we are social creatures bound
upon the ones around
to value and define
our status all the time
yet still i try so hard
to omit and discard
that notion generally
what do you see
I think about this song all the time. Mostly because I'm self-centered and the world revolves around me, so I'm constantly wondering/worrying/fearing about what other people think of me--both as a physical being and a person. In sick ways sometimes, like if I died today, who would come to my funeral and what would they say about me? I do hashtag searches of myself on twitter to see what students have to say about me. I google myself to find the most mundane information because I'm really not that interesting.
One of the most frustrating facets of being a human being is our tendencies toward narcissism, and during these summer months when the weather demands that we show more skin, I become more obsessed with worrying about what my body looks like.
I might have mentioned in a former post that I bought a bikini--a little Trina Turk inspiration to help keep me conscious of my caloric intake. This little number right here...
Yes, that is me, I swear (wink, wink) my life on it. I look pretty fabulous, huh?
Of course my husband is the one person on earth who actually WANTS to see me in this swim wear, so I've done my duty as a good wife and sported the thing for the past two weekends. Last Sunday we were at the beach, and I was feeling particularly whale-like and self-conscious about my belly blubber that won't go away even 14 months postpartum (MB, don't you dare mention the donut topped with ice cream and caramel sauce that I had for dessert yesterday as a potential reason why the blub still jiggles).
I like to play a little game of figure matching sometimes. I saw a couple approaching, and the woman was wearing a bikini as well. She looked something like this, which I don't find unattractive at all.
In my head, that is about what my body must look like. So, I said to my husband, "see this woman walking toward us? That's pretty much what my body looks like, right?"
He looked, then said, "No. You look different." I found this response completely fucking useless. Different? What the fuck is that? Is that tantamount to the ambiguous "interesting" which is saying something while saying nothing at all because you don't want to be offensive. Different, as in, you are bigger? Smaller? Toner? Flabbier? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, DIFFERENT?
A few minutes later, after the woman was a good distance away, he said, "No. She was much bigger than you."
Really? Come on? I say. "That's pretty much what I see when I look in the mirror."
He ignored me and continued playing with the girls, and I assumed the conversation was forgotten. I still felt flabby, but I cared a little less about it after seeing other women walking around with an air of confidence or complete disregard for what they looked like. It seemed, in fact, that no one gave a shit about me, my #assfold, or my belly. My husband thought I looked great, I feared I looked like a two ton tessy, but aside from that, no one really cared.
As we were packing up to leave, a gorgeous little thing, looking something like this, walked by with her boyfriend.
My husband turns to me and says, "that's what you look like." I burst out laughing.
"You wish," I said.
"Well, it's as off in the opposite direction as you were off with the other woman," he said.
"Which means I'm somewhere in between the two?" I ask.
"Yes," he laughs. "You look great, honey."
Really, is that what you see? Because I just don't see it.