The other day, I was sitting there relaxing in the operating room (ok, not exactly relaxing)(I was about to get anesthesia and I DO NOT like the idea of that at all)(it was for a really harmless operation, I assure you) when suddenly, the anesthesiologist, who was putting an IV in my hand, tells me “Oh, funny – the skin on your hand is very, very supple.”

I sat up in my bed suddenly, and said to her: “Wait a second – suuuuppple? I mean – good supple or bad supple?” And she answered: “Just supple, more supple than most people. You know – tender! It’s not good or bad, just more supple.”
So I said: “Do you mean droopy? Stretchy? Flexible?”
To which she responded: “Alright, here we go – count backward from 10 – 10, 9…”

That’s when I remembered I was in the operating room.
Well, for about ten seconds, anyway, before the room around me faded away and I fell asleep.

Ah, there’s nothing like vanity to help me forget my fear of anesthesia!

A half-hour later, just after waking up (and feeling great – seriously, what do they put in those anesthetics?) I looked at my hand and realized that I was witnessing the arrival of something strange called… Drumroll, please…

THE BIRTH OF A NEW COMPLEX ABOUT MYSELF

Yeah, that’s a fact :

We I are am pretty dumb, and it happens at every age. Let’s take a look back at how my complexes started…

Some of them started all by themselves. Like my feet, for example. I don’t like them very much. I guess that’s kind of typical — one out of two people doesn’t really like their feet*, and this started when I was about nine years old and was starting to become aware of my body. So there you go. Ever since, I’ve put up with my feet, being extra careful not to wear shoes that reveal their flaws.

Some of them started from being made fun of. Aaaaaaah criticism.
We get made fun of in primary school, then in junior high, then in high school. I got away with not having to deal with it much, for the most part – my acne attack was manageable as long as I had eight tubs of Clearasil and 300 tubes of BodyShop Concealer** close by. But actually, I did go through a horrible episode of being made fun of that left my soul pretty bruised. When I was about 11, my breasts decided to jump about three years ahead of the rest of my body (and my mind!) and grew fully formed all in one go.
I can tell you that group of little brats in junior high didn’t spare me – they made fun of me and stuck me with a complex that I’ll probably have all my life.
Let’s just say being 11 ?

Wasn’t the easiest year of my life.

Some complexes come from friends. A lot of times, it starts with a sympathy complex. Your friend says:
“Uuuuugh, I hate the cellulite on my thighs!!!”
“But you don’t even have cellulite on your thighs! Where!? What are you even talking about.”
“Yes I do, right there. When you pinch there – right THERE, see?”
“Oh, come on, I guess if you pinch it, sure, but I HAVE THE SAME THING (see the sympathy complex rearing its ugly head?) do you think I should be worried about it? Do anti-cellulite creams work very well?***”
And there you go. A new cellulite complex that didn’t exist two seconds before is born right before your eyes. Ah, girlfriends. They’re the worst about handing out complexes.

Some complexes start with a photo.
WHHHHAAAAT!!! Show me that photo again? Is that really my nose / my butt / my shoulders? Nooooo, stop. Do I really look like that? Tell me, tell me the truth! You’re myfriendwhotellsmeeverythingandIcancountonyouthroughthickandthin: Does this photo really look like me? WHAT!? YOU THINK IT LOOKS LIKE ME!?” and so on…
We’ve all had complexes start with a photo. And with Instagram these days, you have to admit: We’ve all had a moment of utter terror seeing ourselves on someone else’s Instagram (and of course, THEY look perfect in the photo, the jerks!!)(Untag me right now, no seriously, untag me or I’ll unfollow you forever, I’m telling you!)

Some complexes come from the beauty / fashion industry.
Those complexes bother me because I don’t even know where they pull them from.
I swear, a few years ago, people were just fine having pores. And suddenly, we all decided we absolutely had to get rid of our pores and buy tons of beauty products to make them just as invisible as they are in overly airbrushed photos.
That one started so many complexes around me that I decided I just wasn’t going to participate. I decided to take a vacation from having complexes, and that I’d accept my pores and wouldn’t even sympathize with my friends who were obsesssing about them.

I’ve already got a good 10 to 15 complexes to deal with as it is, and I just adopted a new one that I didn’t even ask for (what!? the droopiness of the skin on my left hand – that counts!!!) (“But he said supple, Garance, supple – it’s not droopy!!”) and I’m sure there are more complexes just waiting to move in as the years go by, right?

So voilà. Now that we’ve completed our (in depth!) analysis of how complexes are born, do you think we can decide to get rid of them?
I’m trying to.

—————

*And it’s not a matter of being objective, ok? I know a girl with feet that I think are, uuuuhhh, well – not so great – average at best (ok, I admit, I’m a little weird about feet)(and plus, the entire rest of her body is absolutely sublime, so don’t get mad!) and she won’t stop Instagramming her feet, that’s how much she loves them and thinks they are amazing.
So there’s just nothing objective about it! The important thing is that she likes her own feet, right?
(Ok, but I did kind of have to unfollow her, though – with summer coming, the foot storm was getting to be unbearable.)

**Bodyshop was SO my thing at the time – do you remember the White Musc perfume? It was a whole era.

***Answer: of course not.

Translated by Andrea Perdue