I can’t shop in Forever 21 anymore. I’ve tried. Just last year around this time I could run
in there, grab a medium shirt and run out without hitting the dressing room.
Everything’s changed now.
With advancement in my career comes a low point in my
physical activity. No more running back and forth for six hours a day refilling
coffee as a waitress; I am officially a professional now. And more round.
I have to actually watch what I eat. I went on a sugar detox
just to become aware of how my sugar intake was impacting my body. I have to
walk daily for an hour-and-a-half just to feel human. My clothes (or what’s left
of them) don’t fit. I’ve reduced myself to wearing stretchy items that
cover everything, and when a camera snaps, I hide.
I’m getting older. I had to stop using those four-year-old
pictures for my social media profiles. My face doesn’t look like that
anymore. My eyes aren’t radiant like
they used to be. There’s a bulge in the front of my pants now. I used to wonder
how women got those, but now I see. It just happens, I guess, naturally.
I should smile my REAL smile all of the time—you know, the one that shows off my overbite.
I didn’t want to feel sad about my body’s changes so I set
out to celebrate me being me and getting older in the process. I decided to
take new pictures out and about in Hollywood. I was in a great mood that day. I wore my favorite dress, a new scarf
and my favorite perfume. I felt the jiggles in my belly as a friend and I
walked around back alleys looking for picturesque backgrounds, but I didn’t mind
the extra padding for some reason. When
I finally saw the pictures I had to smile.
What was I thinking? I look pretty. I should get dressed up
more. I should wear makeup more often. I should smile my REAL smile all of the
time—you know, the one that shows off my overbite. I should show my skin more;
I have great shoulders and great legs, too.
I may not be young anymore, but I’m still pretty.
The best part about taking new photos was sharing them. For
the first time in a long time I changed my profile picture to an actual photo
of ME instead of a joke picture where I tried to hide behind making people
laugh. I received 87 likes on my picture. I couldn’t believe how great that
made me feel.
I emailed the pictures to my sons and the next day I
received a reply: You look very pretty,
I sat there with a goofy grin on my face as I read that
sentence over and over again. Of all the men who catcall me, of all the times
I’ve been told I’m beautiful, of all the days when I stared at the pictures
from my youth and wished I had appreciated being young more, this is the day I
felt perfect. His compliment meant the most to me.
My son has great taste and a grateful mommy who he happens
to think is pretty. I agree.