This’ll sound vain and self indulgent and it honestly isn’t because it causes me much pain. I spend a good deal of time trying to look half decent – or at least acceptable – I don’t think I frighten horses or little children but I do feel pretty wretched a lot of the time about how I look,or think I look.
Body dysmorphia is related to OCD and in extreme cases can make people feel they need plastic surgery or that they aren’t able to leave the house because they believe that everyone will be looking at and judging them because of their perceived physical faults. I don’t think I have this disorder, but the OCD need for perfection means that I can never feel comfortable with how I look. I judge myself very severely and it’s rare thing for me to look in the mirror with complete confidence- I don’t know whether I have a distorted view of myself or that I just don’t tolerate my faults. It’s all to do with being acceptable, not beautiful or pretty- just looking right which in my case would be regular looking,medium sized with nothing particular of note to draw attention to.Just pleasingly easy to look at.
Some of it has to do with getting older I think, but I have felt like this for a long time. I don’t mind getting older really – my granny looked wonderful as an old woman and I resemble her quite a bit. She was always pretty upfront about how I was looking – usually scruffy and she once remarked on my being a bit plumper (true-it was when Theo was quite little and I was more podgy). I couldn’t compete with the smarter side of our family. I never look at photos of me and if I do all I can see are glaringly awful things – there are only a handful which I can cope with. Even my wedding pictures. I didn’t feel particularly beautiful as brides are meant to – Granny,bless her,did say I looked very nice but before the wedding had remarked that I could never be as beautiful a bride as my mum (very very true- she was stunning) I loved Granny- she spoke truthfully and I know she loved me best -I think I channel her sometimes. It’s sad to think that there are few photos of me in my 30s and 40s for Theo to look back on – dozens of me as a child mind you. Having my hair cut is something I love but it comes with the trauma of the mirror and I find it almost impossible to look at myself in it- fortunately I’m quite good at asking for exactly what I want done and trust my hairdresser. I am really trying hard to get over this but am not sure how to accept myself as I am and feel I am not some freak. Please don’t think that I’m looking for compliments or anything – I just need to say how it is.