My friend J and I were talking about body image recently, and she said, “I’m very comfortable with my body—I don’t mind being naked in front of people—but I don’t really like it.”
“What’s wrong with your body??!” I asked. J is beautiful and tall and solid and stacked. She’s a Brick. House.
“Well, there are parts of it that are just ugly,” she said.
“Like—like my back fat.”
“What’s wrong with back fat?”
“Back fat is objectively unattractive.” Which has to be one of the most ridiculous things she’s ever said.
“Not liking back fat is the epitome of subjective,” I said. “Take my brother. You’re too skinny for his taste.”
Then I confessed one of my body issues to her: when I see well-upholstered mothers cuddling their children, I feel sad that HB will never have that kind of comfort. All he gets are clavicles and acromion processes.
J eyed me for a moment, then said, “You know, you’re right. You’re like the wire monkey.”
And damn it if that image doesn’t keep cropping up in my head every time I hug my child now.
So go enjoy your holiday feasts. Do it for the children.