About a year ago, I was recovering from surgery. My new body was on point. You hear me? On. Point. I walked into a grocery store and a man said to me, "You know it's not right for any woman to look that good.” At the time I was hung up on the fact that he was unattractive and 'How dare he approach me!? I am married and I’m waiting for my husband to choose me!" In the months following, though, I began to evolve. I began choosing myself. It had a lot to do with how I was feeling about my body.
As I started to put on clothes that reflected who I was on the inside and not the image of the black Martha Stewart as I was once called (lovingly, I think, but still). I didn’t wear the Oxford shirt with the slacks anymore. I was discovering lace and spandex - familiar fabrics from my teens and early twenty’s. I started to focus not on the dumb ass who left or on the well meaning stranger paying me a compliment, but on Ree-Ree. I began asking myself the most important question; one I'd never really asked myself before. What do you think of yourself?
I started to fall in love with my curves. I used to get excited about sending sexy selfies to my husband. I would work to get just the right angle to eliminate rolls and accentuate phatness (look it up). Now I was taking any and all pics of myself; with clothes on, with clothes off; zoomed in —watch out there now!— and zoomed out. Recently I decided to take a picture professionally. The photographer asked me if I had a current photo of myself. I said without hesitation 'with or without clothes on?'. He stumbled and said "I mean, well, whatever you want to send."
I heard in my response a confidence I haven’t had in years. Ladies, pull them thousand dollar iPhones out and take a sexy selfie.
Take it for yourself. Admire your battle scars from childbirth. Honor that extra weight that sometimes comes when you are happy and in love. Admire the loose skin that you earned after a long battle with your weight. Loose skin that hangs as a trophy to your victory.
Don’t neglect the hooch. She has stretched and rebounded and stretched and rebounded to give life to your children and to give pleasure to your husband. Celebrate that old girl no matter what shape she takes now. Shave the hair even. Set her free and take a good look at her. You will feel liberated. You will, I warn you, need to put a lock on your phone!
One of my fond memories is of my husband and I in the Las Vegas airport in the fall of 2015. We get to our gate, he sits down and says "Where is my phone?" Horror, horror, horror! We run through the airport like OJ in the old Hertz commercials. We make it back to the checkpoint breathlessly and anxious to get the phone. The only lesson I learned that day is don't put my face in the photos! I continued to take naughty pics and enjoy sending the photos to him. Now, I take them for me and I email them to myself. "Damn girl! Look at this woman you’ve become." is always my subject line.