you are beautiful

Despite not being perfect, with shadows and reflections and a very uneven border, isn’t this a beautiful picture and a beautiful message?

I asked FH today “I wonder how much time I spend wishing I had a flat stomach.”  He said, “Really?” And then he went on to tell me at most of the burlesque shows he’s seen, I would have been the skinniest woman in the room.  Okay.  But still.  We’re talking about self image, not “real image”, right?

So then I was talking to a good friend of mine, a woman, and told her what he’d said and how I was thinking about how much time and energy I spend worrying about being fat.  She laughed bitterly and said, “I know.  My thighs would be okay if they weren’t so bumpy.  The right one’s even bumpier than the left.” She talked about this thigh issue for a while.  We sort of laughed, but it was the kind of laughter where there’s some real pain underneath.  It’s funny because it’s true and it’s sad.  (As an aside–isn’t it strange what we find humorous?)

Finally I said, “I wonder how much time women [and some men] world-wide spend thinking about this, wishing for a ‘more perfect’ body?  It must be so much thought and so much energy.  If we could all stop, and somehow collect that energy, we could probably create world peace!”  We really laughed for a while about that.

But really? Why do we worry so much?  We know all the magazine and billboard images of the female body are airbrushed.  We know the capitalist marketers want us to feel like we’re crap so we’ll buy more stuff.  We know we’re not in our twenties, or even our thirties any more.  We have partners who love us even when we wake up looking like total crud (I’m very thankful for this, and if it’s not yet true for you, dear reader, worry not–he or she will show up!).  So why do we worry?  Why do I worry?  This is something for me to let go of.  I could have a lot more energy if I didn’t waste it on this.

I didn’t take a shower today, didn’t wear makeup, wore yesterday’s clothes, and had a perfectly fine day.  I ate what I wanted.  I didn’t exercise much and didn’t feel guilty about it.  It was just a day in the life of me, as I am.

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