Not a beach ornament, but rather a mermaid in disguise...
I write about 'it', I talk about 'it' on TV, radio, and the internet. I’ve given interviews about 'it'. 'It' is even in one of the chapters of my book.
The ‘it’ I’m talking about is loving yourself the way you are, loving your body and looks, as well as being proud of your unique self and accomplishments.
I thought I was the poster girl for 'it'.
Sigh, but I’m not, nope.
I still have rare moments when I suffer from GOTB Syndrome, a hidden malady that can gnaw away at my self-esteem.
Don’t run to Goggle the GOTB Syndrome. You won’t find it on WebMD, Psychology Today, or any other place. Your doctor or therapist doesn’t know what it is either. GOTB Syndrome is a condition I made up to explain a certain lack of self-esteem that I first encountered in my teen years.
GOTB stands for GirlsOnTheBeach; the ones who never go into the water, the beach bunnies who prize hair, make-up, and a smokin’ hot, well-oiled body over actually enjoying the sweet lure of salt water rushing over their skin.
The only part of their bodies that they will permit to get wet is their toes as they walk through the surf looking bikini-fabulous and attracting the attention they justly deserve for being perfect.
Yup, GOTB Syndrome was a problem for me, and though I’ve gotten much better as I’ve gotten older, this syndrome occasionally returns to hit me when I least expect it.
I’m getting a manicure when all of a sudden I am struck by GOTB. Omigod! GirlsOnTheBeach! Here? One of them is sitting two stations away from me. She is made up to perfection including perfectly placed false eyelashes, perfectly coiffed hair, evenly tanned, and getting French manicure gel placed expertly on her long nails.
Her jewelry gleaming in the lights, she tells the woman doing her nails that she’s going to Aruba tomorrow to relax. When her nail tech makes small talk and asks her if she is going to snorkel in the beautiful Caribbean, the solitary GOTB looks surprised at the question and then says,
“Oh God no. That would ruin my hair and swimsuit. I don’t want that water rat look. I just lie on the beach.”
For one brief minute, my breathing quickens as I glance into the mirror behind my own nail tech, Jenny, and instead of seeing the adult I am now, I see a water rat teenage girl with eyes red-rimmed from a day of swimming, prune-y hands and feet, a bikini stained with salt, and hair the texture of seaweed.
I had perfected the “water rat” look so assiduously avoided by the GOTB.
Causes Kristen Houghton Supports
Kristen Houghton is an advocate for the following charities: ...