An estimation of esteem 

Gillie Easdon ponders if there is a direct correlation between cellulite and self-esteem.

By Gillie Easdon

Months ago I felt like I was being followed around the streets of Victoria at very close quarters. It was unnerving and uncomfortable. I spun on my heels to identify the perpetrator and realized that my own behind was tailgating me.

My first instinct was a modicum of self-deprecation, which gave way to a somewhat maternal comforting and mild reproach for my initial flood of self-deprecation. Appalled and mildly distressed, I started running, butt in tow, four times a week.

A week later I ran into Jeremy Cordle, an old classmate of mine. I had not seen him in years. We said our hellos, he handed me his card, and then went on his way. His business card read, “Esteem Treatments”. He was listed as both co-owner and therapist. As a general nice guy and past Canadian national rugby player, I associated this title with life coaching, team-builders or a dynamic counseling/athletics combination in kind with this hybrid era of yogalates, kayakercise, etc. I very much looked forward to catching up and learning more about this enterprise.

The next day, after a run with my butt, I read the back of the business card: “Eurowave Inch Loss and Muscle Toning, Slenderquest Body Wrap, Hartur Ultrasound Cellulite Removal.” Stunned, I dropped the card into my coffee. I then plucked the card from the coffee, wiped it on my pants, and reread it slowly, carefully. The clash of fact and my own presumption baffled me. I had immediately exclusively associated “esteem” with inner workings, nothing physical, appearance-oriented or (gasp) cosmetic. And, well, the titles of the treatments just seemed so, well, infomercial, so junk e-mail, so National Enquirer. But how could this be? Jeremy would not do some sham business. I was curious, but guarded.

Over the following days I found myself mulling over my own relationship with esteem as it influenced or was influenced by my physical appearance. Bad hair days, fat days, PMS pimples, bloating, and just plain ugly days. Yep. My esteem of myself with respect to certain facets of my life was indeed inextricably linked to the physical. As a female in this here day and age, I was fascinated by the naivety of my initial assumptions. I consulted the dictionary for further clarification:

Esteem:

1: the condition of being honored (esteemed or respected or well regarded); “it is held in esteem”; “a man who has earned high regard” [syn: regard, respect] [ant: disesteem] 2: a feeling of delighted approval and liking [syn: admiration] 3: an attitude of admiration or esteem; “she lost all respect for him” [syn: respect, regard] [ant: disrespect] v 1: regard highly; think much of; “I respect his judgment”; “We prize his creativity” [syn: respect, value, prize, prise] [ant: disrespect] 2: look on as or consider; “she looked on this affair as a joke”; “He thinks of himself as a brilliant musician”; “He is reputed to be intelligent” [syn: think of, repute, regard as, look upon, look on, take to be]

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