the body electric

Two days ago I squeezed into a floor length white dress, the scalloped bottom scraping the floor. Standing on my tip-toes and sucking in, hard, I twirled around.

“It’s pretty,” agreed my sister.

My mom said that I probably shouldn’t wear white to a wedding.

I tried on ten other dresses, all the same size, and almost all impossible to zip up my back.

“Fuccckkkk,” I moaned, continuing to suck in, sweating my ass off.

(But not so much that it didn’t pucker the material above and underneath the swell of my butt and thighs, pulling tight over what I think may be ten more pounds that I haven’t been considering.)

My sister and I have always fretted over our bodies. She even took it so far as to have a couple eating disorders in high school and college. I never had that self-control.

This weekend my mom told me that maybe I’m no longer the same size I was in high school, which brought me to knees. “Yes,” I sighed into the skirt that cut deep into my breath,  “I am.”

The thing about body image is that it doesn’t matter what your body looks like. That’s why starving, stick-thin women look in the mirror and think, “fat.”

It’s usually pretty boring to talk about your body, your self-image, your self-worth. I think most women feel the way I do, sucking in, twirling, wondering if the last few months of carbs were worth it. Polishing off a bottle of wine two hours later.

I think it’s important, though, to acknowledge that we feel this way. Maybe it’s just important for me to get it out. I’m not the same size I was in high school. I’m not the same size I was a year ago. If I worked really hard at eating a lot less, I could be.

So what’s it going to be?

Yesterday we tried the dress thing again. I squeezed into more sequins, crying out, “help!” as one dress got stuck, scratching my back as my sister yanked it off.

I found a dress. It’s one size bigger than the size I’ve been wearing for the last few years. It’s long and chic and I look pretty fucking good in it.

I celebrated with a bottle of wine.

Maybe next week, next month, next year, I’ll celebrate with a diet or a tortuous exercise routine.

Right now I’m very okay with a reasonably priced red.



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