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6.18.2012

perfect bodies, cellulite, and a little rebellion.


i don't have a perfect body.

i have cellulite; i will always have cellulite.

but you know what, i don't know a single woman without it. every women i know has it, every woman i have ever known has had it, and moreover, every woman i have ever seen sit on the subway in that particular way that reveals a bit of flesh, has it.

if there is a woman without it, i would like to meet her. and then i would like to know what she eats. and a full breakdown of her medical history,if i could take a look at that, just for shits and giggles--well, that'd be helpful.

thing is, i have this suspicion, that that woman does not exist.

i mean... okay, fine, maybe she does. but she is a rare bird, that one.

so you can understand my ire when i come across tabloid headlines proclaiming celebrities with cellulite! as though it is something new and unusual, rarely occuring in nature. when in actuality, what's rarely occuring is the display of a real body, of any sort, in any sort of glossy magazine.

so let me, let you, in on a little secret.

my body isn't perfect. i have cellulite and fleshy hips and more moles than a person can count. i have rosacea on my cheeks and a scar above my right eye and some sort of growth just above my left buttocks that i'm determined to get the dermatlogist to remove for no other reason than it absolutely freaks. me. out.

on top of all that nonsense my under eye circles are a force to be reckoned with and my feet are a source of great concern to anyone who has ever given me a pedicure. are you sure you don't want the spa treatment? they ask. and always i get the sense that the question is driven more by actual concern than money.

but holy hell if i don't love this body of mine. if i'm not completely smitten with the little renegade mole that sits on my right cheek. that little mole that only just appeared about a year ago and as the months pass seems to get ever so slightly, just a bit, bigger. i love that i can chart constellations on my body with all the moles i have. and that only a very small number--the very best--have seen the secret stores of all my spots.

i love that the scar above my right eye tells a story and the stretch marks on my breasts point to my femininty. i love that i can't quite make out whether i have my mother's nose or my father's nose and most people i know have a different idea about it. i love that this body gets me from bed each morning, that this body does things that so surpasses my understanding.

certainly there are mornings that i wake and wish i wasn't five foot, ten. and certainly there are mornings i wish i knew what it was to be blond with thinner hips and perkier boobs. but usually i'm also wondering what it would be to have a perkier attitude. (perk, as it turns out, is not my thing. and truth be told, my boobs are okay).

i lost years of my life to wanting to lose weight.

and then, not too terribely long ago, i realized that the desire to change my body was the least interesting thing about me.

(that desire is in fact the least interesting thing about every woman i know).

it is not lost on me, however, that how i moved from a person consumed by wanting to lose weight to a person who couldn't really be bothered to then a person who not only couldn't be bothered but also acutally loved her body--well, that story--that trajectory is probably one of the most interesting things about me.

you see, i think to love our bodies in a world or a society or whatever-you-want-to-call-it that tells us we shouldn't is a powerful act of rebellion--an even greater act of love.

it is to say i refuse to buy those tabloids to see who has cellulite or who has lost weight or gained weight or grown a third head. i refuse to look at advertisements without also bringing in the knowledge that what i'm seeing is not real--it has been doctored and changed and tampered with. the vectors have been pushed and prodded to make for slimmer thighs and whiter teeth and waists so small that they don't exist in nature. it is to refuse to allow for my womanhood to be distilled to nothing more than what i look like. to refuse to buy products and spend money in search of an ideal that isn't ideal at all--a standard that is purposefully unattainable so that women just like me--smart, independent, loving women--begin to second guess and question and live in a perpetual state of doubt and plummeting self-worth and then spend money to climb out of the hole in which i was not just invited into, but pushed.

i want to know what it is to live to in a world, where we, as women, say enough. enough of this nonsense. and okay, so we're not there yet, i know that. but at least let me add my voice to my betters and my peers who have gone before me and said, there's more to life than this, and so i love my body just as it is.






60 comments:

Nicole said...

I hope your words give strength and to the women out there who struggle with accepting their own bodies (used to be me). This world needs more love and acceptance and less poking and prodding. Thank you.

Erin {pughs' news} said...

I loved this, Meg. So, so much.

Thank you.

nelson said...

Your words and your strength are so, so admirable.

Jacob Phelps said...

Meg, you are so, so wonderful. I struggled with body image for so many years. And I still am. But, i've learned to be healthy and exercise and just make it a lifestyle. It's so easy now. I've lost 130 lbs and counting. Not that that extent of weight loss even concerns you in the least, but just throwing that out there.

