Now to the subject of this post - my looks and how I felt about them. I was a rather plump girl until my early teenage years - and that made me target for all sorts of jokes and teasing from my classmates. Although I dismissed these really easily and never felt bad about these things, I guess they got to me at a different subconscious level. I was painfully shy about getting undressed in public places - I disliked going to swimming pool as it entailed going through the changing rooms where I had to undress (I would cover myself with a towel and hide behind the locker door to do so) and so on.
As my teenage years went on, my growing popularity with boys took me by a great surprise. But I attributed it all to my personality and easy-going manner and dismissed any thoughts that they might in fact like my looks! I also learnt very soon that I was a natural flirt - I intuitively knew how to get and keep a boy's attention. And didn't I enjoy the game! Again - I never paid any credit to my looks.
First ray of hope on the subject was when I was a sophomore at university. My girlfriend's father whose taste for women she said was quite exquisite told her that I was in fact a pretty girl but my beauty was a non-standard one - which either takes one's breath away or isn't noticed at all. I was like: whaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Some other peers were telling me that I looked great and similar things. But again - I've just got away from the teen years with all the issues with acne and other nasty adolescence issues. So I pushed the whole thing somewhere very far in my mind and locked it there tagging it with: people just try to be nice.
As time went on, I noticed another thing - there was no man in my life that I liked that I couldn't get to return my sentiment. Someone else would connect the dots at this realization and finally acknowledge they were quite pretty. Not me though. My thinking again was along the lines: my personality and my being a guru at flirting got me there. Full stop. Duh.
I am not saying I didn't like myself at all. I thought I had a very pretty mouth, I liked my nose and cheekbones, I more or less tolerated my shape and body overall (although weren't that fold of it), I just didn't think the whole of me could be called pretty. Just regular and not in any way remarkable.
When I was getting closer to my fourth decade something shifted in my subconsciousness - I stopped feeling uncomfortable about being naked in public. And don't get me wrong - I didn't enroll into any nudist clubs or started marching the streets naked. I didn't become an exhibitionist in other words. But I was ok about going to sauna with girlfriends (they do that naked in Russia) or going to see the female doctor and never stressed out anticipating that. I still wasn't accepting my looks - I rather came to terms with the fact that I am not getting any others anyway - so why bother.
At about the same time I acknowledged another thing - when looking at my teenage and early twenties pictures, I admired the great shape I was in at the time. Almost a decade and tones of beer and fast food later I felt really bad that I lost it all. Not bad enough though to quit my bad habits and try and get that amazing shape back. No sir.
The final step in my painfully slow realization of my own good looks was after I delivered my twins and not only recovered my pre-pregnancy weight effortless and amazingly fast. The pair of breastfeeding and carrying and rocking the babies to sleep got me to my best-ever weight and shape (i.e. the one I had in my teens). And lemme tell you something - I do look good in this shape!