I have always had a love-hate relationship with the amount of square inches my soul inhabits. Bombarded by media that says I can’t be pretty unless you can count my ribs coupled with fabulous amounts of body shaming as I was growing up led me to believe I was too tall, too wide, and too big for anyone to love. As a 30+ woman I call bullshit on all the lies and misconceptions that were fed to me as a teenager.
Being six foot tall is enough to draw all the attention in a room, but add my size 20 dresses to the mix and apparently I am a sight to behold. I have a good amount of muscle meat on me. I have some flab around the middle. But everyone shamed me for being who I am from the time I can remember until relatively recently. “You’d be really pretty if…” I heard that countless times from even the places you look to for encouragement. There was always that resounding IF leering at me behind every off handed compliment.
I’ve been roughly this same size since I was in sixth grade. More than once I was mistaken for school staff, not student. And it followed me into college- countless freshmen asked me which course I was teaching. Now, I don’t have abnormal wrinkling, and there are zero grey hairs on this head. It is purely my stature that gets held in misconceptions.
People stare. The boyfriend and I are both really tall, and we can quiet crowds when we walk in together. I got fed up with people staring for no reason, so at one time I cut my hair very short and got a sleeve tattoo. While I still love my sleeve, it justifies people staring. I write it off as them admiring the impeccable artwork that graces my left arm. I put a ring in my nose and ten in my ears. It keeps the focus on my head, not my spare tire. And I dress to flatter my body type. I mean, it’s not every day one who isn’t an apple shape or a pear shape can find clothing to fit properly. So, as a corn dog with two sticks body shape I sew a lot of my own clothing, as well as tailor what I buy off the rack so it fits properly.
This allows me copious amounts of opportunity to play “fashion designer” with my style. I make and wear a lot of skirts. I’m an expert at tailoring jeans to fit. And I must say, I have created some pretty stunning pieces that garner envy from other women. Sometimes I will see a design I made years ago become popular with mainstream USA, and I just smile because someone, somewhere is gratifying my taste in fashion.
So between my awkward teenhood and today, I basically have given people a reason to stare and I am not so awkward when the room hushes. I have learned to embrace my body, and embrace the attention it receives. It feels good to be looked at, wondered about, and I am sure remembered. I used to long to be exotic and alluring, and it only recently dawned on me that I am exotic and alluring. This small town country girl pulled off exotic and alluring.
I used to be apologetic for my size, now I own it and I am proud to honor my curves. I am a goddess, tall and stately, to be admired and worshipped. Okay, I’ll admit that sounds incredibly vain, but it is the truth. I’m done being awkward, I am done being apologetic, I am done with society’s standard issue of beauty. To these standards I say a resounding FUCK YOU. Every body is a good body, we are all stunning pieces of unique artwork, poetry in motion, beauty oozing out of every cell of our beings. I just hope this message reaches the right audience, that it falls upon the ears of the battered and weary, that YOU are beautiful just the way you are. Size 0 or size 30, three feet tall or eight feet tall, we are all special and we all deserve to revel in ourselves, celebrate our existence. There’s a party in your skin and you are invited!
So join in the celebration of our bodies, let your joy ring from one end of town to the other. We, as human beings, are the only ones who can accept what we see in the mirror. You can demean yourselves for your flaws, or you can celebrate them for making you YOU. Every. Single. One. Of. You.