THIS IS AN UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION

When I was a teenager my mother hung a picture of a swimsuit model on the fridge. She said she loved the swimsuit and she wanted to buy something similar but she also wanted to look as good as the lady in the picture.

I felt like she was watching me from her place there on our refrigerator, judging me when I opened the fridge door to get a Diet Coke, glaring down at me from her pedestal while I opened my Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls.

So one night, in a midnight snack-fueled fit of rage, I took a Sharpie to the picture and wrote: THIS IS AN UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION! YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL THE WAY YOU ARE!

The next day my stepdad reprimanded me and told me I had made my mother cry; she had just loved the swimsuit and wanted something to picture herself in. She wanted to picture herself as happy and satisfied as the model looked on that glossy page.

Mixed feelings from that experience still linger, even so many years later.