Confessions of the Obsessed: Playing the Body Dysmorphic Game

There was a time where my obsession with all things makeup was uglier than not. I don't even know if I've ever told Loxy this, but what are blogs for if not oversharing?

There was a brief time in my mid twenties where I was pretty skinny. And by pretty skinny, I mean a size 8 at 5'10. And considering how buxom I am, I wasn't too shabby looking. Still, I wasn't happy with my appearance.


Despite being a perfectly lovely size and shape, I'll never forget one early spring morning, waiting for my friend Mo and her Cabriolet to come racing around the corner of my apartment complex at 5:30 am to go to the gym before heading to work. For some reason, that morning, my mind couldn't stop racing about how I could be prettier. I was finally skinny, but it wasn't enough. I would spend hours going through Allure and Glamour, looking at all of the newest trends and deciphering what might work for me. For a brief amount of time, I started obsessing over whether a different nude gloss could be the missing piece. Or maybe longer lashes, like they had in the magazines. I knew those images couldn't possibly be real, but still. If I had those lashes or that gloss, maybe then I would be pretty.


(I'm not sure which one of these glosses was my tipping point. I suspect the pink with the highlighter, but I can't be positive.Either way, I'm fairly positive I wore them both with a pure brown liner. Ah, the 90's.)

Anyway, as I was waiting for Mo to come and pick me up, I remember trying to decide if I could swing going to work late so I could buy a new Prescriptives lip gloss before work; or maybe I should wait and go to the Origins, which was much closer to my office and wouldn't involve being late to work. I distinctly remember thinking, "I bet if I got that gloss, my lips would look fuller and my face would be more balanced. The blue tones would make my eyes and teeth look brighter, illuminating my face. I need that gloss. It will make me better."

And then, thankfully, that instant, it dawned on me what an insane, stupid and ludicrous thought that actually was. I realized my obsession with makeup had taken a wrong turn and my genuine love of makeup had gotten lost somewhere in a weird place. I was starting to cry silently.

Then Mo turned the corner, I wiped my eyes and put on a smile and I hopped in her convertible to head to the gym before work.


That night, after work, I did buy the Prescriptives Lip Gloss. I felt so awful afterwards I almost got physically sick. I realized that no lip gloss was going to change me on that deep of a level. I immediately stopped subscribing to magazines, instead only reading them when stuck at an airport. It took a long time for me to find my way back to loving makeup the way I do now; as a part of fashion, as a part of fun change that's easier to mix up than changing your clothes. It was a weird detour that I never want to take again. I no longer question if one eye is bigger than the other or if I have a chin like Jay Leno. I no longer yearn to be better. I'm happy how I am. For the most part.

But still, every now and then, I play the old, "Hey Loxy, I am heavier or skinnier than that person?" game. It's easy for me to forget my strengths and only see my weaknesses. Sometimes it's hard to stop judging your flaws so harshly and be realistic about your appearance.  While I don't believe I have Body Dysmorphic Disorder, I do think sometimes I need to be reassured about how I actually look. Who doesn't? Which is why I'm writing this post to begin with.

I found this website today. MyBodyGallery.com is great for seeing what other real women your size look like. When my office mates and I found this site, we commented that a few minutes on the site actually made us feel pretty good about ourselves. And that is a fantastic discovery.

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9 Comments:

  1. Just to make you smile...I went to the website and guess what?  They had no examples of my body type.  Delightfully unique or strangely stacked?   Thank the gods I'm smart, pretty and clever...just like toi.

    A

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  2. This can be a tough thing to share, but I know that this is will resonate with many.  Thank you. :]

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  3. Thank you for the kind words! Just when you think advertising doesn't play a role in body images, because we are all smarter than the ads, I'm reminded that it doesn't always work that way. :-)

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  4. thank you so much for your honest post. I'm so glad that you now know you're beautiful and that makeup is just the cherry on top :) I really enjoyed reading your story.

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  5. Enjoyed this post and the body gallery site. Thanks!

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