Sunday, November 16, 2014

small changes in view

I have had a love/hate relationship with my body my whole life. I don't think I am alone in this.

I love that I am fairly healthy. My legs are strong and get me where I want to go. I may need glasses, but I don't miss much. My hearing is exceptional. I struggle with my weight but truly I have no complaints. My body has been a source of incredible pleasure, for which I am very grateful. My senses have never let me down. When I clean up and dress up, I look okay.

For all that, rarely do I look in a mirror and not immediately think something critical or judgmental. My hair has never once looked like a shampoo ad. I still have acne, at 52. I've needed glasses since 2nd grade. I started wishing for boobs when I was 5 or 6, and I never quite got what I wished for.
My shape is not the shape they design clothes for, and it's not the shape I see in magazines.

Until recently. I have been seeing small signs that maybe we are making progress on the media front. Calvin Klein has a size 10 model. Big deal, you might think -- the average woman wears a 12. But when all their previous models were size 0 or size 2, it seems revolutionary. We have Viola Davis on a hit TV series, stripping off her makeup in a scene that was powerful mostly because we got to see a woman as she REALLY is, not how 3 hours of makeup can make her look. And we have Orange is the New Black.

I practically cheered the other night, watching an episode of this show. Not for what was happening, but for this: a line of nude women, fat women, skinny women, short, tall, young and old. My god, I saw a gray haired fat old lady naked on TV! FINALLY. REAL BODIES ON TV.

It was so damn refreshing. Affirming. Yes, we actually do come in all shapes and sizes. There is an infinite variety and beauty to the human form. Maybe if we see it more often, we'll begin to believe it.

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