What in the name of all that is good and holy, is THAT???, I hear you ask.
That, dear reader, is a pair of briefs that I purchased while on holiday in New York circa 2003 and approximately 16 pounds heavier than the recommended weight for the size. They were all the rage in Victoria’s Secret at the time and, my, didn’t they look good on the mannequins sprinkled around the shop. These are a size small. Ambitious, you might think, but you didn’t see the size M or L that they also came in – we were in America after all. Even the overenthusiastic sales associate, as they call themselves, deemed me an S after sweeping me up and down. Or an S to aim for maybe.
I knew at the time that I had a bit of weight to lose before they’d look “just right” but I was only carrying a few extra pounds and they were temporary until I returned to the slicker, tighter, more normal version of myself. The kind of body on which this spider-y looking creation would look just AWESOME.
I’ve never worn them.
Eleven years later and they sit in my knicker draw looking brand spanking new and full of anticipation.
And still eleven years later I harbour ambitions of pulling these off some day and looking amazeballs. The realist in me wonders if indeed anyone at all could possibly look good in these but I have a quiet confidence that maybe it’s me. The pragmatist in me knows that the odds of looking like the Christmas ham, as a friend of mine would say, are astronomically high but still I haven’t binned them yet.
Which brings me to my point. I read an article a couple of weeks ago, that for the life of me I can’t find now to link you to, about how women in their early 30s have a very negative body image. That’s my demographic – well, early mid-30s really – and I thought, God yeah, it’s so true. But then I realised in my own case, it’s actually the opposite of true. I have a fantastic body image of myself. When I close my eyes and picture my body, I always see myself at my slimmest. Like on the day I got married when my stomach was flat as a washboard and I had arms like an athlete. Or when I was in college and I would eat rings around myself, and remarked one Christmas that I had in fact lost a couple of pounds.
This is how I see myself and I love that body.
But I’m loving the wrong body all the time because it means that I think about my current body in the temporary. I don’t own it because it’s just a transient shape. I won’t buy any new clothes because I’ll never wear them again once that bit of weight has come off. I’m wearing some outfits that are a little on the embarrassing side of snug and my spanx owe me nothing at this stage, but that’s okay because they’ll look deadly again in a couple of months time. I could do with updating my bras but bras are expensive and I’d want to be getting the mileage out of them. (I can’t believe I just typed that, don’t berate me about the bras. I know!).
So really what I’ve realised is that my body image isn’t positive or negative. It’s unrealistic. There’s nothing wrong with today’s body. Yeah, it’s baby-marked and squishy but it’s fine. I just need to adjust my thinking so that I’m loving the right one.
I’m hanging on to those knickers just in case though.