I have seen many of my Facebook friends doing Bitstrip cartoons of themselves and I have always thought they were cute, but could never bring myself to doing it.
What was holding me back? Basically rock bottom self-esteem. I already saw myself as less than beautiful, and a cartoon rendition would just be plain ugly…at least that is what I thought back then. I loved the ones of my friends and thought they were all very fun and recognizable. I even tried a couple of times to start one but was not able to “face myself” in this medium.
What is different now? Lots! I can truthfully say I love myself and while I have a lot of things I want to improve upon (who doesn’t?) I can look in the mirror and be happy. So, when I saw three cartoons with friends on my Facebook page today, I decided it was time.
I went into the Bitstrip app and began the process. Some areas were more difficult than others – shape of my face, hairstyle, wrinkles on my face. But I think I got it the way I see myself. And I actually think it is cute! A REALLY big step! I even put on a pack to represent the humongous purse/bag I throw over my shoulder so I can have a free hand with my cane. Too bad I couldn’t include my cane in it! Then it would truly be me!
In truth, this has absolutely nothing to do with the cartoon and everything to do with the message behind it. I am comfortable in my own skin. I was always afraid of being made fun of for my looks, weight, voice, etc. because people did make fun or criticize. My Dad even called me a certain cartoon character, but that is a totally different post that has been dealt with!
My depression and bipolar fed off of this mockery and bullying. The depressed side would want to crawl into a hole (or drop out of life) while the manic side would want to go out an buy a dozen outfits, make-up and other items that I thought would make it better but that I never used because I didn’t feel comfortable in them. Oh, and I can’t forget the eating disorder. I would try to diet and when it didn’t work I would binge.
But now I can look in a mirror and say, even on my worst day, “I am beautiful, I am sexy, I am very comfortable with who I am!” Now I can make a cartoon figure of myself and think it is cute. I am not afraid to show it to my friends.
In short, I could cartoon myself because I no longer think of myself as one!