I'm Best When I'm Awkward
By. Sarah Toribio
I love when people know they are awesome and it gives them confidence. I love that we are taking back our culture and giving room for diverse voices, voices that should have always been heard.
I love telling people they are attractive, everyone should know they are beautiful and work it. But unfortunately people don't know they are attractive, or they know they are but with contingencies. You know the stuff, "You're really cute for a fat/disabled/tall/short/insert perfectly lovely feature but not considered by society as attractive, person". Either someone said this to you, or culture did or you say it to yourself. Trust, I've been there. Until recently, I thought I was pretty, but I wouldn't be fully beautiful until I got back down to my dancer weight. I was pretty for a fat girl, but would pick apart myself.
"I'll be truly attractive when I can fit into that dress again. I'll be sexy when my tummy is much smaller and my thighs weren't so jiggly and my upper arms are 'proportionate' to the rest of my arms." See how dangerous that is? I thought I had to shrink myself to be good enough. Truth? I am good enough right this freaking moment and every moment in the future and was for every moment in the past.
So many beautiful people are finding their sex appeal in their revealing photos that they post on their social media accounts. More power to them! I love seeing babes my size work their soft tummies and stretch marks. It certainly makes me feel better to see representation of my body type.
But what about us who don't feel sexy being "sexy"?
I feel the most attractive when I'm being weird. I love being different and unusual. I love dressing in every possible fashion and wearing bright eye shadow and laughing too loud. I feel best when I pose with my mouth gaping at a big doughnut or laughing so hard my chubby cheeks consume my scrunched up face.
I know my curves are delicious, but I'd much rather someone tell me that my hugs are healing or my cackling laugh is their favorite. I know my red hair is magic and hell yes I hashtag that with almost every post, but I feel most rewarded when people yell at me from across Bed Bath and Beyond that they love my Hello Kitty Chucks. I am happy being weird and strange and loving every flavor I can possibly have. I love teasing my hair up to Jesus and having outfits for every occasion, down to the tiny cameo earrings I've been hoarding for five years and wore twice.
Being awkward is what makes me sexy. Being weird is what makes me satisfied with myself. I love laughing at myself, I do crazy stuff.
So let's say you sorta feel this way too, you like embracing the weird but feel insecure. You wanna wear that magenta fur vest or that leopard print top or those bright red lips, but you are worried about the looks or the passive aggressive statement from your mom. Here's some perspective.
No one, past present or future, is like you. No one has your heart or your spark. No one has your creativity or ideas or perspective. No one has been through exactly what you have or learned the specific things you've learned. By shrinking down, by forcing yourself into a tiny box or putting a basket over your lamp, you are depriving the world of your essence. How poor would the world, the entire expansive universe, be without your heart? Extremely poor.
You have the perfect amount of love and light, magic and stardust, supreme awesomeness that you are exactly at this moment. Forget that dumb thing you did six years ago. I'm pretty sure no one actually remembers it. And if they do and they bother you about it? Bye Felicia. Eleanor Roosevelt said it best "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Never give it."
Another way to think about that less than perfect thing you've done or keep doing? Mary Pickford details the idea this way "If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."
So friend, whoever you are wherever you are, you are the right blend of funky fabulous. You don't need to be more or less, bigger or smaller. You don't have to wear short shorts or pose in your panties to be sexy if that's not what makes you feel empowered. If you feel empowered wearing a lime green fanny pack and a shirt with glow in the dark puffy paint, awesome! Wear that red lipstick, eat those extra large fries while dancing to, "All I Do Is Win," laugh a little louder than the rest of the room and groove to the post credits songs at the end of the movie while the theater is clearing out. String up some more Christmas lights even if it's not a holiday, go all out for your next cosplay, dye your hair teal or orange or if you would rather not damage your hair get some fun wigs to wear on Tuesdays. Add some rhinestones, make it pink or make it blue, don't wear matching socks. Find someone who fuels your freak fire. Hang out with someone who loves to go glow bowling over running the same old ground. It's exciting to be around people who's passion for joyful things. You sometimes need some pep in your step and someone to cheer you on while you eat a big sundae. Get your weirdos and do something interesting. Buy some comics, get the sequined shoes instead of the white ones, and be thrilled crocheting while binging Murder, She Wrote even though you might worry you're a 98 year old in a millennial body.
The final quote of the day, our patron saint of Awkward Makes Me Attractive, Matthew Gray Gubler, "Take criticism, smash it into dust, add color, and use it to paint breathtaking images of unicorns frolicking through endless fields of greatness."
Sarah Toribio is a writer and actress who lives in Pennsylvania with her family and weird cats. She aspires to move to LA and create her own TV Show. She is an advocate for invisible illness, body positivity and radical self love. You can find her on Instagram at @sarahdipitycreation where she posts about her life and faith.