An Unexpected Side Effect: Feeling Beautiful

Hey world.

This is a post that will have very little to do with Japan. Actually, that’s a lie. It has a lot to do with Japan, but not so much about my adventures in Japan. It has to do with me IN Japan. I realized I haven’t touched on that. I haven’t touched on a lot of stuff actually. There are so many things I have yet to post about (mainly due to the hassle of getting photos off my phone!) but I REALLY haven’t touched on me.

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It should be a surprise to no one that I love Japan. The past month has been one of the best of my life and I met so many wonderful people, made lots of new friends and even managed to make a few REALLY good friends. Most of those wonderful people have buggered off to their home planets, leaving lil ol‘ me in big bad Japan. I’m not alone though! I made Japanese friends (who’dve thunk!) and they are still around and I’m currently staying with my homestay family! They are absolutely wonderful and will get their own post one day.

Anyway, back to the title of this post:

I feel beautiful at the moment.

Yes, let that sink in. I, Maria Theodosiou, feel beautiful!

What’s the big deal, you might be thinking?

Well, dear reader (and friends and coworkers), generally, in my life, me feeling beautiful has been conditional.

I thought I looked beautiful IN something (A dress, a shirt, make up).

Someone else thought I looked beautiful and I felt it through them.

Do you see the problem? The above are all external. What I was wearing. What someone else thought. I was never just Maria and beautiful.

I, at the moment, feel beautiful.

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Not because of a guy telling me I’m beautiful and me believing him.

Not because my family said it or my friends.

Not because of a banging outfit.

Today I was taking a shower (my homestay family has a mirror in the shower) and I paused for a moment and looked at myself. I have never really been comfortable with my naked self. Everyone looks at themselves and finds things to nitpick or condemn. But I looked at myself and just felt content. Then I realized I was content with myself. Holy shit, was that a revelation.

I was content! I thought I looked pretty even when naked! Is that even possible?!

I then wondered why that was.

Why now? What is the difference? image

My first instinct was to point at the foreign country I’ve lived in for the past month and a bit and chuck all the honor on it but I realized that wasn’t completely true. It has a lot to do with a lot of different things.

Japan has been a huge part. Honestly, that is kind of unexpected for me. Before coming to Japan I was worried about my weight and feeling like a whale amongst all the pretty, slim, well put together Japanese women.

I don’t. Maybe because actually getting here made me realize that while they are mostly all skinny, I’m not half as big as I pictured myself. I can get into clothing in Japanese stores (something I thought would be impossible). I never feel out of place because of my weight because–Hell! I’m foreign! I could be a toothpick, but I’d still be Caucasian!

Yes, Japanese women have gorgeous skin, but they are all so pale! I often feel like a sunkissed beach babe next to them compared to home where (amongst my family) I am the palest person! Their makeup is always on point and gorgeous, but looking at them closely made me value the things I have that they don’t: Like my eyelashes. My eyelashes are long for Caucasian standards, but hear a lot of women wear falsies to get lashes like mine.

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Don’t get me wrong: I haven’t turned into a narcissist nor do I think Asian women are suddenly unattractive. I’m not perfect by any means and Asian women are still (by and large) absolutely beautiful and I am NEVER as well put together as most of the girls who roll up to school in their high heels.

But none of that changes how I currently feel.

I just feel pretty.

It has a lot to do with coming to a new country and making new friends and getting close to brand new people and handling the experiences I have been given. I have gained confidence in myself as a person away from home and all the comforts I am used to (my supportive family and my lovely lovely routine life style). I have improved my Japanese which is amazing. A lot of things internally have changed or grown for me and I feel like a lot of this shiny new pretty feeling comes from within me rather than my actual body.

But, not to leave it out: a few things have changed.

I cut my hair.

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It happened for a few reasons. 1: Fukuoka’s summer is not long hair friendly. It gets hot and humid and I was tying my hair back far more than I wanted to. 2: I needed a change. I’d been rocking the long hair look because I felt like it made me look more mature and adult like and womanly and even began wearing it down all the time because someone told me I looked better with my hair down. But it got heavy and bothersome and so off with its ends!

I am a short hair girl! My hair does the best short (I don’t have to style it or anything and it looks good! Low matience = win!) and it just sits nicely on my head. I don’t feel like a new me, but as if I’ve returned to something wonderful.

I’ve also lost weight. Not so much in Japan itself (though I think I have lost a bit recently– not sure because I haven’t stepped on a scale at all) but beforehand. Quite a bit of weight and I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin but mainly in my clothing. I got back into dresses that had gotten too small for me and a number of other things I thought were shoe ins for the give away pile.

Holy crap this is a long post about myself… Maybe I have become a narcissist?!! (:P)

Anyway!

Japan is wonderful. I’m doing really really well.

I’ll see you again next time (with actual stuff about Japan!).

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