A fresh angle.
This is a beautiful woman (at least in my humble opinion, that of a hetero woman. I appreciate her.)
I believe she is paid to be photographed and to maintain her look as well. She is classically healthy and robust and were I to meet her at a party I would likely find her fun, because - stereotypically - ‘rounded’ people are generally more gregarious, affable and approachable than those significantly thinner. And, one could surmise she is confident. (You’d need confidence to drop your clothing and stand in front of lights and a camera to be photographed and shared with the planet.)
For as much as I find her lovely, flawless and beautiful - even sexy and old-fashioned in her shape - I cannot find these same feelings of appreciation and acceptance for myself and my own body, and I would like to. She and I both have full breasts and are equally ‘padded’ over our bones (my middle is thicker from pregnancy and a too much sitting behind a desk), my backside is less full. My legs are leaner, longer, muscular, and my nose longer and pointy. I like my hair very much. Red, silvering at the temples in long faint banners, thick and wavy. And, my freckles. They’re almost everywhere.
I have my ‘good’ parts and rely on them on days I cannot find much to love about my body or its appearance. Much of that comes from comparison. But there will always be someone “more” and someone “less” and to remember we all fall somewhere in between those extremes is a grace that saves. I am not perfect and there is probably someone who wants what I have (as funny as that is to imagine).
This woman above, some find her unattractive because her legs are not coltish or her middle is not jutting ribs or her belly hangs a bit. They judge and write her off without a second thought. It is that very judgement that rattles around in my head about myself yet I do not look at others as harshly as myself. We are always hardest on ourselves - and it is needless. Really.
"What is your best feature?" For years my answer was, "my sense of humor." On dating sites this is not the answer they’re hoping for but it was honest and it did return some funny replies. "Your sarcasm is showing", "would you kiss my funny bone?", "show me your pun and I’ll show you mine."
What I find attractive in others - my lover, partner, my friends (none of whom I think of in sexual manner but they possess attractive qualities nonetheless), people with whom I work - is vast and diverse. They are an incredible melange of unique and rare people I am blessed to know and love - and the things that bring them to me, the common pieces, are not physical but in their character, their spirit: kindness, selflessness, good-nature, intelligent, an appreciation of the arts, a tolerance for my sense of humor, loving, patient. They are short, tall, average, thin, pudgy, bony, straight, gay, over-dyed, going-grey, mothers, fathers, single, married, divorced, balding, braided, shaved, swept up, limping, fretting, joyful, full-stride, hoping, napping, coffee-sucking, tea sipping, Pagan Christian Jew atheist, vegetarian carnivores who love children, music, mischief and endless other things.
Not one of whom I would ever judge by their appearance… and yet this is too often where I begin judgement of myself and, some days, cannot move past that quicksand into the sweet spot where we truly live: the heart.
We go around one time in this skin.
I am learning to love it. All of it - inside and out.