It has been a long time since I have felt pretty. Not that I ever felt very pretty very often. I always thought that I was fat even when I was not. I never really liked how I looked. I was too short. I never liked my nose. My smile was never big enough. My chest was too big too early in life for me to feel comfortable. I never liked my hair. I could go on forever, as could just about every woman I have ever met.
I can think of a small handful of times that I actually felt pretty. One, I was in kindergarten. I had the most adorable Winnie the Pooh dress. I loved that dress. I felt really cute wearing it, too. I was 5. Who isn’t cute at 5? I would have worn it every day too had my mother allowed it. I think we agreed on once a week. When first grade rolled around, I pulled the dress out of my closet to put it on so that I could wear it my first day of school. My mother told me that I had grown and it no longer fit me, but I was determined. Try as I might, I could not make it fit. I was crushed and cried at the loss of my favorite dress.
The next time I remember feeling truly pretty, I was a junior in high school. I went to the homecoming dance with my brother’s best friend. I had a gorgeous purple and white dress. I spent days looking for just the right shoes. I spent hours doing my hair and make-up. I felt good and I thought I looked pretty good. There was a photographer at the dance taking pictures of all of the couples, which he then sold as packages. As we stood in line waiting to get our picture taken, the photographer came up to me and whispered in my ear, “I love the way you are poured into that dress.”
OK, he was a creep and I immediately backed away from him. Nonetheless, that did reinforce the idea in my mind that I was looking pretty that night.
Regrettably, I no longer have a picture from that dance. I lost my copy over the years. I think my mother has a copy, but I’m not sure. I know my date does, at least he did a few years ago. I’m still friends with him. I just need to remember to ask him if I can borrow the picture and scan it. (Mental note to self)
My most recent encounter with feeling pretty was this Easter. I decided to wear a dress to dinner. I had not worn a dress in a very long time. I have two dresses from forever ago when I weighed about what I weigh now. I felt pretty good that I could fit back into them. My brother and his wife picked me up from my place so that we could all go to the in-laws for dinner. When I got into the car, my five-year old niece told me that I looked pretty in a dress.
She has commented on my appearance before. One time she told me my clothes are getting too small, (she really meant too big), and asked, “What are we going to do with you?” She knows that I was in the hospital, and that I have a tummy boo-boo, but apart from that, I do not think she really understands my weight loss. Still, I love that she comments on my appearance changes.
I know that I still have a long way to go in my weight loss journey. And I could sit here all day and tell you what is wrong with my body and what I’d like to fix. But nothing in a very long time has made me feel so good as to have my niece tell me I look pretty in a dress.
(Sorry…had to cover up the kids. I do not have their parents’ permission to share their images.)
I have decided that I like wearing dresses. I have another dress that I am wearing today. I feel good wearing it too, which surprises me. I have pretty much decided that for the summer I am going to wear more dresses. It will be easier to deal with than pants and I can wear them longer as I lose weight.
The only problem with this plan is that I only have two dresses. I went to Macy’s last night to see what they had. Nothing good. Well, that’s not entirely true. That had lots of nice clothes, but I’m not spending $79 on a dress I am only going to wear for a month or two. I tried to order a dress from Kohls, but they never sent it to me. I ended up cancelling the order and fighting with them over who would pay for the shipping charges. So, I’m going to do some more looking around to see if I can pick up a handful of nice summery dresses to get me through the next couple of months.