Botticelli Woman

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 better.
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.

I see
And blemishes
And dark circles
And lines.
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.
No change.
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
And glare.
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.

And finally,
Ballet Position 5

With a smile, I realise that
I can still do them……

Botticelli Woman

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 37

Artist's Description

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 :))

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