What are You Trying to Cover Up?

“The good news is that we’re all doomed, and you can give up any sense of control. Resistance is futile. Many things are going to get worse and weaker, like democracy and your upper arms.” Anne Lamott

Unfortunately I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel.

This weekend we’re going to be celebrating a family wedding in Florida, so that means trying to fix all the body parts that I can usually cover or camouflage in winter, but which will be uncovered and un-camouflaged in photos for all eternity after February 14th.

In my efforts to fix All Of The Things before Saturday, I focus first on my freckly legs and arms.  I blame the 70’s and Farrah Fawcett for this debacle that no amount of magic cream can repair.  We were all about the baby oil and rays and tan.

Gen Y you are wiser and prettier than that. You’ll grow old maintaining your alabaster skin because your moms slathered you with sunscreen. Thank them. Today.

Anyway, a friend of mine told me about Jergens Natural Glow – a moisturizer with sunscreen that “gradually creates flawless natural-looking color…” Tan in a tube! It worked for her so I gave it a go, but on me it looks totally orange, so now I just appear like I’ve been on a bizarre diet of carrots for the past 6 months.

Next, I finally gave in and bought a sleeveless dress after resisting for years.  Unfortunately the fashion industry has apparently decided that sleeves are too extravagant so they aren’t making them any more.  Consequently I’m hoping that 3 weeks of lifting tiny weights in front of the TV will result in finely toned arms for this weekend.  A woman can dream.

So what’s your thing?  What is it that you’re self-conscious about? The thing that keeps you from getting out on the dance floor, or from wearing a swim suit, or compels you to wear a hat?

What do you want to cover up?  What are you afraid of exposing to others?

Can we make a pact?  Can we acknowledge that we’re all flawed and all beautiful and celebrate each other?  Can we show up with compassion rather than critique and then all get out on the dance floor and forget ourselves? I won’t judge your wobbly bits and blotches and you don’t judge mine.

For years we traveled to Africa and the women would always try to get me to dance with them but I was too self-conscious, too sure I’d look crazy stupid. Because encouraging the under-resourced and building cross-cultural friendships is all about MY concern about not appearing fat and foolish, right???

Then I started asking myself, “When you’re on your deathbed, which are you going to regret more – exposing your flaws or missing out on living life all in?”

If I’m truly about grace and choosing life, this is what it looks like. It may not be pretty, but it’s all in.

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So here’s to all of us! Men and women alike. To our beautiful flawed selves – our uncooperative hair or no hair, our big hips, poochy tummies, flat chests or saggy chests, 6′ or 4’6″, broad shoulders, broad waists or broad butts…

It’s ok!  Get out there and dance!

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3 Comments

  1. I’ve forever been imbarrssed about my height…I have literally prayed that the Lord would allow me to grow..if only 3 inches! What’s that to Him? It’s so hard being 5′ (especially in Minneapolis..where all the tall pretty sky nay women live in the nation..but, there are more petite women in Florida and in Boston that I blend in with, so I’m feeling a little better). I mean, clothes don’t fit right; my feet being proportional to my height, are also “short” so I can’t just go out and get a pair of shoes; and everything I’ve ever wanted to do as a little girl (sing, act, model, pageants etc) I was told “you can’t because you are too short.” Anyway, I know, I know, ‘God made me perfect in His image’ and ‘I should be grateful for a healthy body and mind’! I know that people, and I am…I am grateful everyday…just not overly excited he made methat barely 5foot!!! I must be a heathen!

    • Nope, just human! 🙂 My best friend is one of the most beautiful women I know and is 6 feet tall. It floors me when I realize she has struggled with being self-conscious about her height all her life when I just see her beauty. YOU are adorable just as you are and your joy and enthusiasm add about a foot to your height!! 🙂 AND you’re a great dancer!!!

  2. Great post Laura! We need lots of reminders to “dance like no one’s looking” and dare to be vulnerable and imperfect.

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