Fed up and sick to death.
That’s what I am.
Fed up and sick to death of being told my body isn’t good enough.
My body – that thing hauling around my brain and emotions, sense of humor and dreams, as well as a couple generous handfuls of superfluous flesh.
As with many of life’s frustrations, this one finds its origins in social media.
My Facebook feed delivers at least half-a-dozen sponsored posts every day from various warped corporate minds trying to sell me ways to “flatter my figure.”
Not sure exactly why this happens. It could be a Zuckerberg shot in the dark based on gender and age. Possibly I hovered too long over an online advertisement promoting swimwear for the full-figured gal. A friend in the IT department said it’s because of my cookies, and I repeat that with a straight face. Just to be on the safe side I’ve covered the camera on my laptop with a piece of tape.
The most offensive of these posts are repeated urgings to invest in a body shaper.
These are ads showing pictures of women – with the assorted bulges one acquires along a life well-lived – forced into ridiculous outfits designed for females who aren’t yet old enough to drive.
No, it isn’t pretty.
Presto. Chango. The Reuben beauties then contort themselves into something resembling Kevlar sausage casings. They are transformed into hour-glass silhouettes while, surely, suffocating at least some of their organs.
Picture squeezing a watermelon into a banana peel, or squishing a butterfly back into her cocoon.
It reminds one of the 19th century corset – an undergarment so constraining its wearers could not digest their food and often died young, presumably from starvation or some related gastric-intestinal malfunction.
To what purpose? That’s the question.
If the idea is to imitate a manufactured cultural expectation of sexual allure in order to attract a mate, it’s a plan with serious flaws.
At some point a woman has to take off her clothes. At the very least she risks the accusation of false advertising, and perhaps even injuring a potential partner if he or she is standing too close.
Don’t tell me my body isn’t good enough.
It’s 51 years old. I like to think of it as a 1967 Pontiac GTO with a bit of bondo on the back end and some rust.
When it was very, very young it performed extremely well on the track and the field and the basketball court. It could also access items on the top shelf at the grocery store, which is really the only thing it has in common now with its youngerself.
It produced four children. Do the math, if pregnancy was a jail sentence that’s three full years of consecutive time served.
My breasts – which occasionally get pinched in the catch of a high-waisted skirt – fed those kids for a total of seven years. (Considered, at one point, opening my own Scoopies.)
My body hasn’t any tattoos. Were I to get one it would be in the shape of an ornate picture frame centered over the stretch marks on my upper thigh.
My body has scars and so-called imperfections and it still treats me better than I treat it.
For a decade, at least, it sustained itself on food from arena concessions.
And I love it.
When I want to “flatter my figure” I strip naked in front of the full length mirror, give it a long, thoughtful look, and say aloud:
“Thanks. And you rock…even you rolls.”