Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The fact is...(last post about this for a while, I promise)

That I really have no clue what I look like. I see other people and can tell them how they look and what clothes look good on them and even go to a rack of clothes on hangers, pull 7 dresses off them, send an acquaintance into a dressing room with them and be spot on about ALL 7 DRESSES.

I could be a personal shopper. I have that talent. I'm just sayin'.

But I have no real sense of how I look. None.

I'm still surprised to see myself in the mirror or on film.

The parts of my body I see most (legs and arms) look exactly the same as they did when I was 95 lbs and a Si cup. Let me repeat that..My arms and legs are EXACTLY the same as they were when I was 30 pounds lighter. They are what I see when I'm not looking in a mirror.

The rest of my body has changed and I can't tell what it looks like. Which is why I feel like it's two bodies sewn together: the arms and legs from the body I still think I have and the core from the body I really do have.

I expected my body to change as I grew older. I did. I expected that my middle would thicken, that things would sag or be less elastic. I expected I would wear larger pants sizes but that my bras would stay basically the same (if perhaps more supportive). Instead I find that my pants sizes have stayed static for the last...oh...8 or maybe 10 years (barring maternity) and my bras that have grown ever bigger. I didn't expect or want to stay looking like I did at 16 or even at 26. But I had a concept of what I would look like as an older person. I expected to look like my mother. I expected to have her body. Instead, I find myself in my Grandma Hilda's body, and she died when I was 5, so I can't ask her about her experiences. I don't know if her rack continued to expand forever.

Do you have a true sense of what you look like? Do you look like you imagined you would when you got to be the age you are?


ccw said...

My body has changed after every pregnancy. I never lose or keep weight in the same place.

I know that I have no sense of what I look like. I'm the size I was in high school yet I feel much larger. I honestly like the way I look but I can tear myself apart in under a minute. Needless to say, I drive Mr. MFBA crazy.

Being from a family of large busted women (this gene skipped and went to my butt), their boobs only grow larger when they gain weight. It is also the last place to shrink when they lose weight.

Sue said...

At the tender age of 48, I am only now beginning to love my body as it is. Up to now, I have longed for the body of my teens, twenties, etc.

I did a long series of posts a few years back. They were letters to all the different parts of my body. I should go back and see if I would write them differently now...

My body is not perfect, and yet I feel more at home in it than I ever have.

Some of that (and I'm a bit embarrased to admit this) has been from watching "What Not To Wear" on tv. I look at these beautiful women who have no clue how gorgeous they are until they buy clothes that FIT them and aren't made of polyester *shudders*.

I've stopped trying to look twenty because I'm not. I'm almost fifty. And I plan to be fifty and fabulous.

Madeleine said...

I've been pondering your really thoughtful post and don't have anything much useful to say. I think I've got about the body I expected, but I still don't feel comfortable showing it off. I never have, even when I was younger. I've never liked the attention the curves bring.

And now that Sue mentioned her favorite reality TV, I can admit that My Love and I really like "How to Look Good N'ed." (The British version, though. The American one is not as good.) Watching the lovely women learn to feel good about their bodies is really cool, if a bit formulaic. I'd do it if I could do it with Gok. Ahem.

liz said...

I LOVE What Not To Wear and wish that someone would get me on the show.

I do follow their rules for my body type as far as possible. No to pockets on shirts, yes to shirts with princess seams, yes to long line pants that allow just the toe tips of a heeled shoe to show.

I haven't seen HTLGN yet.

K said...

I'm the opposite - my bust size has decreased with each child. I'm actually getting smaller. I also started running marathons, which hasn't helped.

Life being what it is, I'm terribly jealous of those of you who have had the opposite experience. Curves! what I wouldn't give for Curves! I would trade this skinny-ish body in a second for some curves!

But I'm as my daughter gets older, I'm realizing that I can't afford to articulate negative thoughts about my body. She's going to take those cues from me, I suspect.

I want her to *always* love her body - no matter what. So, I'm starting with myself...or trying to.

purple_kangaroo said...

I would LOVE to have you go shopping with me. In fact, I'm tempted to e-mail you pictures of the Very Special Occasion dresses my friend and I tried on last week, for your opinion. :)

I can relate to what you're saying about bits and pieces.

Eva said...

I'm not sure I have an accurate sense. When I was quite a bit heavier I was always surprised by how big I looked in pictures. I never felt that big. I haven't seen myself in a full body pic in a long time so it's hard to say, but I guess I'm more correct now. I absolutely couldn't put myself in a line-up of differently-sized women, though.

Scrivener said...

Taking a self-portrait every day has given me a much better sense of what I look like, I think. I am sure it's different for me in all sorts of ways because I'm a male, but before I started taking self-portraits for the first Whiskerino I was in, I don't think I really had spent any time looking at myself. I don't think I did know what I looked like then. Now, I'm still not especially clued into what I should be wearing or anything, unless that's jeans and a t-shirt.