Photo credit: Class connection
I saw you at the pool the other day. I glanced up from my chaise longue and my Alexander Hamilton biography and my summer daydreams and I spotted you. And I want to tell you: thanks.
Because I am a human, and my heart is dark and my mind is not quite as renewed as what I might like, my first reaction, and yes, I’m shamed to adimt it, was to perform my human worth calculus.
Four limbs, right where they should be, eyes set squarely in the found face, brown hair brushing your still winter white shoulders. So far so human. You chose a bikini, which I wholeheartedly support, and you had the thighs and tummy of a Titian model. To whit: your thighs touched when you walked and your tummy rolled over the edge of your bikini.
In this mixed up worth alogrithm, thigh gap is supreme and ribs piercing your skin should be vaunted. Thin is in, and always to be prized, above all else.
I caught myself, smack in the middle of deciding that you were too heavy for that swim suit, embarrassed by myself, shocked that at my core, I still haven’t learned a truth I try to live. Even on my healthiest days, I have swallowed the disgusting lie that some bodies are worth more than others just because of how they look.
I forced myself to look at you again. You smiled as you talked with your friends. You sat at the edge of your lounge chair, comfortably, not trying to sit in a way that made you appear thinner. I watched as you strode from your chair to the edge of the pool, shoulders back, head held high, unashamed. And I saw something gorgeous.
I saw a woman who knew her worth.
I saw a woman who knew that she was beautiful simply by her very existence. You did not hate yourself for having a body, with parts that sometimes chafe. You did not hide as if you were gross and not for public viewing. You lived and breathed and swam and played, wich a body made to do those exact things. And you were gorgous.
Just today, I caught myself again in choking down the lie. I was chiding myself for something “disgusting” about my body. My body. The thing that allows me to think and type and write and run and mother and wife and work and play. What’s disgusting about that.
I want to walk through the world like a woman who knows her worth. I want to dance though time like a woman who understands a better human formula for beauty. I want to throw back my shoulders and stride, and when I do I will think of you, and what you taught me that day at the pool.