I’m definitely not the first person to have insecurities about how I look (though hopefully no one ELSE has insecurities about how I look. In that respect, I better be the first). It’s likely that I don’t even place third for talking about those insecurities in print. I might barely qualify for a participation ribbon, if they still have any left.
Today, I had something Seventeen Magazine would call “A Body Peace Moment” or what most people would describe as “Stopped Being an Idiot.” The least I can do is share, in hopes of stopping the idiocy from spreading.
I do a lot of fretting about wearing swimsuits. Sure I’m in decent shape and I don’t have any giant scars or extra limbs, but like most people, I am my own personal expert in my physical flaws. I wouldn’t alter myself surgically or anything like that, but for example’s sake I’ll admit I have wished for my B cups to magically graduate to Cs the way guys with patches of stubble dream about beards (it will happen any day now If we just believe!) Everybody has something they wish was different. If you’re reading this and thinking “what are you talking about? I LOVE everything about myself! I would change nothing! My body is a wonderland John Mayer wrote that song for ME!” you need to get the hell out right now.
Yes yes I appreciate that the human body is an incredible machine and it’s amazing that mine functions as well as it does every single day when there are so many things that could go wrong.Thanks, body, for fighting the good fight against pathogens and remembering to breathe and everything else.
For me it really comes down to how self conscious I am about my skin tone. I know! Really unoriginal, but that’s what it is. The universe decided to withhold the natural tan that, in my opinion, was genetically owed to me, on account of being half hispanic and all. Instead, my DNA thought ‘heightened risk of skin cancer’ would be a lot more entertaining. Aside from tanning being really dangerous and a terrible idea, my trying to tan at all is like trying to toast a marshmallow: one wrong move and you have to blow out the flames. My end of that analogy is way less delicious, by the way.
SO, all of this background info leads me to today. I’ll get into a pool or the ocean maybe two times a year; three if I’m feeling ballsy. Today was one of those days, but this time something wonderful happened: I was surrounded by the elderly.
There is nothing like an array of confident, leathery, sagging old ladies in bikinis to slap some perspective into a self conscious 21-year-old. There they were, strutting their lumpy stuff like super models, and I realized 1) I don’t want to end up a tanned piece of leather and 2) I need to feel good about myself NOW while there’s still time! If these ladies can do it, what the hell is keeping me down? Certainly not the weight of waist-level boobs!
So I took a page out of their leather-bound book and stopped caring. Irealized that the only mean Paleness Police around was me, and once that was clear I made the executive decision not to arrest myself.
If the old ladies are allowed to be themselves, surely I’m allowed to be pale.
While we’re at it, you’re probably allowed to have long knees and skinny hands or whatever it is that bothers you. Although technically I can’t speak for the Long Knees OR Skinny Hands Police. You’ll have to take it up with them.