I hate my body today. Hate how it looks in the mirror. How it looks in clothes. Hate the belly. Hate the thighs – especially the thighs. Hate my chins. Heavy boobs. And my arms, really hate those.
My body: stretched-out, fat, freckled blob. Hate it.
I do this. I go through spells. Last week, I was feeling kinda sexy.
When I hate my body, I am looking at it through the eyes of Ned, the troll who sat across the aisle in geometry class during sophomore year in high school, who loved to lean over and laugh, and whisper “Hey! Hey! Hey!” until I’d look, and then point to one of his friends and spray – he was a spitter, that Ned – “He wants to date you!” Hilarity (Ned and the boys who weren’t pointed to) and mortification (me and the pointee) ensued.
When I hate my body, I’m seeing through the eyes of my dad who teased, “You don’t sweat much for a fat girl.” Maybe he thought it was affectionate. He was the odd fat duck himself, my dad.
When I hate my body, I’m looking at it through the eyes of the ballerina-girls with zero body-fat, roommates at arts camp who stared at me from their clutch in the opposite corner of the dorm. (Having since known ballerina-girl friends and their struggle with body/weight hate, I wish we’d all be kinder to each other.)
When I hate my body, I am not looking at it through the eyes of my lover, who craved this body, who called me beautiful and desirable, who slid up behind me as I stood at the kitchen sink looking every bit the hausfrau, and swept the hair off my neck and murmured things in my ear that you don’t get to know.
The lover of my body, for some 30 years, is gone. Mornings and evenings, those are my eyes piercing the cold mirror. It’s left to me to find ways to worship this fried and battered mess, to claim the holiness of the inner space and outer space of the body-mind.
So, while I hated my body today, I didn’t hide it with fat jeans and a long shirt. I chose to wear clothes that I love, that wrap me up like a warm embrace. These clothes, they don’t leave much mystery. Nowhere to hide. In these clothes, I am what I am, I am what you see.
And I see me. Heavy. Curvy. Overweight. Fat.