August 22, 2010

Luna Park & Hip Swaggers...

I'm the woman who has always battled with body-image. I know that the very fact that we're female means that we are instantly enlisted into this battle, but for me, it's always seemed to be a bit more of a fight.

Thanks to some not-so-nice members of my "family," from a very young age, I've been told how fat and ugly I am. There's only so many times you can stand against those words before they sink into your soul...and it takes a long time for those words to go away...or, at least fade to a quiet whisper.

It also doesn't help that every single one of my friends is GORGEOUS. Smokin', in their very own, unique beauty. Some are a size two, others 22, but each one stands out from a crowd. One's laugh will draw the eye of every person in a crowded room; another's fragility that masks an inner-core of strength has been known to stop a man mid-sentence. I've seen it.

It's only in the past 12 months that I've come to accept, and even begin to love, the curves on my size-16 frame. To be a bit more daring in how I dress, to play up my hourglass figure a bit more, and also accept that I will never, ever be as tiny as the models in magazines. I had known it all along; learning to be okay with that fact, when I'm deluged on a second-by-second basis by America's standard of "beauty" has been, and I think, will forever be a challenge.

I still have my bad moments, though. The other night was one of them. I had gone out for the evening with two of my skinny, darling, amazing, beautiful (outside, but even more inside), stunning, hilarious friends. We had just finished a late dinner, and I had stepped into the bathroom. While in there, every single flaw stuck out in my mind. My hips were too large, my arms weren't toned enough, and Hello, Thunder Thighs! I remember shaking my head and whispering Debbie Reynolds's famous quote to myself (my mantra for those moments): "Chin up, boobs out; it's SHOWTIME!" as I walked out of the bathroom.

We left shortly thereafter, and directly outside the door of the restaurant, a car had stopped. We turned to walk down the street as the back window rolled down. I knew what was coming; it happens EVERY time I'm out with friends J & K.

"Hey Mama!"

And, so it begins. Which one will it be? Tall, willowy, dancer K? Or, shorter, toned, drop-dead-gorgeous J? Garner your strength, darling. You're not the Ugly Duckling. You really ARE NOT.

"You, in the red..."

Wait! K's in black; J's wearing green. I'M IN RED!!! Dude, now what? "How's it going, Land Yacht?" "Where do you park that thing with so much junk-in-the-trunk?" (Yes, cruel, but there's a reason I knew what might be coming; it wasn't MY imagination that came up with those...)

"I love your figure."

Those four words lodged deep in my psyche and soul. Not "You're beautiful," or "Heya, Gorgeous," but the four words that breathed life into this woman who's battled with her body shape for so long.


Yes, he probably was (pardon the crassness here) trying to get into my pants...but, this stranger said the words that I so desperately, at that moment, needed to hear.

He didn't say it to my skinny friends, the ones who usually get the shout-outs from guys in cars. He said it to the lady who was just in the midst of an inner-battle about the very thing he complimented...and boy, did that suddenly make me feel like a WOMAN. Not the fun, sweet friend of the hot chicks; but a woman who can hold her own. Someone who is, dare I even think

No, I didn't stop and hook up with the guy; one compliment like that isn't going to make me drop all my standards. I did shout, "Thank you!" to him, though. And, as we continued down Mission to our train, it's possible that I walked a little taller...and that there might've been some hip swagger thrown in.

To the man outside of Luna Park...I'm pretty damn sure you didn't get the response for which you were hoping...but, you definitely gave me more than just a compliment. Thank you.


Post a Comment