Mystery Woman

There is a woman. And she’s flawless.

She’s tall and sleek and tanned and blonde. Or maybe brunette. Long full hair and skin like honey. She wears makeup, but she doesn’t need it. She’s even prettier without it. Not a blemish on her. Slight shoulders and long lithe arms. Skinny skinny. Skinny skinny.

Her beauty is unparalleled, her sexiness undeniable. Like a model. She’s cool, too. You’d want her. You’d want her so bad you’d go to great lengths just to get one chance.

Who is this woman?

I don’t know. I don’t know if she even exists. But it’s the woman in my mind who appears when I imagine what a man wants. It is the woman who appears when a guy doesn’t want to see me again. It is the woman who appears when a man speaks of someone who was “so hot.” It’s the woman I think all men want, and it’s the woman I think they’ll leave me for, and it’s the woman I think they wish they had instead of settling for me.

It isn’t real.

This is old default thinking, and it’s clearly conditioned by a culture that encourages and reveres a flawless (and narrow) ideal of beauty. It is clearly rooted in echoes of shame and self-hatred and growing up feeling flawed and not good enough. It is illusory and shallow and impulsive and fear-based. It is highly saturated in what all humans face – the comparison of ourselves to ideas in our minds that are not planted in reality, the idea that all the others, any other, is somehow better.

Call it a conspiracy, if you’d like.

Thankfully, I see it through it today. As I’ve heard people say in recovery, my first thought is not always my sanest.

Thank god for second thoughts.

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