Monday, January 4, 2010

A Perfect Ten



I got over thinking I was the most beautiful creature in the world when I was nine.

Before then, I would swish around with a towel over my head, pretending I had long, flowing hair instead of what could only be described as a feathered bowl cut. Every mirror I passed was my best friend.

Then I hit puberty. 

Early.

Suddenly, I had my period, a booty like a blossoming J-Lo, and was forced to get a bra to reign in my nipples (first in my school, I think, for all of the above).

The period I could deal with, even though it was kinda yucky, and made it a bit weird to sit through "The Talk" in fifth grade when I'd already had "it" for a year.

Even the bra was kinda cool, since I was the first kid close to my age to need one. Ironically enough, that was the only time in my life that I had anything to brag about up there, seeing as I'm now classified as a "nearly A" cup.

The booty...was harsh. It's tough when other fifth graders in their pencil thin Jordache jeans taunt you for having a big ass. And that was fifth grade...middle school/junior high was brutal.

Baby had back back then. Really stood out amongst the prepubescent hordes, trust me.

I come by it honestly. The "Huber Ass" we call it, after the branch of the family whose genes contributed to my caboose. No amount of dieting, running, calisthenics, or "spot reducing" ever had any effect. And I'm not heavy for my height (yes, I'll share, 5'4" and in the 130's); I also have a very slim torso and waist, which almost makes it worse by really emphasizing by comparison.

I've grown up since I was nine, and maturity has brought acceptance. But for three decades, I hated myself for that one "glaring" physical trait. No amount of positive feedback could make me feel beautiful. I won't go into the media's and fashion industry's effect on body image in young girls and women, since I'm sure you know all the talking points.

At some point, I finally figured out beauty is most definitely in the eye of the beholder. But, cliche or not, inner beauty is what truly counts. After all, that's what I see when I look at the people I love. I don't judge them by society's standard, and at last I've realized that they (at least those whose opinion matters to me) aren't judging me that way either.

For the first time just this past year, someone said to me, "You're beautiful."

And I believed them.

"Thank you," I replied, instead of demurring.

And got a beautiful smile in return.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Devon!

    Its funny how most of us never think we have beautiful bodies. Me too. When i look straight down I look like I have nice flat abs. I can see my belt buckle most of the time. I look at myself in a window or mirror and i feel like a whale. It must be harder though when it hits you young like that.

    Personally I think steatopygous ladies are hot.

    Garce

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oooh, a new word and a compliment all in one! :) Thanks Garce!

    I still remember every detail of getting cornered by the skinny girls at Montclair Elementary (I was already odd since as I mentioned in another post I didn't attend classes with the general population most of the time). 30 years ago, still clear as a bell.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Devon,

    This is proving to be a fascinating week.

    Another great post that's got me looking forward to everyone else's take on the subject this week.

    Best,

    Ash

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hahaha...I remember in jr high, the fashion was designer jeans and a comb sticking out of the back pocket. Why on EARTH would I want to call MORE attention to my butt when it was already too curvy to begin with?

    I've never considered myself in the 'beautiful' category, so it came as a total shock when I visited my husband on the jobsite and later he told me several coworkers informed him he had "a good-looking wife; how the hell did she end up with YOU?"

    I guess I'm an ugly duckling who turned into a swan...briefly, anyway:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Ash, yes a very broad topic, those can be so much fun. Interesting week and with you and Garce and Helen yet to come...

    LOL Kenzie, my thoughts exactly! The long sweaters over stirrup pant leggings look was an unflattering fad for me.

    Funny how I finally feel beautiful when the laugh lines don't go away when I stop, and my dimples are permanent grooves in my cheeks. I guess it's what my grandmother would call "settling into your skin." Better late than never!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Devon,

    In my family we have what we call the Humphrey Ass. It is officially two ax handles wide. And yes, I have it.

    I often wonder what happened to all those skinny girls in school. It sounds like you're re within 5 years of my age (I turn 41 next month), and I recall the same sort of girls in the same damn jeans. I didn't consider myself fat back then, but I did think I was huge compared to those girls. Still, all the better to sit on them with, right?

    Fun post, and brought back a lot of memories for me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi, Devon,

    Lots of men whom I've talked to find a substantial "booty" (as you put it) to be extremely exciting and sexy. And lately I've been writing a lot of characters with that body type.

    Adolescence is cruel, though. I've come to realize, from sharing experiences, that even the girls I thought were gorgeous thought that they were ugly or too fat.

    Meanwhile, at 12 I was begging for a bra because I really did need one, but my mom thought I was too young...!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Warmly,
    Lisabet

    ReplyDelete