I feel ugly right now.
Do men ever feel this way, I wonder? I am an American woman, and I am still expected to do everything looking fabulous and wearing high heels with perfectly groomed legs and armpits and fingernails. But I am not fabulous-looking. I am awkward, and geeky, and filled with strange nervous ticks and eye rolls that not once but twice inspired talent scouts to suggest I consider going into comedy. I have a case of comedian face, like these 53 funny women:
I used to blog about my struggles with my weight, and I was pretty open about it. Then one day, five months ago, a very thin relative started flaming me on my birthday about my obesity. I said it: the o-word. I weigh 235 pounds which is 80 pounds more than my medically suggested BMI. But I am not the only woman in the world who used to be a nerdy little girl, no, I am not the only woman who still has a dorky teenager inside.
But when I write, I am beautiful.. and when I write, I am not a fourteen year old girl with a bad case of acne and an even worse fashion sense hungrily digesting the works of Poe. I am rather, a person who is reaching out across time and space to give a hug to that girl I used to be, and every other girl like her, in every library haven safe from school yard bullying.
I am her advocate, saying “You will live through this, and you will see better days.” I am her advocate, saying, “It WILL get better”. I am her advocate on those days when I am strong, and I am not weighed down by the incredible sadness that leaves me as breathless as a woman punched in the sternum by a bully’s fist. That feeling I will only be what others see.
You will see me coming for I am a monster – a monster a monster, yes I am a monster. You will see me coming, a green me edited into a Frankenzombie in Photoshop, the apple of some Photomania app eye, and I will take my image and own it, and control it. Because even a girl who didn’t feel very sexy could understand something about Feminism 80s/90s style. I am not sex positive, but I got the part about controlling your own image, not from Gloria Steinem, but from Madonna, when she released a book of erotic images to counter the public relations issue connected with Hustler releasing less flattering images of her.
And I am feeling Axolotl, a funny monster. An adorable monster. A little monster. It comes from the words meaning “Water Servant”. A slippery creature. I am redefining myself but… then my mouth will open, and I will speak. The once soft spoken girl will have given way to a woman whose nervous tickiness is always lying underneath the surface in an eye roll or a sideways twitch of the mouth. I will feel insecure, and I will cry in the dark hormonal circles of feminine wondering in the bathroom, where no one can see. And I will be me: alive, surviving, triumphant, and writing. I will write. And I will speak.
It is just that I will speak nervously.
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