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First off, I know that I have a warped self-image, and the following is basically just my working it out in my mind.  I am not looking for compliments, reassurance, or whatever.  It's kind of a note to self to try to stop being such a dumbass, to get over myself, and to give myself a goddamn break once in a while already.

Joel gave me an especially charming present at Christmastime.  A miniature metal lunchbox which had once contained a cyclocomputer concealed a pair of lace-trimmed red silk panties and a gift card to shop at Birdies.  So, today I went on down to Birdies on my lunch break and had a little look around.

I found some lovely things, and am very happy with them.  Photos below:
(the xmas knickers)
(my new undies)

I also found that I'm not nearly as at-peace with my body as I thought I was.  I went into the dressing room with a handful of silky, lacy things, shucked off the outer layers and tried things on.  And no matter how pretty the camis and undies were, I just kinda thought, “YUK! as I looked at myself.  The pretty things and the form upon which they hung really seemed at odds with one another.

The eminently sensible black Hanes bikinis showed through the delicate, sheer, lace-trimmed things in a sharp contrast between what I usually buy, and what I was about to buy.  Then there were my thighs; an inconvenient truth my thighs are.  They are quite frankly stocky, bulky, meaty things, stout from a combination of cycling and genetics.  Because I'm a short-ish woman, I have short-ish legs with a prominent bum to top it all off.  Then, because I've spent the day guzzling coffee, my stomach was all bloated and sticky-outy, which I hate.  Bleh.  Damnstomach.  Damncoffee.  None of the other angles and vistas of my form really satisfied or pleased, either.  My ever-spotty skin, sallow complexion, ratty, growing-out hair…bleh.  My arms looked fat, my shoulders too square, my lack of waist…blah.  Tomboy bodies are not the bodies of fashion and beauty.

After ten minutes in the underpants dressing room, I felt like swearing off food for ever, ever again.

Bear in mind that 90% of the time, I never think of my body, positively or negatively; I don't think of it at all.  I'm happy with it probably 4% of the time, but the 6% that I am thinking of it and am not okay with it, I've distilled every bit of dissatisfaction and loathing available in the universe and funneled it straight into my earthly form.  Bleh, yuck, fie, and woe.

Logically, I know that this is all my own foolishness, that I have a decent, functional, healthy body, and that most people would say that it's perfectly okay.  Its form has followed its function, hence the meaty, muscular thighs, arms, and torso.   I use my body, and in return, it has prepared itself for further, more extensive use.  I'll be praising it mightily come spring and summer, bike-touring and trail riding seasons when good health, strength and endurance are the order of the day.

Moreover, why should I or anybody else care about how my body looks?   I am not a model.  Nobody's paying me to have a BMI of 15.  Back in the day when I weighed 103lb, I didn't have a fraction of the actual fitness I have today.  Most people will never see my body, and most who ever might wouldn't be likely to think much of anything about it.  If somebody saw me at a pool or the lake, they wouldn't probably say, “god what a fatarse,” or would they be tripping over themselves to ogle “that hottie over there.”  Really, nobody cares about my body except for me and Joel, and he seems to think it's darn nice, and his is the only opinion I especially rate. Really, I should just shut up and enjoy that and ignore my own impossible standards for myself.  Because even Kate Moss doesn't wake up looking like “Kate Moss.”  That's a lot of hair, makeup, lighting, and pretty dresses, with additional help from digital photo retouching.  I should be happy to be healthy, strong, and at a good median weight for my height and build. 

And I think the way I can stay the happiest about such things is to stay the hell away from mirrors.  Waaaaay the hell away.

(editor's note: I feel a little better about my superficial appearance now that I've gotten home, away from the dressing room, and took a couple of self-portraits with underpants, and realized that I don't look half as bad as I think I do when I look in the mirror.)

Me and mirrors…there is much hate.

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