We Want What We Can’t Have
I believe we all want what we can’t have. I always wanted that Jessica Alba body… that Taylor Swift hair…and that Jennifer Garner smile. But what I got was a skeleton figure, bushy and frizzy dark brown hair, and a crooked smile in need of braces. I wanted to have a voice like Carrie Underwood and have a talent as great as Kristy Yamaguchi’s. Instead I received a voice of an American Idol reject and a talent, if you even consider it that, of memorizing all the American Idol winners. I don’t believe in constantly criticizing myself, which this paper might otherwise show. However, I do realize that I won’t ever get what I can’t have.
I always envied my cousin. She was athletic, took honors classes, and was the center of attention. She had the blonde hair and blue eyes. Whenever I went to family gatherings, the talk was always of her. “Isn’t she just incredible? She took first place in the competition. She is in soccer and gymnastics, but she still manages to get straight A’s in all her classes. She’s amazing!” And me? “Hi, how’s school?… Oh okay. Bye.”
Just a few days ago, I was talking to my best friend. We go to the bathroom after lunch and check our hair. I am completely jealous of her hair. She does not have to blow dry or straighten her hair. It is just naturally straight. I figured she loved her hair, but I was wrong. She for some unknown reason wished she had my hair. Oh, and she also wanted my bony body.
So maybe that explains why plastic surgery is common, especially among celebrities. I never understood the concept, but now in a weird way, it makes sense. If women don’t have as big of a chest as they want and know they can’t have it by natural means, then they go and get plastic surgery. Or if their nose isn’t the shape they want, they reshape it.
But why is it that we can’t appreciate what God gave us? Isn’t it important we don’t all look like Barbie dolls? Don’t we want to be our own person? I suppose it is human nature. I think being completely satisfied with yourself is impossible. Not all of our faces are going to be “commercial material.” Not all of us are going to become huge music sensations like Mariah Carey. There will always be something wrong with our outer appearance or our not so great talents. And there will always be at least one attribute that we just can’t have.
I want to be taller, smarter, more athletic, and a faster reader. Will I ever get that way? Probably not… but what I have learned in life is to be happy with who I am. And I’m content with not having that Jessica Alba body…that Taylor Swift hair…and that Jennifer Garner smile. Just because I can’t have these traits, doesn’t mean I can’t be happy with my life.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.