A couple of bloggers I read from the Crafty/Waldorf/Mommy Blogosphere have started on an 8 week journey of self-acceptance. This journey involves sharing photographs of themselves with the world, via their blogs.
For me, this seems like a moment of synchronicity. I just turned 46 years old. I am growing into my old woman body, shedding the soft, mushroom cap firm skin of youth for the snagged, watered silk of fully ripe, voluptuous womanhood. My hair is thinner than it used to be and the texture has changed from silky to … well, a bit wiry. My middle refuses to submit to my summer diet of raw tomatoes and squash. Despite the fact that my weight remains the same, my middle is thicker. Just ask the waistbands on my favorite shorts.
The point here for me is to try and do this with a little bit of grace. So, this will be an exercise in self-acceptance, something I’ve had little trouble with in a world of women who have poor body images and who kick themselves for their lack of beauty when they are, indeed, entirely beautiful.
How this body image okay-ness happened was this: sheer orneryness. My mother was a green eyed, raven haired beauty queen. Even now, 77 and with a walker, men, gay men in particular, tell her how beautiful she is. And she is. She is beautiful and she works her beauty with makeup and hair and jewelry and all of the accoutrement until she is stunning. My father was also one of the beautiful people. He was blonde and blue eyed and held the title of Mr. Virginia in the late 1950s. Me? I have brown hair, plain blue eyes and freckles. To say that my parents were a bit disappointed at how their lovely genes faded in the wash would be an understatement.
For the little girl I was, it was sink or swim. Feel good about and accept yourself or forever be mired in the swamp of average. I swam. I swam so well that I actually managed to pass myself off as quite pretty a lot of the time. I did inherit my mother’s banging body, only with bigger boobs and I jiggled and smiled and tanned and worked out and had fun with it.
Makeup was never my thing, though. I watched how much effort all that pretty took for my mom and also for my step-mom and knew early on that I wanted people to look at me dressed up and think I looked great, not to look at me without makeup and feel shocked or worse, like they had been fooled. I think this more natural approach has made aging a bit less traumatic.
I have a lot more to say but this is week 1 and it’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll end the post with the pics I took of me today, and one or two my hubby took. He was so excited by this idea and by the thought that I might accept my own beauty the way he sees it, powerful and intense and … well, still bangin’.
Thanks to the other bloggers who have also done this. I’m listing the ones I’ve read, including the originator, Shakti Mama and the blog where I read about it first, Childhood Magic. I also saw a post over at Twig and Toadstool.