I, too, have small imperfections on my body. But you are so beautiful on the inside and out, also in writing. I try to live by that. You are you, Meg. Cellulite and all. Imperfection is beauty.

Abigail Leigh said...

Oh Meg, this is incredibly inspiring and beautiful. Thank you for this.

JacPfef said...

Oh yes. Thank you, thank you.

All things that need to be shouted from great heights.

Morgan said...

amen

Tania said...

You read my thoughts. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. I couldn't agree more!

sarah nicole said...

What a perfect post for a Monday morning. Thank you.

sharlyn emily said...

holy hell, meg. that was something. actually took my breath away. my already substantial love for you just trifolded. wowza.

Kmarie said...

This is perfection. SO much so I need to link it. It is so good to hear that other women are fighting these ridiculous concepts. Bravo. I still have a ways to go but I fight it too...depends on the day really:)

mattie said...

you hit the nail on the head with your statement about wanting to lose weight being the least interesting thing about people. it's true! i've recently come to the conclusion, thankfully, that my body is always changing. so what if today it has one more pound on it than yesterday (as long as i have healthy eating habits and indulge every once in a while, i don't think it matters what the scale says). i'll never fit into the jeans i wore just before i got married, but that's okay because i have two beautiful, healthy children to show for it! it drives me crazy when people are obsessed with the way their bodies look. it's uninteresting, it's selfish, and people could put that energy into much more beneficial things.

Taylor Yves said...

It's true. Cellulite happens. I'm quite a small person but I still feel the cellulite under my legs when I sit down ... and actually it fascinates me!

Dancing Branflake said...

I recently came to the conclusion that blogging about weight loss is only interesting if you lost over 100 pounds.
love this post in so many ways.

Erin said...

Bravo! I have learned in the past few years that to be healthy and to be "perfect" (in body) are two completely different ideas. I love my body and I'm learning to love it more and more every day. After all, the things a woman's body can do... isn't it incredible?!

Anonymous said...

well said, thank you. I love this post.

Devin said...

That was hands down the best thing I've read in a long while. I'm 20 and have been struggling with my body image for a long time, up until very recently. In the past month, I've come across so many written pieces, much like yours, that are inspiring and powerful and really make me feel different about myself and my self-worth. So thank you for speaking out. Thank you for loving yourself, because it truly helps me love myself more as well.

~BB~ said...

Love your attitude. I learned long ago that I would never look like the girls in magazines so I stopped paying attention. I love my body - every size six inch of it. It's not the touted "four" or even "two" -no sir, it's six and in some pants sizes even an eight and after a weekend of indulging can balloon up to even a ten. And I love it. I have hips, and ass, and boobs. All on the bigger side. I love my body - it's beautiful and strong and my confidence in it makes it even more beautiful. And cellulite - it happens. So be it.

Rachel said...

AMEN.

Holly said...

will you marry me?? LOL i <3 this post!

Kim said...

Lovely post. But you really should get that growing mole checked out.

L.A. said...

I wish I had your courage. Someday. Someday I will. And someday soon I hope.

Jenni Austria Germany said...

i actually don't have cellulite.






(jk)

Anonymous said...

Love this, Meg.

Also though, if you have new moles or moles that change in size, be sure to tell your dermatologist about THEM as well!

Nicole said...

this is beautiful. thanks for posting!

Little Tree Vintage said...

great, great post. you are so right. well done

Robby Spratt said...

Really excellent post, Meg!
Good job!
Every woman should read this.

Brittan said...

thanks for this, meg. very important words to read during a struggle with my body the likes of which i haven't seen since high school. you really are beautiful inside and out.

meg fee said...

I have a strong history if skin cancer in my family and I go see the same dermatologist every six months--as I encourage others to do as well. Thanks for the concern--I am in fact on top of it!

Taylor said...

True story, but some of us (ahem me) have more cellulite than others. Still working on getting over it! It's a tough one.

Alice said...

I love this. My rational self KNOWS that I have a damn good body, but my irrational self tends to win a lot of the time and remind me of all my little flaws- but I'm starting to come around to them. Thank you, this has made me realise that it is ok to like myself a little bit. You're brilliant.

sara said...

you write so beautifully and truthfully and everything in this is wonderful

tandaschroeder said...

Well said, my dear! Lately, I've definitely been down on myself for not having the rockstar body that...doesn't seem to exist often. Love this post. You have a way with words, and you are an inspiration.

