Here’s the thing, I’ve always been short. Only pushing 5ft nothing, kids feel the need to come over and announce to me that they are, in fact, taller than me. Like it’s hard I muse to myself being taller than me is hardly an achievement. In fact, being tall or skinny or seeming to have no pores isn’t as impressive as other achievements such as saving a life, writing a book or supporting a family. Perhaps that’s how I think because being short is a fact of life for me as is the fact that my legs will never reach my armpits, my stomach will never be entirely flat and my hair will never shine like those girls in the L’Oreal adverts.
I’ve spent so much time trying to achieve perfection; whatever that is. My school career was spent with time divided between my studies and monitoring my eating and my exercise regime. I’d grasp at magazines with suggestions for losing weight or obtaining that perfect bikini body. I’d watch films and wonder how anyone could looks so perfect. And for what I ask myself, I still don’t have that ideal body.
But here’s the thing, I don’t need the perfect body or at least not in the terms that society throws about. High heels do a perfectly adequate job of adding 5 inches to my height (I’ll wear inches but only if they’re real pretty), my stomach won’t ever be flat – I’m not programmed that way – but I’m a healthy weight and my hair will never be a shimmering waterfall; it will always be a little bit frizzy. And that’s fine. We spend so much time envying what others look like, particularly those in adverts and TV, we expend huge amounts of energy and money trying to look like people on the big screen who don’t look like that in real life anyway. More to the point, I don’t feel the need to look that way anymore. To be honest, the likelihood of me or anyone else winning that kind of genetic jackpot are slim to none and can you imagine the cost of the upkeep?
But like I said, I don’t need to look like that. Looking at others is not how I’m defining perfect, comparison doesn’t do anyone any favours. I’m changing my perception of perfect, I’m redefining it to something achievable for me. If I can look in the mirror and appreciate the person looking back at me than I’m feeling pretty damn close to perfection.