05/27/2010 03:58 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Decently Shallow Reason to Learn to Appreciate Your Body

May is supposed to be somewhere well into spring. Not that you will notice, looking outside my window. The rain keeps on pouring and the thermometer refuses to budge out of the chilly zone. But as always, I refuse to let life's little contradictions get to me. And so, filled with the joy of anticipation, I decided to dedicate myself to the traditional wardrobe seasonal switch, ecstatic at the thought of uniting myself once more with my summer frocks. And then, in the middle of my folding and shelf-allocating mission, I heard the call of fashion - the call that cannot be denied. And so, shivering with excitement (and cold), I engaged myself in a serial try-out. And... Dear oh dear. I really wasn't prepared for the shocking sight.

What happened was this: when I tried to fit myself into those clothes I had once so lovingly selected, I realized how badly we suited one another. Granted, there were in the pile a few redeeming classics that didn't not emphasize so boldly all my physical flaws. But for a surprisingly big portion of my garbs, I could not, for the life of me, imagine how they ever related to the way I looked. Not that they were ugly (at least not in my opinion, but then again, seeing how bad my judgment can sometimes be, I feel I should not push this point any farther), but my clothes and me looked like a mismatch made in hell.

To get over my shock, I escaped from a mean-spirited floral strapless dress and tried to figure out how I could have ever shown such a poor understanding of what I really looked like and what actually suited me. Finally, I have to admit that the experience, although quite unpleasant, was an eye-opener.

In order to explain things, I have to go back a little, to a time long gone - childhood. Growing up is an ugly business. In the beginning it's all fine: ice-creams, swings and summer camps. But then, very slowly, it comes - a whiff of something going terribly wrong. For me, it hit when I realized that ice-creams made me fat, swings made me sick and summer camp gave me lice. To top it all, I started growing zits. This specific development part was the most painful one, considering that my schoolyard arch-enemy was as spot-free and as perfectly groomed as ever. As expected, all the boys were totally smitten with the my wicked foe and completely oblivious to her dubious ways and her devilish lineage (there is no doubt in my mind that she was a direct descendent of Beelzebub).

And so it started - the never-ending search of what went wrong. The primary suspect in my investigation: Body. It has failed me at every turn - growing in odd ways, sprouting ignominies, and embarrassing me in the worst possible ways. Come to think of it, it's probably the best definition I've ever heard of high treason but for obvious reasons, execution was not an option, so I opted for the time-honored and fail-proof tradition of witch-hunting. I started spending the better part of my time closely scrutinizing every pore, measuring every fold and cursing my gene pool.

The bottom line was that I blamed my body for every problem that arose in my life, while putting the image of my ever slim and ever smiling arch-enemy on a pedestal. Oh, I hated her guts, but let's face it, she was much closer than I would ever be to glossy perfection. And glossy perfection was the end to all my means. With time, it became my definition of beauty and fashion. Unfortunately for my genes and me, it had nothing to do with us.
And there you have it, the secret of my odd fashion choices. Somehow, I have managed to select the trends that would make the Beelzebub-spawn look like a goddess, and me like a sea-lion dressed for the circus.

I always had a strong dislike for all the theories and methods aimed to teach me how to love myself and my body. I'm very suspicious towards love and happiness to begin with. And I certainly don't intend to take this kind of crap from any stranger wearing long, loose, red velvet skirts. I mean, what better way to spice up your day then cursing the shape of your nostrils/disappearing waist line/(fading) hair color first thing in the morning?

But then again, something had to be done. I cannot go on wearing the most unsuitable clothes, looking like a color-blind drag-queen. So I did it. I've decided I'd learn to appreciate my body. Not for some spiritual growth, heaven forbid! No, it is for a much worthier reason - looks. The only way to reconcile my figure with fashion is to stop cursing it and appreciate it for what it is. If I dedicated as much time to this new activity as I did to throwing stones at my own image, I might actually find out what really suits me and find clothes that look good on me. I know, it sounds as far-fetched as world peace. I have a dream.

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