Making Peace with Reese’s Pieces: A beauty message and a promise.


via weheartit.com

Fallen peanut butter soldiers, armored in chocolate with sugar as ammo, fell clumsily onto the table top. Wounded in transport, their exteriors were thickly coated in a residue of vanilla ice cream.

Audrey, you are making a mess. Keep the Reese’s Pieces in the bowl.”

But I was only trying to get them to your bowl,” she replied, a somber look etched upon her face. “They forgot to put the candies in your ice cream.”

I often forget she is only four, that I am her babysitter instead of her best friend. No four-year old easily understands the concept of anyone, young or old, turning down candy. Skipping out on chocolate-coated morsels to dodge demons of saturated fat and Sucralose. Opting for frozen yogurt. Cutting one’s self off at the knees because thin tastes good and skinny even better.

Millions of us are lost somewhere, amidst a slew of numbers on a scale and inches in a waist line. We are pumping conversations, held over skinny lattes, with words like: love handles, nose jobs, Botox, diets. All to attempt gripping a single word, hoping to hear it pounce from the tongues of others: Beautiful.

We begin to wonder (or at least I have): Who is our beauty for? What purpose does our beauty serve? What is up with this word being so exclusive?

Somewhere, yes, somewhere we became slaves to three syllables. Nine letters.

B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.

The Beauty Challenge, at first glance, seems like no challenge at all. I giggled at the thought of declaring my beauty in front of a mirror, three times a day, in a fashion similar to the queen in Snow White. “You are beautiful,” “You look awesome today,” “You are powerful and wonderful beyond measure.” Easy to type. Surprisingly, not so easy to say.

When we stand face to face with ourselves, sometimes questioning if a stranger has come to be a stand-in for our own reflection, we realize how hard it is to lie to ourselves.

We can lie to the world pretty simply. Gorgeous Liars and Pretty Hiders. Hiding behind our Smiles and Make Up. Our Salads and Diets and No Carb Challenges.

But face to face with me, and only me, a dialogue was forced. That tired girl in the mirror had something to say. And let me tell you, I very rarely allow her to speak.

“You make me feel worthless sometimes,” she told me. “You deprive me all the time. Would it kill you to let me have something sweet? Delectable? Something that takes my taste buds out of comatose?”

“Stop summing me up through single body parts: thighs, butt, arms, nose, teeth. You make me feel like I am only worth one word. One Breath. If that. You criticize me but you are the one who gave me the cookies and the chewy bears. It was you. So why am I your verbal punching bag? You poke and prod me and you detach yourself from me. I am trying, can’t you see? I am trying to be loveable enough for you. But you cannot love me, you won’t even try.”

The girl in the mirror is right. So right. I cannot love her without trying first.

You are beautiful,” I reply back. Timid and shy, speaking as though I am making an offering that I already believe she will decline.

The words carry weight and promise of things to come.

Make the promise with me: To give our body good foods but to treat them to a cupcake once in a while as well. To give our bodies plenty of exercise but to acknowledge and supply them with rest when they need it. To own up to and then stop the negativity, the full frontal combat delivered through unkind words.

Let’s find peace in pieces of cake. Find peace in piecing together a new love constitution with our bodies. Find peace in the Reese’s Pieces that others drop into our bowls. Tap, tap, tap, against the ceramic of our ice cream dishes. The resounding sound of Love.

This post can also be found at the Beauty Message Challenge. Every day during the month of September the Beauty Message Challenge is posting inspiring blogs and messages on Facebook and Twitter.  I am honored to be one of thirty bloggers to share my beauty message with the world…


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32 thoughts on “Making Peace with Reese’s Pieces: A beauty message and a promise.

  1. Hi Hannah,

    Keep these creative “pieces” of Hannah’s life lessons coming! I totally relate to this lesson.

    In my twenties, my “mirror mirror on the wall” held me hostage. Sometimes I couldn’t leave the house for hours because the mirror didn’t reflect back the right image. My wild, wavy curls wouldn’t straighten or turn blonde. My brown eyes wouldn’t turn blue. My larger Italian lips wouldn’t get smaller.

