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The Difficult Transition to Being Happy with Your Body

I just watched this clip and it got me thinking about how I, as a single and insecure woman in my 20s, had to remind myself when looking in a mirror, "This is what a woman looks like." We are so bombarded with the models who are walking fashion drawings, that it's easy to forget that. For ideal human proportions, a drawing of a person is 8 heads high, meaning your head is 1/8th of your height. Fashion models/fashion sketches are 10 heads high. They are stretched out, so the fabric hangs differently, and the proportions are more stretched. I was never one of those girls who looked at a magazine as the ideal for what I should look like. I have a history of obesity in my family, and I'm 5'6": I decided long ago that if I'm ever again a size 8, I need to check myself into rehab somewhere, because something is definitely wrong. And yet I still found myself as an adult, disliking my shape and size. The thing is, I'm average. I've always been average. The average bra size, the average shoe size, the average height for a Caucasian woman. I believe that I am still average. The average has just gotten bigger. I weigh 50lbs more than I did in college, and it's not muscle. I don't move nearly enough for it to be muscle. It is great in some places, and annoying in others, but learning to accept it, to accept genetics and how lifestyle effects it, has been surprisingly difficult. I wasn't expecting that. I've always been happy with myself, because this is the body that God gave me, and sure, I need to take care of it better, but I also need to take better care of my car. I'm happy and it works for me. So why would I be reminding myself that this is what a woman looks like?

Most of my friends, I later learned, had battled anorexia and bulimia in some form or other. Not me. I was fine with myself, and in the 90s it was easier to hide in one's clothes. A few years ago, I put on a knit maxi dress, and I looked like a Woman. I scared myself. How could I look that good and not feel confident in it? But I took a deep breath and left the house. I was fully covered and felt exposed, like someone at the party was going to see me at the angle where all my flaws would be discovered, and I'd be exposed, and fuck them for seeing the real me. So I drank and chatted and made friends and put in the effort to be an extrovert, and nothing bad happened. My world didn't collapse. I was just another girl at a party, learning to be comfortable in her own skin.


Why do we need to learn this? Why aren't we just comfortable? I thought I would have been. I miss that childhood innocence where you accept things because they just are. You accept that you have no control over things, and someone else is looking out for you, but really you don't even think about it. It's not even a concern. How did this become a concern of mine? Why did I have to transition to liking my body? What was so wrong with it? Answer: nothing. It functions. The part of my body I'm most concerned with is my circulatory system. I'm having numbness in my fingers and toes sometimes when I wake, but that's probably from sleeping weird or wearing shoes that are too tight. But my silouhette? It's a thing that is. I can do push ups when I feel like it (or remember to) and sit ups and one of these days I'll try running, as soon as I can get over the itching (that I hate so much) that comes along with it. I'm happy with my body shape. It's the mechanics of it that are my main concern now.

Because this is what a Woman looks like. And what can possibly be foul about that?

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