Every day I spend what probably equates to a good thirty minutes wondering what other people think about my appearance. Possibly even double that. On a “fat” day, quadruple it. Every time I pass my own reflection, I wonder if others are seeing what I’m seeing.
I was raised in a household of excessive compliments from one parent and continual derogatory verbal abuse from the other. This makes for an interesting dichotomy of self-esteem in the adult me, wherein one half of my brain insists that I must be in the 85th percentile of attractive people in the world while the other half points at my gunt and laughs cruelly. (For those unfamiliar with the term “gunt,” it is an amalgam of the words “gut” and “cunt” and refers to the protrusion of a woman’s lower stomach over the pubic mound. Too much information? This is reality, bro. Deal with it.) This contradiction of thoughts makes for a curious experience any time I face the mirror, particularly if dressing for some kind of social event. An internal dialogue takes place in which the overly-confident, self-validating side – to whom I have given the voice and mannerisms of a ghetto-fabulous black woman named V’alondria – engages in battle with the bitter, self-deprecating side, who I have aptly named Assface.
Below is an example of some typical internal discourse between Valondriah and Assface.
V’ALONDRIA: Girl, you lookin’ fiiiiiiiiiine! You gon’ be steppin’ out tonight! You got that shiny new hairdo, got yo booty on display…girl you gon’ get plenty!
ASSFACE: There’s a huge pimple on your chin and I can see your back fat squishing every time you move your arms.
V’ALONDRIA: Oh, helllllllllllll no! Girl, don’t listen to him! He all nasty cos he got an ass for a face. You lookin’ real good in those tight jeans- damn, you got curves till next week!
ASSFACE: Your butt looks weird in those jeans. It’s all flat and soggy looking. Oh, and remember that thing your face does where one eye looks way bigger than the other and you get that serial killer vibe? It’s doing it now.
V’ALONDRIA: Boy, you trippin’! Girl, you better check yo temperature, cos you hotter than hell!
ASSFACE: Your cleavage looks like a fat woman’s armpit.
V’ALONDRIA: Boy, you about to get a slap! Ho, you puttin’ the fab in fabulous tonight. Go and get some. Mr Nasty over here is just tryin’ to put you down cos you so damn fine it makes his junk hurt.
ASSFACE: Don’t worry; I’m sure lots of guys find double chins sexy – especially when they’re combined with pasty skin, chubby cheeks and oversized dimples. God, your face is like a loaf of wet bread.
V’ALONDRIA: Girl, let me tell you, you got it goin’ on. Now go out and get some!
ASSFACE: Oh, by the way: you look like a transvestite in those boots.
And on it goes. After closer analysis it seems unlikely that anyone is thinking what I am thinking, unless their brains are similarly possessed by the extreme opinions of two diametrically opposed characters locked in a perpetual dual over my self-esteem. Fairly unlikely.
But not impossible.