I thought this blog post was interesting and it made me pause, especially since I’m getting ready to go lay myself on the sand. This woman finds a photo her kids took of her lying on a beach in a rather artistic pose (I think she was just sleeping). All she saw was the dimply thighs and fat, and all they saw was the beauty. She saw her outside, and they saw her inside.
Yesterday, I was making a plan to go to the beach with a friend. We were meeting at a certain place, and she described the color of her towel, chair, and cooler. She asked me to do the same. I said, “I’ll be the one in the black bathing suit with the fat stomach.” She said, “You, me, and 400 other women.”
We’re so hard on ourselves. They’re killing each other in the Middle East like they’re playing paint ball, planes are dropping out of the sky, and I’m worrying about my fat stomach (not to mention the rest of my middle aged body). Why? Because I’m programmed to miss my younger, firmer self. But this is just what my 55 looks like. Should I shelter in place because I have cellulite?
I don’t know. It’s silly, right? Sometimes my daughter will say, “Why do you even care what you look like, you’re married?” Looking good is not about being married or not married, Ally. It’s about you and how you feel about yourself, aging, and a whole slew of other stuff. My fitness level, and body are not what they used to be, but dress me up right and you’d never know. The thing is, I know. And that’s for me to accept and put in its proper place. You do your best to stay healthy and then you call it. You wear the kindness in your heart on the outside to shield the bits that jiggle in a bathing suit.
Who knows what everyone else will see when they look at me laying on my towel today (this woman’s kids thought she was ravishing). The truth is, nobody will likely even notice me. And even if they do secretly shame me for daring to appear half naked on a beach, who cares? Who the fuck cares? If they knew who I was inside, they might see my less than perfect body in a better light, like the blogger’s children. I’m going to look at myself like that today, and see if I don’t look better.