I don’t allow myself to check Facebook at work. Well, I don’t allow myself to check Facebook on my office computer at work; that’s what smartphones are for.
I got on a few minutes ago. Two notifications? Excitement!
One was a comment on an event I’m attending this Saturday; not specifically directed at me, but nice to know. The other, though. “[Friend] tagged you in 2 photos.” Panic.
I look, and I hurt. So round, so pudgy, so unattractive, so not the mental image I have of myself in what I thought was a cute outfit this morning. Even that group photo – is that my arm, that huge thing attached to my shoulder? That thunder thigh-sized limb?
My mind races. Omigod it’s so terrible. That’s what people see? Things are worse than I thought and I’ve just been deluding myself. Oh, no. Three people – people that are my friends, not friends of the person who posted the pictures – have already liked it. How many other people have seen this? How many other people have seen this terrible image and judged me? Or worse, accepted that as an accurate representation of me? And it’s on Facebook. How can I untag it on my phone?! I can’t. How many more people are going to see it?! And I can’t ask the person to untag them photos without revealing that I hate how I look and am embarrassed by it, and I can’t stand the thought of him saying, “That’s crazy. You look fine,” which is even worse because I don’t I don’t I don’t. That’s why I had to pose in the picture in the first place, because he would have started asking questions or pitying me for being so self-conscious, all while understanding why I feel such self-disgust since he’s clearly seen me, seen these photos, seen fit to broadcast them to the world. Oh no oh no oh no.
I go to the bathroom. There’s someone in there. Damn it, woman. Why can’t you let me cry and loathe this moment and this feeling in peace???
*I realize that these feelings are an admission of a severe lack of self-confidence, which to some is more off-putting than an external image. However, it is my goal to be truthful here. So, behold. Insight.