Nothing to me is better than a shower. I love to shower. I’ve literally have had to limit myself as to not waste water. I love the warmth, the relaxation, the feeling of getting nice and clean. This evening, as I stripped my clothes off, I walked past a full-length mirror in my closet and caught my nude reflection. And, for the first time in a while, I looked. Really looked. And I didn’t have any feelings of “I need to tighten up” or the reflexive act of squishing my breasts down. No, I just stood there and felt…normal. And even though I was harboring a first-trimester food baby (IT’S A GIRL!), I still felt pretty…well, that’s just it. I felt pretty. Attractive. Not in comparison to someone else, but to me. We tend to be our own worst critics as women; we love to compare ourselves to unrealistic standards of beauty. So to think that it has taken twenty-two years to finally look in the mirror without crippling self-doubt? Wow. What the hell was I doing beforehand?
For some reason, I thought of a girl I went to Adderall College with (see “I Got Arrested for Underage Drinking for more about Adderall College). Let’s call her “Helena”. For all intents and purposes, Helena was “hot”. The standard, Eurocentric ideal of beauty. She was thin with a perky dancer body. She had perfectly styled, straight blondish hair, highlighted to the gods. Her family was pretty well off from a small town in Western Pennsylvania (Taylor Swift territory, for your reference) so she dressed well. Basically, if you asked any male, she would be described as “hot” before much else. And her personality was exactly how you think a basic, hot, white girl would act. Oh, yeah. I thought of Helena because I definitely compared myself to her in the past.
Although I never had a weight problem, I thought I could be more lithe. I wanted that dancer bod, yo. And the attention, of course. I was friends with Helena, beginning at orientation, along with Becky (see the aforementioned article to learn more about her). Helena, Becky, and I, along with another, chunkier blonde girl branded ourselves “The Wolfpack” and trotted around the campus those first few weeks like we were hot shit. The point I’m heading to here is that after I began to semi-date my first college boyfriend “El Loco”, I sort of started to ditch them. I had access to some dick now; fuck those bitches. But, one night I went to Helena’s room with Becky to hang out and drink a bit. That was the first time I met Helena’s beau. Let’s call him “The Wigger”. Although I don’t like that term, it’s EXTREMELY appropriate. Again, Helena was from a rural area of western Pennsylvania and The Wigger was as well. I think that’s about all you need to know. The Wigger sold weed, dropped the ‘n’ bomb more than most black hip-hop artists, and cared way too much about his sneakers. Personally, I only could stand to be around him because he smoked us up for free. Afterwards, I had to feign straight illness to relieve myself. It’s true; the prettier the girl, the more susceptible to totally bullshit she is. He would verbally abuse her, never let her have male friends, visit every, single weekend, and during the week demand that she call him at all times. Yet, he would talk to other girls, of course, which only made Helena doubt herself and go BATSHIT crazy, getting into Facebook wars with girls with tattoos on their vaginas.
In addition to the craziness that was Helena’s romantic choices, she said one thing to me that would forever change the way I would look at her. This event came about a year later, when I had just happened to be in her room which was in the same dorm as Becky’s and mine. Her and The Wigger had finally parted and she was dating a new guy. She was going into odd detail about their sex lives, and I was applauding her on finally getting some dick from a human who wasn’t a total trash bag. Somehow the topic of mastrubation came up and she responded, “Ew. I’ve never done that”. WHAT THE FUCK. Hold on. My brain nearly melted through my ears. How in the world can a woman have sex and have never mastrubated? It reminded me of one of the funniest scenes in The 40-Year-Old Virgin where Paul Rudd’s character comes to Steve Carell’s character’s house with a box of porn. Steve Carell’s character was so uncomfortable and admits to never have mastrubated. Paul Rudd, in his genius, replies “What mastrubate? Dude, I’ve jacked it twice since I got here.” That was basically my reaction to Helena’s outrageous statement. I wanted to assume that she was lying, but why would she be so candid about her sex-ploits and not about something so totally natural as masturbation? DOOOOOOD.
I guess I revisited that memory today because she didn’t show herself love. She didn’t love her body enough to make sure she gave it pleasure before anyone else had a turn. I don’t think, even now, she’s at a point where she can look at herself naked in a mirror and not see nothing but a bunch of flaws. I can’t fathom still to this day how a dancer, a person who uses their body to evoke so much heavy emotion, could be so repressed! It saddens me in fact. But, it made me appreciate the fact that I see myself in a different way. I’m not ashamed of my body in any way anymore. I have back acne scars and some stretch marks and scars from clumsy accidents—and I still get bitches. So it would seem that comparing oneself to another is a very, very silly practice. You never know what’s going on in the inside. I took a peak at what society views as “ideal” and it turns out that it SUCKS. So, I’ll take my body any day now. Although it may be on the fringes of what society may view as ideally beautiful, I’m feeling pretty solid. And, I’m going to continue to make a very conscious effort to take care of what has been created especially for me. If only I can convince myself to actually use this $21.00-per-month Planet Fitness membership! UGH. GYMS. Oh, well. One thing at a time.