Chapter 2: My Body. I’ve always hated my body (well, as soon as I started to get messages that it wasn’t good enough). I’ve been too fat from the time I started going through puberty. Went on my first diet in 6th grade, have been trying to lose weight ever since. I’ve also always hated how uncoordinated and unathletic I am…..my body simply wouldn’t do all those things it was supposed to be able to do .. Then , to add confusion to it, there were times that being extra busty or too blonde or too blue eyed got me the wrong kind of attention that made me crappy about myself too. And of course, I always assumed those things were my fault. Frankly, I could write an entire series of books making The Song of Ice and Fire series look shortlived about all the things I hate about my body. It would include chapters called Too Fat, Too Tall, Too Busty, Too Blonde, Not Blonde Enough, Not Tall Enough, Too Clumsy, Too Dawdy, Too Flashy, What’s With That Mole Anyway?, Too Girl Next Door, Not Nearly Girl Next Door Enough, Baby Got Back, Lazy Eye, Lazy Ass, Why Wasn’t I Born in a Culture that Adores my Curves?, Why Won’t People Stop Grabbing Me, and of course, Why Do I Keep Tripping Over Shit? Yesterday, I was doing some online window shopping….trying to find a swimsuit that covers up the girls a little better. Sure, the extra low cleavage ones are great for getting a tan down to your belly button and for getting random invites from men to their beach cookouts of for margaritas on their pontoon boats, but I really don’t always want to scare small children or accidentally bring home entire clumps of kelp that got lodged in there. Anyway, as I was browsing I was looking for the key phrases “minimizes bust” and “covers up hips.” I was getting frustrated because I kept finding things that boasted “maximizes bust” and “adds shape.” WTF. Why would anyone be looking for something to make their boobs look bigger and to look curvier? Then, it occurred to me (again), that we all sure spend a lot of time, energy, and money trying to look like someone else. We all do. Especially us chicks. Maybe the guys do too, I honestly don’t know. But I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard my own derogatory insults about myself coming out of the mouth of a beautiful woman I envied about herself. It’s like we are all trying to fit into this perfect mold of what beauty is, but no one can fucking agree on what that is. No shit, Sherlock. Because it doesn’t exist. It’s a pointless pursuit.
How Does This Make Me Awesome? Because I’m starting to get it. I’m starting to understand that this messed up body image thing is pretty universal and it’s universally bullshit. I also never felt pretty or attractive or especially “girly” most of my life, so instead , I put a lot more effort into being smart, funny, and kind. I realized early on that those traits were far more important. And, now as an adult, I’m starting to understand that being “sexy or smart” doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. But “sexy” or ‘beautiful” have to be defined by ME, not by others. And, after a lifetime of comparing myself negatively to others, I’m really good at spotting beauty in others and around me. And if you simply take the comparison out, you can revel in a lot of beauty around you. And beauty is contagious…when you start to notice and appreciate that….the beauty in others…..you will start to be inspired about your own beauty. A little inspiration never hurt anybody.