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2. With My Eyes Closed, My Body Feels…

Ummm, interesting?

Puffy.

Curvy.

Never quite completely smooth.

Ripple-y.

Smoother than I thought it was.

Scratchy.

1. When I Look In the Mirror, I See…

Minuscule detail and blurry forms.

And sometimes accessories.

Ok, always the accessories.

I can spend a lot of time looking in the mirror. But not the full-length mirror, just the round extendable mirror that facilitates 10000x magnification of pores, zits, ingrown hairs, nose hair, my moustache…. I obsess over those reflections. I pick, I evaluate, I assess. I just stare.

But those views of myself aren’t even of myself. They are such tiny spots that, based on what’s reflected in the mirror, it’s impossible to tell what body part I’m even looking at. Can’t tell my ass from my armpit (and I’ve definitely spent time examining BOTH of those parts).

Then there’s the other perspective. Stepping back for the mirror to get the full picture… I let my eyes go out of focus. I just want the Readers Digest version of myself, the Coles Notes. No hems tucked into my tights? Spectacular. Fly done up? Brilliant. Not my Grandma (or Mom) looking back at me? Good goddess, it’s a banner day! Boobs relatively symmetrical? Sweet. Hell, I should just take my glasses off so I can get a better view!

Once that’s done, I turn to the important matters. Sneakers. Accessories. Maybe hair, although I generally consider that at lost cause, too, and cover it in the previous step. Maybe I should wear more hats? Not have to look at it AND accessorize in one smooth move. Kill two birds with one stone. I might not be able to actually see my body, but I make damn sure I accessorize. So other people notice those, and not me? So I can hide I the folds of my scarf? So I feel strong and powerful with my sturdy bracelets and leather cuffs on, like some human service Wonder Woman?

If I actually do take a peek at the picture in between those two fun extremes, I leave my body. No, wait, I don’t leave it. I teleport back to 1992. Or is it 1994? It’s so hard to tell – 90’s fashion was so subtle that way. I see a healthy young woman. With a tan. Not skinny, but fit. Soft around the tummy a bit, but awesome. Hot, even. She looks like she can hold her own.

So what does my body even look like now? I don’t have a clue. I know what I don’t like so much – my chin/neck combo (soon to be renamed my “check”), my gut that seems to sag lower each day. I think I might like my legs, but I can’t be sure that’s based on any image from the last 15 years – it’s likely more accurate that I like 18 year old me’s legs. I’ve heard I’ve got good tits. I’m okay with that. I’m freaked out that I’m losing my ass. I have an irrational fear of pancake butts. This womyn needs some junk in her trunk. Maybe I could move some of the cargo from up front to balance things out a bit. But then again, I never see my own ass, so would it really be worth all that rearranging? It would just end up like my first tattoo – I know it’s there, and I’ve heard it’s not aging well, but I’ll have to take your word on it.

About my bodylovin blog…

My body is a place of struggle. It has been for as long as I can remember – a place of illness, pain, betrayal, triumph, and conquering. I believe that my relationship with my body is a reflection of all that goes on around me – things I’ve been told, things I’ve seen, what’s presented in the media… It all adds up to a disjointed, complicated, multi-layered mess.

A couple of years ago, I decided to wade into the mess with a goal of making sense of it. Not only that, I wanted to make peace with my body. End the war. Turn a battleground into a place I’m proud to call home.

So, I turned to my very brilliant friend and colleague, Sydney Bell (bodyrespect.wordpress.com), who was starting a practice focused on providing guidance, support, and critical analysis around body image, identity, and size acceptance. Syd got me working on some writing based on the prompts from Mara Glatzel’s “Body Loving Homework” (maraglatzel.com, 2012). As I started writing, it seemed that my words were begging to be shared.

This blog is a space for me to share my thoughts – and hopefully a few feelings, too – about my body.