Thursday, March 29, 2007
Thin and Beautiful
Of the comments made (And, can I just say? I love comments. You people who bother to click and type, that just makes my day. Every time.) the other day on my grocery store post, one stays with me. And, perhaps surprisingly, it's not my husband's plan to take me roughly by the tabloids, although that does suggest to me that maybe we should plan a grocery-shopping date soon.

No, what stays with me is Erin's comment, which starts, "Actually, you are beautiful." I'd been surprised that a stranger was flirting with me, because it's just not a common thing. "I'm neither thin nor beautiful," I wrote, which was sort of shorthand for a larger mindset I have, and I can totally see how that came across as being self-denigrating. There have been p-l-e-n-t-y of times in my life when I was my own worst critic, refusing to believe that I carried an ounce of attractiveness in my body, not understanding how anyone would give me a second glance. Paradoxically, these were also the times when I looked closest to the traditional version of American Pretty: thin, long hair, good skin, no facial lesions or disfiguring scars.

But I was wading through a big old pile of PTSD and dating a serially unfaithful frat boy. Which, I didn't know he was unfaithful at the time, but I wonder how much I knew anyway. You know? I don't know. Anyway. I wasn't healthy, and my self-esteem was messed-up and based on the entirely wrong activities and attributes - though I do still feel a certain hubris at my ability to drink a Wendy's Frosty, with a straw, immediately upon pulling out of the drive-thru. Capice?

But two kids, a good marriage, and 40 pounds later, and I've reached a very Zen place in regards to my own appearance. I'll never be a camera-hog, and I just don't have a sufficient give-a-frog level to properly apply makeup and accessories, but I've learned how to dress for my figure, how to wear my hair like it's on purpose, and how not to obsess over every photograph and all its flaws. I'm not beautiful in a magazine/celebrity sense, but I'm comfortable with my life, serene in my husband's attraction to me, and my efforts to improve (a la losing 20 pounds since New Year's) are geared in a positive, health-and-buying-less-clothing sort of vein, rather than a self-critical one.

So, thanks, Erin. Thanks for the support and kind words, and I completely agree that thinness is not necessary for MILFness.