♥ xoxo.

http://weandserendipity.blogspot.com

Leah Conroy said...

Great post, I'm with you!

Norah said...

Well put. Thank you!

Helen said...

Meg,

You could have no idea of the perfect timing of this post...

Today, you saved me. You pulled me out of the abyss that is the eating disorder that plagues me perpetually -- and you did it for long enough to give me moments today when I could actually enjoy myself and look down at my dimpled thighs and say, "Huh, you're not so bad."

Please know how thankful I am for this today.

Best wishes,
Helen

Helen said...

Meg,

You could have no idea of the perfect timing of this post...

Today, you saved me. You pulled me out of the abyss that is the eating disorder that plagues me perpetually -- and you did it for long enough to give me moments today when I could actually enjoy myself and look down at my dimpled thighs and say, "Huh, you're not so bad."

Please know how thankful I am for this today.

Best wishes,
Helen

Jen B. said...

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and I'm enamored, other times, I wish I had any other body but my own. On those days, when I see those glossy covers with "perfect" bodies, I feel very inadequate. And then I read a piece like this that reminds me that I am not alone. That so many other women feel as I do and look the way that I look. And that I shouldn't be ashamed of the tiny stretch marks that I have on each hip or the change in my boobs because I got them from growing another life inside of me, from using my body to bring a baby into the world. And the bit of cellulite, well that is harder to reckon with sometimes, but regardless, it's still my body and I am amazed by all that it has done and continues to do. (as it currently works on baby #2)

Thanks for sharing your story! :)

a day with kate said...

AMEN.

this is amazing!!

Jen B. said...

I wrote a few similar pieces and thought you might want to check them out. This is the first one and it will link you to the others.

http://alittleabouteverythingandnothing.blogspot.com/2011/11/winning-my-inner-battle-pt-1.html

jorjiapeach said...

yesssssss.

bella said...

ahhhhh you write so truthfully, and with such insight! i wait with baited breath for every post x

Anna said...

oh soul sister. I' 5'10", just had three moles removed last week because of their "suspicious" look & have three more visits to go before i'm done with these suspicious moles. and you know what, i am so pleased to have read this right today because it reminded me of so much I often forget. and because i am proud to know a strong soul sister of mine & share so much in common with me. : )

keep on, lady!
xo

Janelle said...

I loved reading this. And I appreciate the irony that many mornings I wake up and wish that I wasn't 5'0" and smaller, less perky breasts so I didn't have to worry about what to do with them.

Tiffany said...

Beautiful, Meg, and so true. Thank you for sharing your heart and your struggles--it's always good to know that everyone has these same issues as I do!

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Toni Lehman said...

Beautifully said!

ritika said...

thank you meg.

Anonymous said...
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Melissa @ whativelearnedhere said...

Thank you so much for sharing these words and thoughts - So true.

Freya Lily said...

I breath every word you write. I am constantly in a place where I battle with my body. I just want to accept myself for who I am and love myself. I am ever so slowly getting there. Thank you for those encouraging words.

Krys72599 said...

Thanks, Meg. I HAD to write a post about your post... Here you go: http://krysworld.blogspot.com/2012/06/so-several-months-ago-i-found-wild-and.html
You're a great writer and have the great ability to simply and succinctly tell it like it is! I like these "real" posts almost more than your creative writing...

The Lewicutt's est 2006 said...

Impeccable timing, my friend. I've been on a two week dessert binge and this just in... can't button the top button of my pants this week. Oooops! Ebbs and flows with this body of mine and I am unapologetic for that.

Brady said...

This is awesome! I'm with ya. Enough.

Morgan said...

Beautifully written! Thank you.

RetreatingAndAdvancing said...

It was a pleasure to read this, Meg!

elizabeth shay said...

I needed to hear this tonight.
I've been going through an internal struggle of the sorts lately, trying to make my body "better"...whatever that should mean and not getting around to the "i love my body" part

Thank you for sharing this, for making your voice known.
I hope you continue to write about this, and how you overcame the struggle that is loving your own body.

:)

Sera said...

once again, you inspire me. thanks, meg! i needed to read this.

debsfreckles said...

oh my...amen. I can't think of anything to say but AMEN!

lene b said...

this post moved me close to tears. such important words. thank you. so much.

Lillian said...

Meg, this post makes me think that you- and many of your readers- might like this: http://verilymag.com/. Heck, I just might email it to you.