When I was a teenager I was utterly obsessed with my individual parts. If my hair wasn’t curly enough I’d perm it… Because that looks natural. My eyes didn’t show up enough = pounds of eye shadow. Eyes now black holes. My waist wasn’t small enough = oversized belt around my hips over a baggy shirt. Weird solution.
My eyebrows: one was transformed into two. Leg hair: first shaving (teens), then waxing (20s-30s), then – finally in my mid 30s – lasered! And I still have to wax! Exhausting!
Give It A Breast, Will Ya?
On Friday, I walked into my tailor with an armful of work for her. She was hemming a dress on a bridesmaid. The young woman in the beautiful, backless, emerald green gown was complaining about how big her butt is.
“I’m a size five!” she whined.
Seriously? My immediate retort was this: “Five is half of ten, which is the average size of women in this country.”
My tailor, who was cracking up, gushed: “This is why I love you.”
We only met last week, but I am forever welcome in her shop because I tell it like it is.
The bridesmaid and I then launched into a discussion about body parts. She’s unhappy because her breasts are too small and her hips are too wide. See, I’m shaped like a 12-year-old boy with boobs and explain to her the opposite problem is not a boon. When it’s hot outside breasts are sticky and annoying. When you’re old they droop and you look like a National Geographic centerfold. And my butt never looks good because I don’t have one. I just have to admire my lower back that, at the “bottom”, sprouts into a pair of chicken legs. Good thing my feet are kinda cute, but they look like they got slammed in a door because my toes are all the same size.
Everything I’m saying is, of course, rhetorical. And it’s working. She’s laughing.
But here comes the sad part. Her boyfriend thinks her breasts are too small. I didn’t tell her that boyfriends are like cars. You can trade them in. And honestly, if he’s not happy with the model, ahem, supermodel, he’s with, then he can trade her in for a bustier one. Or shut up.
Accept Yourself. It Beats the Alternative.
Shortly after I had the exchange with the bridesmaid I read an article in my favorite e-zine about labia minora reduction surgery. No kidding. Apparently it’s a new craze in Great Britain and there’s a documentary on it called The Perfect Vagina. What the hell is a perfect vagina? Wait. Now I’m supposed to trim my vajayjay so I look more like a five-year-old? Weird! No thanks.
The alternative to not accepting myself is to be overly critical. Pine for the impossible. Suffer constantly. Yuk. And potentially spend a lot of money trying to be what a small portion of the entire world population thinks is perfect. Ew.
Did you know that apparently Vietnamese men think hairy legs are exotic? So says my Vietnamese esthetician.
I’m not sure if it’s yoga or aging. Perhaps a combination of both. But I’m utterly okay with what I’ve got. And I’ve also learned over the years that beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. I like being athletic and goofy. And having a sense of humor about my so-called flaws. Because laughing is awesome. Especially at myself. And it’s cheaper than surgery.
Back in the early 90s my boyfriend and I broke up and that song by Crosby, Stills Nash came on the radio and I cranked it… Totally thinking that I wasn’t with the one I love, but I’m with me. So, love the one you’re with: ME! Yay! And I started to cry happy tears, singing at the top of my lungs. Well, a few years ago someone explained that the song was about cheating. Whatever! I prefer my – albeit delusional – interpretation: Love thyself. Because I’m beautiful. If I pay attention. Thanks, yoga practice.