I’m standing in front of a mirror looking at myself with hard eyes, I see the way my belly bulges at the top of my workout pants, the way my arms have extra flesh on them, the way the extra flesh pools around my bra strap. I see the marks on my face from my recent pre menstrual breakout, I see the way my thighs touch at the top, the way my rear is shaped, and I sigh. She looks at me with soft eyes, watching the way I’m picking each flaw apart, she says “I think your curves are absolutely gorgeous! YOU are absolutely gorgeous!” I nod, digest the words. If only I saw myself the way she sees me every time I looked in the mirror. I’ve recently dropped another 10lbs and with the constant changes over the past 18 months I don’t really know this body, I’m still expecting to see a reflection that is heavier, and I’m looking at myself searching for proof of it, proof that I shouldn’t like this body or feel pride in it.
She looks at herself with hard eyes, she sees a waist that is too frail, arms not muscular enough, thighs not curvy enough, points out her lack of visible abs. She sees a “plain, skinny girl” and she hates it. I look at her with soft eyes. She’s 5’8″, blonde, and only 19. Her waist is small, and her hips flare out in a smooth curved line. She’s the hourglass that so many of us including myself strive for and see as beautiful. I don’t see her as anything but lovely, and youthful, and I don’t know what I can say to her to convince her of that. I complement her but it falls flat, she doesn’t believe me.
I see myself in her, at her age, feeling unsure and awkward about my body, feeling it wasn’t enough, wasn’t good enough or sexy enough. I’ve had a woman’s body for close to 15 years now and I’ve just recently learned how to dress it and work with it, how to play up the good and not worry about the not so good. Just recently stopped trying to hide my hips with pants too small and turn me into a rectangle.
Fifteen years and two pregnancies to really accept and Love this body, even though I do still see it’s flaws, I accept that there is no such thing as perfect, and there doesn’t need to be. How can I find words that can fast track her to where I am so she can start loving herself that way now? I can’t. But I can stop hating on myself and show her how to look at herself with soft eyes and see the good. When you focus on the good the bad isn’t relevant.
At her age I would have traded mine for another body in a minute. Now I wouldn’t trade it for anyones, none is “better”, none is without flaws, none is Mine.