I stand naked
In front of the mirror.
I lean my head to one side.
And then the other.
I squint my eyes.
I’m sure my hips aren’t really that wide!
My curves (that I usually love)
Seem to be curvier today.
I stand to the side.
Today, I can’t be bothered sucking in
My non-flat stomach.
So I don’t.
Then again….maybe I should.
I turn to the back
And crane my head to see.
Wow! Look at that.
My butt cheeks actually rest on my thighs!
I turn to the front again.
Didn’t my breasts used to sit up higher than that?
I raise my arms above my head and smile.
That’s where they’re supposed to sit!
I think of the salesgirl from earlier.
I recommend the full cup bra for you, she said.
And I wanted to respond:
Listen here, Miss-I-can-wear-a-skirt-the-width-of-a-belt, and-my-boobs-are-still-up-around-my-ears,
These breasts fed and nourished my son.
So if I need a full cup bra because of it, then so be it!
Who am I kidding?
I want to wear the half-cup, flimsy material bra
That just barely covers my nipples!
I look down to my caesarean scar
And the faint stretch marks across my belly.
I thought I had made peace with them,
And had learnt to respect them.
But obviously not today.
I see the small, faded birthmark
At the top of my thigh.
Hardly visible and the shape of Sardinia.
It usually doesn’t bother me.
But today it’s annoying.
I stare into the mirror.
At my face.
And the reflection is different
To the picture in my head.
And dark circles
Lines that never used to be there.
I pull faces at myself in the mirror,
To see if the lines change.
I stretch my eyes.
I lift my forehead.
I widen my mouth.
The lines stay the same.
I grit my teeth together.
Why didn’t I get braces
To fix that hardly-noticeable-slightly-crooked tooth?
The one at the bottom.
Instead, I convinced myself all of these years
That it added character to my smile.
All of these years……
When did that happen?
I step back again.
I wonder if I can still do my old ballet poses?
I’m sure I can.
So I try.
He walks into the room.
Hello my voluptuous Botticelli wife, he says.
I pretend not to hear him.
Ballet Position 1
Oh no…are you remembering your ballerina body again?
I ignore him.
Ballet Position 2
What’s up with you?
Is it that time of the month?
This time I snap my head around
He quickly backs out of the room
And closes the door.
I decide that the next person who says that to me
Will get slapped across the face.
I go back to the mirror
And take a deep breath.
Ballet Position 3
I value myself.
I love myself.
Ballet Position 4
I respect myself.
I accept myself.
Well, maybe not today.
But most of the time.
Ballet Position 5
With a smile, I realise that
I can still do them……
Featured in The Feminine Intent
Featured in Speaking Out
Featured in C.O.R.E
A little story about Self-Acceptance.
This one is for the girls…..:)
I’m sure some of you have days like this……….
And boys if you read this, please be kind with your comments :))