I have come to an interesting place in my life.
If someone were to ask me if I thought I was beautiful, I would reply yes in a heartbeat. There would be no hesitation, no doubt in my voice. I finally come to the realization that I am considered beautiful. I believe that. I know wholeheartedly that I am beautiful. There is no question in my mind about that.
However, if you were to ask me if I thought I was attractive to the opposite sex, I would most likely reply with a no.
It seems like such a conundrum, and I bet there are people reading this thinking, Paige, how is it that you can believe that you are a beautiful woman and yet still not believe that men think you are beautiful?
Unfortunately, I have no answer to that question.
I will however admit that I think it is a strange paradox that I am living.
The thing is, it took me a long time to get to the place where I could even believe that I am good looking.
For a long time, I did not think there was anything worth calling beautiful about me. I thought I was strange looking. That my features were not feminine enough. That I was fat. (Yes, even a skinny girl like me went through an "I think I'm fat!" stage). And, it took me a long time to shed those misconceived notions about myself. There was a lot that I had to work through to be able to look at myself in a better light.
But, even though I still struggle to feel pretty some days, I am in a place where most days I view myself in a very positive light.
That is until you mix in the question of the opposite gender.
That is when I get nervous, I get uncomfortable, I do not feel like there is anything worth looking at or considering beautiful about me in their eyes.
Recently, I was talking with two of my best guy friends about this; one an older brother figure, another who is probably one of the most wise men of God in my friend group. We had been discussing dating when somehow the conversation shifted to me. Somehow this insecurity came out, and my older brother asked me, "Paige, do you believe that you are the full package?"
I was stunned for a second, and then decided to answer honestly. Looking at him, almost in tears at that point, I answered, "No, no, I don't. I don't feel like any guy thinks I'm beautiful or that I'm worth the effort that it would take to be with me."
It was one of the first times I vocalized this outside the confines of the sister relationship I have with my roommate, and to hear it come out of my mouth sounded almost silly, but it was the truth.
So, I think that is the next step for me in this battle to feel beautiful. I must learn that I am attractive in the eyes of the men around me. I need to repair that disconnect between knowing I am beautiful in my being, and knowing that men find me attractive. I'll get there eventually, but until then, I will simply keep taking steps, doing things that seem to diminish the disconnect in my mind.