Today I was involved in a few body image conversations. Not sure what it was about today. But, today was about bodies. At work we had some intense discussions about a new dress code that is, in my opinion, teetering on discriminating against people who don't fit a corporate image of what "Americana" looks like. I'm not sure what that really is. However, I do know that we could have walked in the Olympic opening ceremonies and been called out for being American in a heartbeat.
During the day I was also having some serious body image discussions with a new friend, a male triathlete across the globe (I love the internet). We have the same insecurities. We have the same struggles. It's not a female thing. It's a human thing. I think women may feel it worse. But, it doesn't mean men don't have the hurt too.
The body is an interesting thing. It's a beautiful thing. We look at bodies all day long. You may not think you do, but you do. Some of you do more than others. You know who you are. When you are walking down the street you observe. You look at those you pass. You notice. Shapes. Sizes. Movement. Bodies.
As I left work I was walking behind a young woman in a long clingy maxi dress. She was covered in fabric from her chest down to her ankles. Yet, she was hard not to stare at. You boys missed out. As she walked that dress hit all parts of her body. Let's just say a thong does a body good. I love men. But, I can appreciate a beautiful woman's body. Oh, I was jealous too.
When I got home from work I saw my friend, Jay's post. He had been at the mall today with the ladies in his family. He had been killing time with some male mall observations:
The smallest thing you say can carry so much weight. I was stalking outside Victoria's Secret as I do, and a chubby young girl walked out. She looked at me while I was looking at her and she blushed. Who knows what she thought I was thinking. She looked embarassed. So I said real loud, "Hey...nice shoes. You are kickin' ASS today." And she smiled and thanked me and strutted on down the road. I think I surprised her.
Jay noticed her. Her body. Her body language. He made someone who probably didn't feel too good about herself that often feel a bit good. Jay is a good man.
I know how that chubby girl feels. I am that chubby girl. I am sure I know the feelings she feels. When I'm with my friends I'm the chubby girl. Yeah, that's me. I'm that girl. People notice my friends. They don't notice me. Oh, sure, they sometimes notice I'm tall. But, quickly they will notice the beauty of those around me. It's a really bizarre feeling. It's so very hard to explain to someone who has never felt it. To feel invisible. People don't even realize they are doing it to me. It's really quite interesting. It's hurtful too. Yeah, that.
The more I don't run the more invisible I feel. I'm trying to keep myself from disappearing. I'm trying to swim. Swim hard. I'm biking. But, it's not doing what running does for me. Did for me. The weight keeps creeping on. I feel horrible. I crawl in a little hole. It's a vicious circle. I'm trying damn hard to keep my body moving. I swear. But, sometimes I get tired of trying. Tired of hurting. Just tired.
On my ride today I looked at every body that passed me. Really looked them. All shapes. All sizes. Bodies in motion. You have to love bodies in motion. Even if it's not the most perfect body. It's moving. For that you have to admire it. There's greatness in all that move their bodies after all:
As I rode I passed a woman on a horse. Talk about an amazing body. The horse was majestic. The size of it. The muscles. It was magnificent. You truly have to be in awe of bodies like that as well. Come on, if you have been watching the Olympics you have surely thought more than once "Wow, that's an amazing body". How can you not? Men's swimming? Yes please. Women's beach volleyball? My ass is so jealous.
I won't ever be that. I just won't. I have the body I have. It is what it is. Sometimes it looks better than other times. Right now it's not so good. But, I'll keep moving it. Or try to anyway. Some days I'll feel better about it. But, most days, not so much.
If you ever meet me, please don't tell me I'm pretty when I'm not. Don't tell me I look good when I don't. However, tell me that you like my shoes and I'm kicking ass.
I'd like that. That would be nice.