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How much of your life is based on someone else's perception of you?  No really, think about that a minute.  Home much of what you do and how you act is based on the thoughts you perceive others to have about you?  Go ahead, mull that over.  I'll wait.

Are you a little shell-shocked?  It really does put a little perspective into your life when you think about it and actually, consider some of the more mundane things we do.

Do you wear make-up?   Why?  To hide your imperfections.  To enhance your natural beauty.  To highlight you check bones.  To make your eyes pop.  I really could go on and on with all the lines we're fed in our daily lives through advertising and social media.

Why do you hate your body?  You don't feel you're thin enough.  You don't feel you're swimsuit ready.  You don't feel your boobs are big enough.  You feel your butt is too (insert descriptor here).  Again, society has influenced these thoughts.

All of these things are based on someone else's perception of who you should be.  Oh, wait, what?  Yeah.  Didn't see that coming did ya?  When you started reading you thought perhaps I was going to talk about your friends, your neighbors and even your family's perception of you, but I caught you off guard didn't I?

Some of us are brave and take the Rett Butler approach about it all, "frankly my dear, I don't give a ...", and buck the norms, but most are wound into one perception or another.  Most of us have something, and many of us start to fly the "who gives a ..." flag in our late 30's and early 40's.  By then we are sick of all the cages we feel the perceptions have put us in and we're busting free.

I'll be honest, I still struggle with my body image, although it has improved ten-fold in the 12 years I've been in a compassionate and loving relationship.  The make-up thing is a security blanket for me.  I will now, at the age of 39, leave the house without most of it, but never without my mascara.  If you send me to a desert island I will want mascara, sunscreen and bobby pins.