Monday, January 12, 2009

The contact lens battle

The Contact Lens Battle
Ever since I switched from dowdy-glasses to contact lenses - wait for it - I started becoming more appearance conscious. Not that I felt prettier though, I felt uglier.

Okay, suddenly everything, including my own reflection in the mirror, became too clear for its own good and at all times! Before that, wearing my glasses, my reflection on the mirror would look:

1) Incomplete as the glasses cover most of my face (kolot big glasses) and my eyes.
2) Blurry as my lens were almost always greasy, loaded with finger-prints.

But with contact lenses, all of a sudden, my own reflection became:

1) Too perfectly complete with the clearer eyesight and omg, nothing covering my face!
2) Clear as in every single pore and how dirty it is kinda clear.

Hence started my own little battles with my body-image *oooooohhh*

Honestly, before the appearance of the almight contact lens in my life, I was a hermit. Oh dear, did everyone know about my hermit era already? Okay fine, I was a hermit with no concern regarding my appearance. I did not think that I was ugly, I did not think that I was pretty. I was just erm, hmm, er, there. Me. Hello.

I lived through everyday wearing the same T-shirt and shorts and slippers and this impeccably 'casual' style brought me from my house's kitchen to tuition classes to the crocodile farm to the biggest supermarket in Sandakan *cue for oooooohhhh*

But then came the day when Mrs Lo thought I should start wearing contact lenses to upgrade my confidence level and help me shoot outta my hermit shell. And Hermits do not fight so it was neither a yes nor a no from me, and whee, it just happened.

See! Even my Sis has longer hair than me and appeared more like a girl than me, justice?

'Whee the trees are so green, that baby over there is so cute, the polo-bun (it was very popular back then in Sandakan, ok!) over there is selling for RM1 only, AND MY DARK CIRCLES ARE THE COLOUR OF MUM'S NESCAFE KAO KAO!' *thunder+lightning*

That was back in Form 3. Suddenly, my nose was too big, round and looked like a rotten strawberry *cue for awwwwww* (cos of the blackheads sniff). I remember telling my mum this, "Why is my nose so big?" to which she answered, "Erm, how can it suddenly be big?"

Black strawberry, the image in my mind was obviously way more hideous than this.

I was also too hairy. A fact, haha. Just that I never knew they were so damn visible to the naked eye!

After a while, I thought I was too dark. Not that I did not realize I was dark when I was wearing glasses but I just did not realize how dark I was in comparison to all the other girls in my class. Yes, I started comparing myself with others.

Then, I thought my face was too pimply and oily - I called myself a 'pepperoni pizza' *cue for awwwwww* I would glance at myself in the mirror and get frustrated about it. Well, it certainly did not help that I had an acne problem during that time. I got more frustrated when they started multiplying without my permission (duh) and that I had no control over them. I remember thinking, "This is my face! Who are you to grow all over it! ROAR" before slumping down to, "Okay. Grow all you want. I don't care anyway!" I would secretly gaze at my friend's fair and clear complexion while talking to themand my heart would tighten a bit. Sigh-sigh.

I was not fat at all during then. Seriously okay? But suddenly, I 'looked' fat! I have this 'big' tummy and 'flabby' arms and 'wide' butt. Why I had that perception still riddles me cause I was basically so skinny without trying that I had no boobs (cry me a river) and was only a mere 42 kg at my current height (wahaha, yes I did not grow at all apalah!). It started when I went to camp and shared a room with a few of the extra-skinny girls from my class. Then we were changing and one of them pointed out, "Wah, Loretta you have no waist!" Bingo, I started to have selective eyesight then.

Then it went downhill - hairy face, unruly hair, chapped lips, weirdly shaped ears, wrinkly hands, even an abnormal teeth structure.

All because of contact lenses.

But I guess it did me good.

As I aged, I became more appreciative and acceptive when it comes to appearances. I loved myself for who I was more and more each year.

Well, my nose is not as big as it seemed to be, haha maybe cause it shrank during the cold winters here!

And the hairy issue, I have always been hairy. So everyone would have known it by then and you know what, it would be even weirder and more obvious to everyone if this famous trait of mine vanished suddenly one day! Imagine being asked, "Eh, I thought you are quite hairy, where is all the hair, mate?" *in Aussie accent somemore!?* Furthermore, some reports have emerged saying that some people find hairy people 'sexy'. Omg, sexy wei. And according to reliable sources, Michelle Reis is a hairy person as well! Omg, I am like Michelle Reis wei.

The thought that I was too dark was the result of the successful collaboration between my 'comparing' and 'selective eyesight' traits. I was comparing myself to those impossible fair ones. Skin colour makes you unique, rite? I am totally okay with my skin colour rite now. I call it the colour of caramel - sweet, lovable and calorie-ladden *nyahaha*.

The pimple issue got me the worse seriously. But eventually, the hormone-raged (don't get me wrong, ngaum!) era was gone and I was back on my feet, picking up the pieces. After that I would freak out everytime I see a small pimple anywhere on my face and worry myself sick. But I have come to accepted that pimples, they are just a natural part of my body. Now, I see one, get annoyed,complain about it, resist the urge to demolish it and forget about it. Whee!

The fat issue. Despite all the complaints the whining about my weight issues, honestly I am at peace with my own body. It is not an award-winning bikini body and I still get insecure over showing my tummy area, but I do not dislike it at all. In fact, in the process of getting fat and then losing it again within these 2 years I have really enjoyed seeing the result of exercise and a healthy diet on my own body. I still have sky high confident days and down to the drain body image days. But, I'm usually happy, whoo!

After this long rambling post, I guess I must say that, body image can be a really threatening issue if not confronted and controlled. No one will ever be perfectly satisfied with their own body I guess, unless everyone wears a pair of glasses or contact lenses equipped with photoshop/airbrush function so that everyone else they see including themselves look magazine cover worthy.

But at least, be at peace with your own body, appreciate what was given uniquely to you by your parents and learn to love it.

Then life will seem better and even the sun will seem brighter - and you know what a bright sun does to pictures - wonders!

I just wanted to put this picture of me, to say - See wasn't I very extremely cute!?


1 Hikari*fications!:

G said...

hey. I was looking for a link between contact lenses and body image and/or eating disorders....what you are saying is very interesting. I too found that switching from glasses to contacts affected my body image and consequently my health as a teenager. I believe that this is class action material. You?

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