October 20, 2014

Pictures of Me and Rene Descartes in a Bathroom Mirror

Over on the Facebook some time ago (about seven months in dog years, according to my calculations, because veterinary math), I wrote this:




It was sincere. I really did have a photo shoot - new professional portraity type things of myself are needed because:

A) I'm a professional now, apparently, and

B) This picture is very uncomfortable to look at. I think it's the teeth. And the soul-burning stare. And the teeth.

Look away or I will burn you.
Blergh.

So, dutifully feminine, I angst-ed over it. In the mirror.


See? Angst. I'm rounder than I used to be, therefore girdle:


See how excited I am by girdles? Also, what's behind me in the mirror? A Chinese dragon puppet? A haunted muppet? I honestly have no idea. And there's water on my shirt. Probably sweat from putting on the damned girdle.

After this, I Did Stuff to my hair and changed my clothes, like so:

My theory on selfies is that if I look sheepish, they're not vain.
I see no appreciable difference beyond "hey, wasn't she wearing a grey shirt before?"

Which is why I've adopted a brand new Body Philosphy. I cribbed it from my pal René Descartes: My body looks like this, therefore this is what my body should look like.

I'm all done with the irritating idea that bodies are supposed to look only one way - smooth in all the right places, or - failing that - at least sucked in if anyone can see me. It's stupid. I've honestly caught myself thinking that people will think I'm a bad mother if my stomach leaks over the top of my pants and bulges when I pick up my kids from school.

The horror.

Now, you and I both know that I'm still going to carry around an image of the perfect me in my treacherous brain, but I have a cunning plan: I'm going to catch myself. Every time I mentally photoshop the girl in the mirror, every time I tug my shirt down, every time I'm self-conscious about the way my pants fit or what my hair looks like, I'm just going to stop, possibly after a stern (inner) lecture complete with an (outer) over-the-glasses-glare.

I'm still going to keep wearing makeup (most days) and plucking my eyebrows, because this isn't Bastille Day, so settle down. I'm not uncomfortable with the opposing ideas of dressing my body up while loving it just the way it is.

Should I be?

I'm going to practice un-sucking-in my stomach while I wait for your insight.

(Also, I made myself a mug. And a compact mirror. And possibly a button.)