(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight)
My body and I have come to a comfortable agreement. We tolerate each other. We still fight on a daily basis, but we’ve learned to agree to disagree.
Do I love my body? Tough question —sometimes yes and sometimes no.
I am round and large and overweight and strong and curvy and beautiful and a work in progress and meh and all of these things. I try never to utter the “ugly” word, but let’s be Real (I’m looking at YOU body wash brand), there are days when I feel downtrodden, when a dash of lipstick just can’t hide the stress and the angst and the unwashed hair.
I still battle the bullying voice of a few 1979 seventh graders who’d leave nasty “fat butt” notes in my locker. Then I look back at photos and think, “holy hell, I was a regular looking kid!” Awkwardly tall with thick brown hair, a chubby-cheeked smile, a Phoebe Cates wannabe. (Was she not the shizznit?)
But perception is potent. Later on, I learned to appreciate my hips, thighs and generous ba-donka-donk. A newspaper publisher I worked for once dubbed me, “game-y” which, while wildly inappropriate, I sort of understood. Thick eyebrows, juicy rump, meat on the bone. We pick ourselves apart just like everyone else does, cuts of meat to be weighed and graded.
In the early ‘00s era of Hot or Not, I was mindlessly clicking to see that someone had scored me a “6.” I was aghast. My boyfriend at the time assured me they were wrong, informing me that I was more likely an “8.” Oh the fight we had. “Why am I any number? Plus you should just see me as a 10. And why rate people anyway? What about ma damn brain??”
Now in my 40s, I’ve realized people will be assholes. No getting around that. They will look at you, snap-judge you and they might not even see you. It doesn’t matter.
Loving your body is like anything else. It takes daily practice — rinse and repeat. Meditation and mantras may seem cheesy but I’ve found them the best antidote to body-hating moments. That and this awesome article by Mindy Kaling.
How you care for your vessel impacts every aspect of your life. So let’s be tender.
This week — and next week (double-week theme baby) we accept, dissect, rearrange, inject some youth or let the wrinkles map our story.
- Amy Barr debates a boob job
- Melissa Rayworth struggles with “Hot Mom”
- Penny Wrenn spends a week posting unflattering selfies
- Stephanie Battaglino achieves a perfect (and passing) head of curls
- Beauty blogger Kristin Booker finally accepts her own beauty
- Diane Di Costanza poses nude and lives to tell us all about it
Next week our issue will tackle health and wellness, so peep back for that.