Today as I stood in front of the mirror grabbing those -more than I remember last year- squishy bits, turning left then right, sucking my gut in, sticking my -less than I remember last year- boobs out, twirling some more and pushing my wrinkles flat (it could happen), I realized that, at 36 years old, I might just be equally, if not more
obsessed aware of my physical appearance as I was at 12, 13, 14, 15...!
As I studied 'those' bits, the ones that were always at the top of my 'eliminate' list, I began to wonder if I had spent so many years preening and pruning myself every day, that this critically mandatory 'beautifying routine', just like breathing, had become habit, or, if like a teenager, I was still foolishly, immaturely influenced and intimidated by the images of unattainably -without a stylist, make-up artist, personal trainer, hairdresser and incredible genes- beautiful skinny women plastered everywhere...surely not?
Surely I don't want to look like those painfully thin models who never smile, the ones that look like they could use a good feed and a pint of blood STAT? Heck no, but I once did, I absolutely once did!
All I ever wanted as a 'tweenager' was to be a model, and I figured that all I had to do was strut into an agency dressed in a pretty outfit, a face full of make-up, a head of teased hair, and a huge smile, and 'whala' I'd be a famous model!
With this naivety in mind, I entered every pathetic money hoarding model pageant that ran the shopping mall circuit and I convinced my Dad to shell out, I'm sure a crap load of money to send me to Anne Merton Academy of Modeling, on the 'somewhat of a promise' that upon completion, they'd pick me to be their next famous model.
Shock! A few years and a few not famous yet, modeling classes later, I finally realized that, those models who were actually jet setting around the world, looked nothing like me.
They were naturally undeniably beautiful with or without 400 layers of Spackle, their praying mantis-like legs didn't jiggle when they walked, their face didn't look a pizza slice, and they could most likely pick coconuts off the tallest palms by just standing on their tip-toes.
In fact, I remember sitting in seventh grade class one afternoon failing miserably to lure Aaron Hill's (the class cutie) attention away from whatever her name was, when it hit me that, no matter what funny comment or interesting thing I had to say, it was the pretty, skinny girls like whatever her name was, with some mini unfair 'boobage' going on, who gained the attention of the boys, over some flat-as-a-pancake pimple face like, ah, me!
From that day of subtle as a tornado rejection forward, I made it my focus to stay thin, to attempt to grow my boobs faster (it could happen) and to start wearing make-up to not only cover up the face that could own a 'puss factory' as one charming boy once announced to me in front of class, but to attempt to make myself prettier for the boys, to actually sneak some of that attention that 'blondie' and mini boobs were getting.
Needless to say, I was never the popular girl, the captain of the cheerleaders -if we had cheerleaders-and Miss Australia I certainly wasn't!
It wasn't until eleventh grade in a new school with some boobs that finally decided to show up, a face that didn't resemble a slice of pizza, a new attitude and name (that's another story) that I began to become somewhat popular and see the view from another angle. It also wasn't until then that I'd actually ever considered doing whatever it took to stay that 'new way' either, whether it meant eating a lettuce or a piece of gum for lunch or gorging on a meat pie and throwing it up later.
|Apparently this is beautiful...not in my world!
By my early twenties, I must have matured (a little) because those dangerous habits disappeared, but the excruciating intent to remain thin did not. I always saw a 'fat whale' in the mirror...always!
When mUm or Dad would say 'Trude you're looking thin, need to put some meat on your bones', rather than consider the possibility that my parents might actually be right, I took it as a compliment, as a motivator to exercise more and eat less, and so I did, until a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant.
After almost twenty years of obsessing over being 'stick thin', one day I just decided that I couldn't be bothered starving myself anymore and wasting so much energy on something so impossible -my body would never be a size 0-, and because Michael was kicking my very pregnant a*s without relent.
So, today as I stood in front of the mirror grabbing those -more than I remember last year- squishy bits, turning left then right, sucking my gut in, sticking my -less than I remember last year- boobs out, twirling some more and pushing my wrinkles flat (it could happen), I realized that, at 36 years old, I am no longer obsessed with being an impossibly dangerous level of 'stick thin'. I'll never grace the Victoria's Secret runway-for more reasons than just the body- but I'm healthy and I'm happy as a pig in sh*t about it!
Living a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle is my new black!
And although I am no longer obsessed with a need to emulate those painfully thin models who depressingly and desperately jolt and jut down the catwalk in their couture skeletal ensemble, I still out of enjoyable habit paint my face on every time I step out of the house...I guess some just die hard or not at all.