Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Let Me Embrace My Flaws As Well As My Strengths

In my mind, the whole point of this blog is coming clean--to myself and my internet friends.  Know thyself, etc.  This is something that is key when it comes to managing your money.  You can't hide bills and pretend they don't exist; you can't ignore debt any more than you can ignore income.  You have to know what's going on, even when what's going on sucks (looking at my plans for November...).

I feel that this is important in all parts of life--not just finance.  You should know who you are, what you like, what your priorities are and what you look like.  This is where Stacey and Clinton come into this post (I miss them so much!).  I have watched What Not to Wear since it premiered in the US.  Prior to that, I watched the UK version.  I love both shows and what I love best about them is that the first thing they do with any participant on the show is try to get them to actually see themselves.  They try to show them who they are, what they actually look like rather than how they see themselves.  If you're going to get clothes that fit and that enhance your figure triumphs while hiding your figure flaws, you have to know what both of those are.  In my mind, that's perfectly tied in with personal finance because you need to both look good and feel confident to do your job well and to find merit in yourself.  It's not the whole package, but it's a big part of it.

This is why I get very annoyed with people who try to take that away from me.

No one can dispute the amount of money I owe the federal government--it's on paper, black and white. But plenty of people think they can dispute what I look like.  As women, we're trained from a very early age to focus on our flaws.
And that's a huge problem.  Of course the flip side of the problem is when people overcompensate by being overly complimentary.  It's just as bad when other people don't allow you to be honest.

If I'm being honest about myself physically, I would say that I have a very long torso, long arms, a reasonably flat stomach, slightly crooked shoulders, very thick thighs and no ass at all.  My thighs are like tree trunks and they pack on muscle quickly and easily.  One time, in grad school, I went to the gym, worked out on the stair climber for an hour, showered and tried to put on the same clothes I had arrived in only to find that my jeans were now too small.  Because of this, I tend to wear more skirts and dresses because it's really hard to buy pants that fit both in the waist and the thighs.  I cannot wear skinny jeans or pencil skirts without looking stupid and/or being incredibly uncomfortable.

I know this about my body.  I'm not asking people to tell me I don't have large thighs because I do.  It's a fact, like my debt to income ratio.  I also like plenty of things about myself--physical and otherwise, but I'm not going to get into how great I am right now.

And yet, I posted something a while back on facebook about briefly forgetting that I do not look good in pencil skirts, and I got hammered by a friend of mine for acting like I had low self-esteem.  Friends occasionally suggest I try on skinny jeans and then disregard me when I say that I can't wear them.  "Don't say that!" or "Sure you can!" Would you say that to Beyonce'?

Beyonce' has thick thighs--FACT
It took me a long time to stop hating the way my body is put together.  I've let a lot of people other the years give me opinions that were just wrong or that did me no favors. Ultimately, I realized that while I may not love everything about the way my body looks, I love what it can do.  I've run 15 half marathons; I have tremendous stamina; I have no major health problems; I have no major disfigurements and I am perfectly happy wearing boot cut jeans and adorable dresses & skirts.

Likewise, don't ask me to hide my head in the sand about my financial situation.  It sucks, but it could be and has been worse.  Don't tell me to wear skinny jeans because everyone else is, I'd rather look good in my clothes than try to be trendy.  Don't tell me that I can afford a European vacation if I've looked at my budget and told you that I can't.

Please, let's let others be honest about who they are and be more honest ourselves.


  1. Thank you.

    Also, Clinton and Stacey are on Netflix Instant now!