Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Today's Special: Curves

I would be lying and in danger of the fires of hell if not immediate lighting strikage if I said that I am fine with my body.

That being said, let's move on to the more important issue.

I have been growing increasingly frustrated with the word CURVE. I am caps-locking that on purpose, but I'm not yelling. I feel that it adds to my argument. I'm not sure why. Keep reading anyways.

I first noticed CURVE being thrown about as a politically correct way to call someone fat. Women, it was said, should celebrate their CURVES. Real women, thus said a movie, have CURVES. CURVY women were told in magazines to be glad that they could now find fashionable clothing rather than the moo-moos of yore. CURVE seemed to be the only adjective that could be applied to a woman with a 72 inch waist. It was as if we had discovered an appropriate way to label someone as "Not Disciplined" or "Destined for Fat Camp." Overnight, Obese became CURVY. It was just like in my childhood when Retarted became Special. If you use the 'R' word today, you will be yelled at by my sister-in-law and generally thought to be a heartless prat.

And as words are like to do, it morphed. CURVE looked to the horizons and wanted to conquer more.

Women liked this term. Those with a less than 72 inch waist began using CURVE to their advantage, likening their bodies to sexy women of the past. CURVE became a commraderie, a club for women who were proud to look like....women. Twiggy was replaced by Monroe, Vanderbilt by Loren. And for a few moments, women around the world breathed a sigh of contented relief. We were empowered by the lack of self-loathing, we were revered as the CURVY goddesses that we were. Pass me my bikini and a bucket of chicken, for I AM BEAUTIFUL! I HAVE CURVES!

And then something odd happened. All the skinny sticks in Southern California and other posh places wanted to be in on the CURVE trend. I saw magazines (even the so called respectable ones!) labeling Lindsay Lohan as a CURVY body. Eva Longoria lamented to Stars Are Cooler Than You Daily that she was just never going to be a size 0, but she loved her CURVES nonetheless. On and on I could list these itty bitty starlets who claim to be CURVY.

Just like that, balloon deflated. But thighs did not. If they have CURVES, I am just plain pudgy. If I am pudgy, I do not want the bikini or the chicken. Well, maybe the chicken. But I swear I'm only wearing a hoodie and jeans to the beach. I do have fair skin, you know.

I am not going to talk about what size a woman should be, because that is waaaaay too sticky an issue for any sane person to muck through. All the same, I am raising the question. What size should a woman be?

I realize that I have an issue with the way that I look. I, my husband, sister, and therapists will validate this statement. I hope at some point to get over it. But as they say, I am a work in progress. Or some such nonsense.

I may never like my jiggly-poof thighs. And I am sorry for all of you who have had to listen to me voice my insecurities. Extra apologies to those who knew me in high school or who have ever gone bathing suit shopping with me.

But as I am raising two girls, I have felt the need to put an end to this nonsense. What would my girls think of me if they knew how much time I spend thinking about my turkey waddle arms and not about important things? I want them to know me as a person who reads, writes, thinks, travels. I want them to think I am beautiful, I can't deny that. But not at the cost of losing intellect or interest. I have no desire to be a Butter Face. (Ask if you do not know what this is)

And as usual, when I think about it, they have taught me more about beauty than I have them. And not even in the cheesy way. Of course I think that they are beautiful on the inside. But I think that they are beautiful on the outside as well.

Moira has so far had a figure that I always wanted. She is tall, slim, has Austin's butt, and has trouble finding clothes that are tall and skinny enough for her. I would have NOT liked her if she was in my school.

Sabra on the other hand, has my figure. She was 5 lbs and 2 oz when she was born, and stretched a grand total of about 17 inches. Very very tiny. I was alarmed when I changed her first diaper. Not because of the contents, but because of her butt. It was my butt, in miniature. I never knew that babies could have a longbutt.Hanging halfway onto her sweet little bulbous thighs, her longbutt looked like a scaled-down model of her mother's. Sabra is on the short side, and sometimes her pants have to be rolled up. But her ample hindquarters will not fit into a smaller size.

I am being very candid when I say that I worried that I would think Moira prettier than Sabra, because of her body. I am glad to honestly report to you that it isn't close to being true. Strangely, Sabra's fluffy backside has helped me see that we are all made differently. No matter how hard we work out or diet, our bodies are made a certain way. If I diet myself down to 5.2 pounds, I will still have a longbutt. If my sister gained 60 pounds, most likely it wouldn't add much to her bosom. Because that is the way we are, folks. Call it CURVES, call it fluff, call it stick. It is what it is.

Yes, this isn't news to anyone but myself. That we all come in shapes and sizes is a truth that we learn young, right? I guess I missed that day. Perhaps I was daydreaming about chicken on the beach. I'm not sure.

But this post will conclude with my New Year's resolution. Ready? It is a good one, and I need you to keep me accountable.

In 2008 I resolve to be content with who I am. Not to be defined by what I weigh or how often I shave my leg hair, Who I Am will be all those things that I decide to let matter. This means I can resolve to exercise more for my health, and stress less for my husband's health. I can read for pleasure, I can read for knowledge. I can write for beauty, and I can write for fun. I can put the sugar back if I have had too much, or reach for more when my hormones tell me to.

Is that vague enough? I'm still working out all the details. On December 31st of 2008 I may be the same in every way. But I want to be happier with what I have and who I am.

For starters, I am going to cancel my subscription to Stars Are Cooler Than You Daily. Now, pass me the chicken.

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