rest of the time i feel like shit about myself. i prefer the first to the second by an order of magnitude and fortunately for me the second is happening less as i get older and more accepting of my *self*

the world is set up to make you feel shitty about yourself so that you will go and buy stuff to make yourself feel better. it doesn't work but it's pretty deep programming.

mmmmmmmmmm chocolate-tinis!

you know you're totally right that reprogramming your brain works... it's just really hard :)


hubris: me too... beginning to end.

4/19/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Everything Nice said...

Another awesome and in-depth post from you Sassinak.

What amazes me is that when I first started reading your blog and talking to you I remember you being a bit 50/50 about how you felt about your physical appearance.

In fact, I remember telling you that you had NO PROBLEMS in that arena. I think you are striking and well worth a long flight NE.

But I digress. Reading this post says to me that you accept and are even becoming more comfortable in your own skin.. I like that. It pleases me to hear you say you tell yourself you look damn good.

About the photos, well yeah. you know, it may shock horror you but I hate my photos... Just something about capturing yourself frozen in time with no animation opens your mental chatroom to pick yourself apart.

4/19/2006 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

emmalicious!

thanks!

well i am about ten pounds lighter and a hell of a lot more muslced up now so it's a lot easier to feel good about myself. it's one of those magical circles right?

in fact i recall you telling me that too :) so props *grin*

as for the photos, it's inexplicable isn't it? and yet there it is. i think you're right, it's because it's frozen, you can always see it and it never moves so that sticking out bit gets bigger and bigger in the mind's eye...

ahhh self esteem yummalicious stuff.

4/19/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

I hate photos of myself too, and I almost always make friends delete every photo they take of me, because this or that looks bad. I drove the girls crazy when we were in Cancun because those crazy bitches wanted to take pics in bathing suits!! I mean HELLO are you mad??

I'm not sure how I feel about those shirtless online dating photos... particularly the ones where it wouldn't be such a bad idea if the dude were clothed. I guess it's kinda nice that they are out there and like, "hello, this is who I am, no surprises" but then at least 75% of the time I think they are doing that because they think they look hot and really? Not so much. I mean it's like you said, you wouldn't mind it but it's not exactly a selling point of his, the tummy hanging out and bad posture and such.

And then the issue of people you know... from work or whatever... seeing those photos and knowing it's you. That to me is serious shame. But then, in a way, I'd feel shamed if someone I just knew from school or work sent me a message on a personals site and said hey Jen is that you? I would be mortified.

The female psyche, eh?

4/19/2006 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger da buttah said...

i grew up with parents who don't subscribe to the whole "sugar coat it" epithet of delivery. and, while my dad is pretty much like me and doesn't say shit unless he's asked..my mom is more than willing to give her opinion anytime, anywhere. so yea, growing up with your mom looking through photo's of you and saying "you really aren't photogenic", among other things, makes for a fun self-image, let me tell you.

what's funny is that i never recognize myself in my pictures.

but i think it's funny that i can take most peoples criticisms of my appearance without so much as batting an eyelash. i may mental note..but it won't tear me up inside. but sometimes? sometimes someone, who doesn't say anything different than before, just makes you absolutely livid and depresed. what's up with that?

i honestly do admire the obese women who walk around in hot-pants and a tanktop..or something to that effect. i'm a quarter their size and i don't have the balls to do it. must be nice to have so much confidence..

or such a balatant disregard for the opinion of those around you.

4/19/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

jmai: oh man i've driven a lot of friends nuts forcing deletions of things or sticking out my tongue in formal photographs. the main reason i stopped doing that is because i'm fucking sad not to have any pics from my twenties because i had a lot of fun.

but yeah, pics in bathing suits suck ass. but i do ONE every year at hillside...

yeah see i'm not sure how i feel about the shirtless pics either... like doesn't the guy even want to TRY to be attractive to women? but yeah i think a lot of them lack a sense of reality.

oh man people i know seeing my profile is half the reason it's set up like it is... :)

yeah women are nuts *grin*


elle: damm dude that's really fucking shitty that your parents talk to you that way. well your mom anyway. absolutely you're photogenic, maybe as a kid you weren't but you're a hottie now and it comes through in your pics.

of course you don't recognize yourself, the girl in the pics is pretty and you don't think you are in the slightest...

it's funny what does and doesn't get to you and it's rarely what you expect... and rarely from who you expect. i can never understand who does and doesn't get through my guard but it always surprises me.

i admire those women too... and wonder what they were thinking... so i'm a bitch and a hypocrite to boot.

4/19/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger stoned.nerd said...

there's alota things to like about you, sass.

for one, you're real, not fake, and i think sometimes it's an, if not the most, important trait in a person. even in an online persona.

i've got lots of time for you, sass (albeit whatever little time i have) :)

4/20/2006 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger da buttah said...

i don't think it's shitty....it's kind of a double edged sword. i know i can go to my parents and get the honest, blunt, truth..but at the same time, sometimes i don't want to know that i look like crap. it mostly revolves around the fact that my hips are off kilter, because i have scoliosis.....mom fuckin goes nuts over that when i don't give enough of a shit to make sure everything looks even.

actually, i'm really not photogenic :) lots and lots of people have told me that haha, but i think i don't recognize the person in the picture because i'm a really animated person..and in pictures..it's just so flat and deadline--seeing as i rarely smile in pics. that's not me.

i' a bitch and a hypocrite too. i stare and go "god bless them for having the confidence to wear that..but jesus christ if i had rolls coming out in every which direction and a gut that made stainpuff marshmallow man look slender, i'd be in hiding."

viscious world we live in, no?!

4/20/2006 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

nerd: thank you.

funny enough that's one of the things i like about you too. you're real and you're not ashamed to let your flaws hang out as well as your blessings.

that's how i feel too nerd, i'm glad i found your blog first way back when ... you were my first non-friend link and the first non-friend's blog i commented on.


elle: okay i can sort of see your point but you're right, it's very double edged. your parents could be truthful but nicer if they really wanted to after all right?

the thing is that i've never seen a pic or a video of you where you looked like crap. never. that's what confuses me. i can totally grok your not feeling that you look like yourself, but you've never looked bad.

and dude if your hips are uneven? who gives a fuck?

i'm glad i'm not the only one who thinks EXACTLY that while staring. it makes me feel like such a cunt to do it though. i don't think 'i'd be in hiding' but i do think 'i'd cover that up a little' but i NEVER think that at the beach.

and yes, vicious vicious vicious...

4/20/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger stoned.nerd said...

cheers for the kind words :)

4/21/2006 05:57:00 AM  

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