Saturday, November 4, 2023

Autism Answer: Being Seen

A camera sitting on the floor

Warning: This post is about me and how I feel and how I think and what I notice.... oh, what's that? You already knew that? You have been here before and recognize a pattern? Yes, I see. Well, thank you? tee hee!

Confession: I am kinda bothered by the amount of plastic surgery, laser hair removal, fancy serums and other similar things that have become fairly commonplace.

In part I am bothered simply because I'm inclined to advocate for less manipulation of what is natural. I recognize in these procedures and items a desire to sculpt and bend and shave who we are until we like it better. Maybe to fit in, maybe to stand out. (I am impressed by the availability of these things, by the way. I am only bothered by how common they seem to have become.)

However (and here's the confession part) I am also bothered when I notice how popular these measures of manipulating our appearance have become because I worry I will appear increasingly unhappy and haggard and, well, yucky to look at, in comparison to my peers.

I admit, I hardly think about it. What I look like compared to my contemporaries, I mean. Maybe because I live a fairly sheltered life. I mean, I work from home, I am not obligated to attend meetings or video conferences, and my soul mate works here with me too, so I'm less likely to wonder if he's comparing me to other lovely ladies. (Our co-workers are also ladies, but they are of the feline variety. And since I am in charge of making appointments for them and doing their shopping, I am confident they are not having work done or spending lots of money on fancy creams that make them look fresh faced and healthy.)

I love wrinkles, my own and the ones on others. I love grey hair, I love the look of age on people and am happy when I see it on me. It's not aging I'm talking about.

I worry about looking unhappy or haggard, less fresh faced, less healthy.

For some reason I want, have always wanted, my happiness and energy to show, to be noticeable outside of myself. I don't remember how young I was when I stopped looking in mirrors, but I was fairly young. And it was because I would FEEL so happy and full of life, but then I would SEE just some pale, plain, girl. Not the energy I thought should be reflected.

Silly, I know. I am happy and I have happy energy regardless of whether it can be seen. Why do I want it to be seen?

Why do I want the me I feel like I am to be seen?

Why am I less content when it is only me who knows how I feel?

I'm not entirely sure. But just now, as I was typing this, I had a thought. I realize one of the reasons I want my natural way, my comfort with choosing to blossom naturally (while caring about myself at the same time, I don't mean to infer that I don't try to manipulate to some degree by being careful of what I put in my brain and body) is that I want my beliefs to be valid to others. I want to be seen as having a point with potential.

Like, if I say I am comfortable with myself and find strength in feeding my body and mind nutritiously, that I try to make sure not to live too sedentary a life in order to stay healthy-ish, that I am happy in my choices, that I feel it is enough to be me naturally, I want to be believed. To be seen as making sense.

And, darn it, that means I want to be seen as happy and healthy. Not haggard and yucky.

But when so many people are taking advantage of the more extreme versions of looking that way, I worry I will seem less so by comparison.

Silly, right?

Wanting to be seen is not silly.

Parents of children with differences and disabilities work hard to ask for that on behalf of their children because it is not only not silly, but necessary and urgent.

But wanting to be seen as happy and healthy just to prove my point is valid?

That's silly.


Hugs, smiles, and love!!!!!