This is what I use to wake up thinking-every day-before I begin to poke and prod myself in the mirror. This is too fat. This is too skinny. My face is too blotchy. My hair is too boring. My eyes aren’t white enough. My skin isn’t tan enough.
“You look like a recovering meth addict.”
Then I’d start my day, loathing every part of my body, and head out into a world that continues to reinforce the idea that my happiness should be dependent on my appearance.
But now, it’s different. I am constantly so terrified of being deported or hit by a moving vehicle, that anything other than the last two items listed, seems simply serene. If it’s not endangering my Visa, I literally could not give less of a fuck.
Despite my awakening, most people continue to assail themselves with nasty comments before their morning coffee. Why do we continue to tell ourselves, “If you’re not X, Y, and Z then you don’t deserve success, love, or to feel beautiful inside and out.” And once we’ve shattered our self-esteem within the comfort of our own home, then we step outside and allow other people to chip away at whatever’s left. So who’s left cheering for us to succeed then? Our moms?
But Mama can’t always be there to pick us up when we’re down. So here’s 5 ways to stop hating yourself in the morning.
1. Laugh At Your Own Jokes.
There’s a devastatingly detailed mirror in my bathroom, opposite the shower, that allows me to gawk at my naked body in all of its naked glory. I can’t hide from it, so I’ve started to sling jokes at myself instead of insults. Some of my favorites include,
“Slow down, grab the wall. Wiggle like you tryna make yo ass fall off.”
“How you like yo eggs girl, fried or fertilized?”
Celebrate the things about your body that you love; laugh at everything else.
2. Change Your Diet.
What you put into your body the day/night before is pretty obvious the morning after… please take a moment to appreciate my tasteful sex joke… and if you smoke a ton, drink a ton, and then binge on McDonalds as a midnight snack, you’re going to look exactly how your body feels. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some tequila and whiskey (straight up or on ice), but recently, I’ve been more vain than I am thirsty and I’ve been pounding more water than whiskey. Each time, my wallet, complexion, and waistline thank me profusely the next morning.
3. Eff The Haters
I now have a large following of random strangers who hate me. This is awesome. Something I’m doing had such an impact on certain people that they took time out of their day to write essays about what a terrible, ugly whore I am. And so life continues. People are going to make it their job to bring you down, but they can’t do so without your permission. If someone says something terrible about your appearance, forgive him or her, because they’re projecting their own insecurities. When you step out of the shower, it’s only you, yourself, and the mirror; own that shit. Sashay out of the steam like the sexy Greek god/goddess you are. Bowchickawowwow! TWO CHAINS!!
And if you aren’t alone, then mazal tov to you my friend.
4. Focus On Being Strong, Not Skinny
I take a great deal of pleasure in knowing that I can deadlift or fireman’s carry two unconscious models at once. My self-worth is grounded in what my body can do and I’m incredibly lucky that, in China, I’m away from all the ads that constantly remind me how utterly average I am. I don’t have the big titties like the go-daddy models because I can’t afford them. My bad. I have thick, Mexican hips, awkward lanky limbs, and I can almost snatch my body weight; humble brag.
5. Set Your Scale On Fire
Feel free to be liberal with #5. Instagram that shit and tag me: wanderonwards.
Ye Mao Zi Photography (夜猫子摄影)
Aaron Berkovich is one of my personal friends and long-time supporters. He believed in my dreams before it was cool.
He’s been shooting in Beijing for the later year and by photographing travel, parties, people, and food, his intimate images allow him to share his own journey with like-minded people. Like his page here.