Women of a Certain Age

YOU ARE, YOU ARE NOT


"You are You are Not by Marcia Barhydt"

You are You are Not – woman looking in the mirror

by Marcia Barhydt

When I see a photo or poster or document that catches my attention, I save it and I bet you do the same. Well, sometimes it backfires on me. Recently I found something that I’d saved, a short, one page writing called You Are, You Are Not. And the backfire is that I have no idea where I found this. I’ve searched online and I find nothing. So if you’re the author of this, please let me know; I’d love to give you credit for your remarkable insight.

What I saved is a wonderful list of all the things we’re really NOT made up of, things that so many of us think are super important for our self esteem.

“You are NOT your bra size, nor are you the width of your waist, nor are you the slenderness of your calves.
You are not your hair color your skin color, nor are you a shade of lipstick. Your shoe size is of no consequence.
You are not defined by the amount of attention you get from males, females, or any combination thereof.
You are not the number of sit-ups you can do, nor are you the number of calories in a day.
You are not your mustache. You are not the hair on your legs. You are not a little red dress.
You are no amalgam of these things.

You ARE the content of your character. You are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you set.
You are the things that you laugh at and the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder.
You are beautiful and desirable not for the clique you attend, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your life a full and meaningful one.
You are beautiful not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul it carries.”

Remember when you were in late grade school or early high school and you thought all the other girls your age were more ‘developed’ than you? You thought your tiny bra size, or worse, no bra at all, labelled you not quite as worthy as the other girls. Was it when I was in my 30s or 40s that I finally knew for sure that my bra size no longer mattered, if it ever did?

Oh, and shoe size. I’ve always had very long feet so I wore a size at least a whole size larger than everybody in the world I thought. Girlfriends would trade shoes for the day and I’d by trying to tuck my feet under my desk so no one would notice.

This all adds up to body acceptance, one of my favourite topics. We are SO bad, no matter what our age, at accepting the shape and size of our bodies. We all think we’re too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, too flat-chested, too big breasted, with hair that’s too curly or too straight and don’t even start me on my hair colour!! The body parts that we criticize change as we mature, but there’s always some part of my body that I hate, right? Some part that makes me feel unacceptable, right?

We need to stop this self flagellation; we need to stop those negative demons in our minds; we need to end not loving ourselves enough.

Let’s start accepting who we are by reading the second paragraph, the one about who we really ARE, every day. Let’s start by knowing the truth about those words and the truth about how valuable we are.

Let’s start by believing in ourselves.

©2013 Marcia Barhydt

You are You are Not by Marcia Barhydt

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