    It took me a long time to be able to peer into the mirror and accept my own unique look. Wrote an essay about the tyranny of the mirror for women as we get older for a woman’s magazine a few years back and you just reminded me I’ve got one on “hair” looking for a home.

    I wonder, who’s face would we be happy with? It seems that a lot of “beautiful” women aren’t necessarily happy with their own faces and a sought after “face” doesn’t necessarily make for a happy life.

    Yet, we are taught to believe that it will. If only they would teach us to love our inner face …

    Loved this! G.

    1. I think it is definitely a syndrome of looking one way and wanting to look another. We never seem to be satisfied. I just reconciled and made peace with my hair this summer, for the first time in my life I am not taking a hot iron to it and it feels awesome.

      And yes you are right, we need a few lessons on inner faces.

  2. Your posts never fail to brighten my day. You’re awesome. And beautiful.

    I was thinking about how awkward I would feel if I said, “You are beautiful,” to myself in the mirror and how sad is that? I can easily say it to other people, but have such a hard time saying it to my own face.

  3. I look in the mirror every day and say “Gosh darn you are pretty drop dead sexy….” Haha just kidding. I loved this post, and it’s so true. There’s a chapter in Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth Gilbert describes how depression and loneliness take the shapes of people and often have conversations with us. Your post reminded me of that–and that was one of the most beautifully written pieces of the Italian part of the book. Always a pleasure to read your wisdom on how life should be approached. Now let’s go get a giant Alice in Wonderland style cupcake at Alice’s Tea Cup, and feel good about ourselves.

    1. I am down! We should meet up soon! I could go for a big Alice.

      And thank you so much, you have no idea how big of a compliment that is to me.. I think Elizabeth Gilbert is a genius so I am honored to even remind you of her. Ah. Cloud Nine.

  4. Hannah, what a wonderful post. I retweeted it. I think it’s a perfect message. What I find heartbreaking is how young we are when we are fooled into believing we’re not beautiful. This is a good reminder for not only us, but our mothers, sisters, and daughters.

    You are beautiful Hannah, thanks for sharing this.

  5. What a great post. You are so right. While I definitely need to shed some weight, it is scary how obsessed the world is with losing weight, with diets (and a new one every day), and with undermining the self-confidence and self-love of women (especially, but also men). I actually believe that this unhealthy relationship with ourselves promotes overweight and obesity instead of reducing it – eating disorders in general (on either end of the spectrum).
    I will share this post on my weight loss blog (here) because I think this is really important for others to read, especially for people who are concerned with their weight.

  6. This was so wonderful! I personally feel like since about the 7th grade I have not gone a single day without some thought crossing my mind about gaining weight, keeping my weight down, eating healthy so I don’t gain weight, etc. etc. etc. It’s ridiculous, really. I have been given a healthy working body that carries me through this wonderful life. That in itself is worth celebrating.

  7. A wonderful, wonderful post. I think everyone needs to read this, and I really needed this today. D & I have been experiencing some tension lately over the topic of me desperately feeling I need to get surgery on my nose – I wish so much that I didn’t feel this way. He told me last night that the only important thing was that God made me this way, and He loves me – the concerns of the world and self-imposed scrutinies are ultimately meaningless. I am really trying to get to a good place with this – and you continue to inspire me to try harder.

    1. You are absolutely beautiful, please don’t ever change! You don’t need a surgery or anything! You just keep being you. The world loves you in this way.

      Best,

      Hannah Katy

  8. This post is so true & really resonates with me.
    I’ve been trying very hard lately to do what you assert in the last paragraph. I’m always in awe of what you write and this post is no exception. Splendidly written.

  9. This post is especially “sweet” to me because my son is also 4– it’s so touching that she was trying to share her candy with you. Somewhere in my adult life, just after college, I think, I began to learn how to eat in balance… no longer overindulging, or depriving myself. Food is meant to be enjoyed. I work out several times a week, and to my personal trainer’s dismay, I’m off to get a bowl of ice cream with a crumbled Oreo on top.

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