my sister read a previous post and her immediate reaction was, “are you drunk?” i responded in the negative. then she asked, “are you high?”
i should have told her i had smoked some weird white substance and that needles and spoons above flames may have been involved. but i was as sober as a junkie. jk. a junkie who’d gotten clean (?). clean as a key. unrusty. wait, i got it:…but i was as clean as laundry. (post washing, not dirty laundry). whatever. sometimes analogies are haaaaard.
ANYWAYS (i really like the word ‘anyways’, i even have doodles in a notebook where i had just doodled the word…maybe i should take a picture of it and post it here. one day. one one one fine day.)
so, while thinking about that post, i think i remembered why i had started writing it. i had wanted to write about discovering my body, but not just in physical ways…but trying to get comfortable with it. in a recent conversation a friend told me what he really wanted was a girl who was confident about her body. and i am. mostly. at least when i have my clothes on.
soooooo, in order to appease my inner sense of “I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR…(silently…and in private)” i’ve been doing this…thing..which may be a weird thing to share on here, but it’s in words (there will definitely not be any pictures) so i guess it’s okay, but just in case, consider yourself warned: this post may contain matters of nudity.
so if you’re still reading here we go: i’ve been trying to make myself look at myself naked in my mirror before/after shower. it’s a strange exercise. and i don’t mean just having a glace and then quickly averting my eyes from my own body as i trip into underwear and twist myself into a bra. i mean, i stand there and really look at myself.
i grab the excess pooch on my belly. i squish my my sides in as far as they can go trying to figure out the full potential of my inner skinny. i trace the line of muscle on the outsides of my thighs. i jiggle the flabby bit on my inner thighs. i cup my breast (this is also a good time to check for lumps, i want to stay breast cancer free!). i lift my boobs and move them around (breasts are so much fun. they really are. i totally understand why guys are into them.) i hunch over and watch the tires that pop up around my midriff.i finger the massive scar i have on my side and notice how one side is more faded than the other. i turn around and look at my butt (or lack there of). i pinch the leftovers of my love handles that have spilled into the sides of my lower back.
and when i can’t take it anymore. i get into clothes. it gets to be…a lot. doing this sometimes feels…overpowering. most days, i can’t really look at myself without a single thread on so i’ll do it in just underwear (or mostly in underwear and a bra…maybe also a tank top if i feel like i need it.)
i’m not exactly sure why i’ve been doing this. i think, as a woman, we have such complex relationships with our physical selves (i guess guys do too, but i don’t imagine it’s to the extent women are affected by their bodies). i read this book once where a woman’s dream was for everyone to be faceless–because not having a face could change your identity and how you view yourself and therefore would alter who you are. and there was another book that refereed to our bodies as “containers” which i found worth remembering. even if our bodies are but containers, water takes the shape of the vessel it’s poured in…and inevitably a lot of who we are, what we believe about ourselves, manifests in the shape of our bodies.
i think it’s an exercise in trying to physically love myself (no, i’m not talking about masturbation self-love), i’m talking about loving ourselves as our bodies…just as we are. you should know, i’m not a large woman trying to accept the excess of myself. i’m petite, i’m average build, i’ve got enough curves in the right places (and enough curves in the not-right places). i have a body that i can dress to my advantage and with a little effort, i can even look good. besides getting toned there isn’t much else i’d like to “change” about my body, but still, it’s strange for me to truly love my outer self.
i am certain just about all women feel this way.
sometimes, i look at myself and i am disgusted. i admit it. i wonder why anyone would ever want to see me naked, and i can’t imagine someone actually truly enjoying my body. (i do have nice legs though, and i grant myself the belief that my calves look killer in heels, sadly wearing heels is also torturous). sometimes i look at myself and i feel so fucking sad. i look and i wonder when i’ll start to notice age taking over me. when my breasts will sag. when i’ll wrinkle in unsightly places. when the texture of my skin will alter. when when when when
but there are times, there are times where i can stand there…and in a most non-sexual way, i’m almost aroused by myself. i glace and i can shrug and think to myself “meh, not bad. not too bad.” and those days are good. those days, i feel better. those days, i sometimes even feel sexy. if i met someone new on one of those days, i think they’d like be more because i’d be more confident. on those days, i think i like myself better.
and it’s important to like myself because liking yourself and loving yourself can be two different things. for now, i’ll take it one step at a time.
even then, i’ll be on a beach in a week…and the thought of getting into a bikini terrifies me. there isn’t as much flexibility with bikinis as there is with clothes that actually cover you to help the way you look. (also, why are we okay with being in our bikinis but having people see us in underwear and a bra is weird? there are bikinis that show more than some undergarments!)
anyways, i’m trying to get to the point where i can accept my body with it’s curves and flab and flaws so when i am on a beach, i’m not embarrassed and wrapping myself in a sarong. i want to be able to walk in the sand with water splashing around my legs and be confident. and one day, i’m going to be naked and be as confident as fuck and it’ll be sexy.
and it won’t be for anyone else, it’ll be for me.