I read a personal memoir recently and the truths spoken were so bare, intimate, inspiring. So truth-y, it breathed a kind of fire that could only scorch because it touched the seams of my soul. The memoir was called “Love Warrior: A Memoir” by Glennon Doyle Melton and it was primarily about the authors own self discovery with her eating disorder , alcoholism– and her marriage. I have never backed away from sharing my own struggles with my personal body image “issues.” I cannot fathom a woman on this Earth who doesn’t dip their toe into that lie of self loathing and hate we all tell ourselves because being curvy, or plus size in a world that wants us to be hungry is the norm.
So a few weeks ago, my mother and I were driving to a grocery store and she remarked about how much she loved my hair when it was a shorter. For naturally curly-haired people like me, shorter hairs means a daily tug-o-war with hair that has it’s own separate personality… and landing space when the the humidity spikes north of 50%. But shorter hair also means a rounder face and I told my mom so. We had a rather open dialogue that went like this:
Mom: So you’re letting your weight dictate your hairstyle?
Me: No. Not really at all, I just like it longer right now.
Mom: (More rhetorically, than actually) Why don’t people like you and I want to do something about it?
**meaning, women like her and I who love food more than we love exercise on stationary equipment.
Me: Because I’m tired of believing this world doesn’t or won’t accept me for who I am and quite frankly what my jeans size or scale says shouldn’t dictate that either.
As someone who has literally been all over the place body size-wise, where am I today might and likely won’t always be where I am. But in the times where I’m not hungry, I want to feel just as beautiful, worthy and confident as the times I am. I know that getting to a different shape, doesn’t necessarily mean “you’re hungry,” but I also know it means you can’t eat a full on Chinese buffet two times in one week.
In the size I am, which I have been for a little over a year, I have actually started to truly like some things about it. #1) I like having an actual ass. Like a real booty that’s more wide than bodacious, but nevertheless, it’s there. #2) I have bought some super cute clothes that are flattering and make me feel good. When I used to gain weight, I never would buy myself anything new- and by new, I mean from Goodwill, because thick or thin, that is my game. But I buy just as many clothes for myself now and I don’t care what # is on the tag. The size does not tell me I’m a good person or a bad person or a good mother, employee, wife, friend. #3) I have more insulation to keep me warm, because Michigan; we need it. #4) I literally feel like my lap can hold more children. Who can complain about that, especially since all 3 of my now humongous BOYS still like to pile drive the cuddle time. #5- and maybe the most important of all) I just DGAF…Like literally I- don’t. give. a. f%^k. Maybe that’s more the blessing of being 36 and happily married. I keep wondering if I should get on an anti-depressant because maybe then I would GAF. But, naw.
So yesterday, I did get my haircut. I walked in to a very swanky salon with stunning women waiting for the feeling of unworthiness to wash over me as I looked at thin, fashionable stylists and guests go about their daily beautifying rituals with ease. But it never came. I looked straight in the mirror, smiled, and said, “Take about 6 inches off please.”