The other day, I walked past the mirror, naked, as I have done so many times before on my way to the shower. I’m four months post partum. Things have had plenty of time to “settle” by now. My 40th birthday was a day or two away and I was on my own mind. I’ve changed since my twenties and thirties. The outside is the least of it.
The vision of me kind of stopped me in my tracks.
My ass, I immediately noticed, was double the size it was twenty year ago. All those bitter 40 yo bitches I encountered in my twenties were right, everything changes when you turn 40. But, was I really mad about it? Society tells me I’m supposed to be. All the media everywhere say, I have to run out and deal with my fine lines and grey hairs. That is, unless I am ready to be put out to pasture, in which case, I’m to grab my complimentary crocs and bifocals and have a nice day.
I don’t feel any urgent need to deal with my fine lines and rest assured, you wont catch me in crocs and “mom jeans” any time soon, either. I will not go quietly into old age like a simpering cow off to slaughter now that the farmer sees no more use for Betsy. Like, Betsy, I’ve still got plenty of time and a strong desire to slay all day.
I stared at myself a good long while, turning, pulling, pinching and kneading all the soft, round, dimply bits. My breasts, once high and mighty, are now too large and sag under the weight of themselves. My husband appreciates this and I appreciate him for that. They are working breasts now but, still really beautiful. My body is beautiful.
It looks lived in and loved.
My dimples are deeper and the beginnings of laugh lines have sprouted up around my eyes. My belly is soft and my hips are pudgy but I still sashay and sway, firmly rooted in my womanhood. This is the way my body is supposed to look. Soft and inviting and powerful all at the same time. I’m not spending a single day this summer fussing over the idea of a “summer body.” Instead, I’m going to go about my business being sexy as fuck. This is the body I have, winter, spring, summer, and Fall. I’m not changing it, unless I feel like it
My body has been the gateway to life itself more than once. My body continues to nourish life. My body has earned the right to wear any damn thing I please and society’s beauty standards can be damned. You will not tell me how I’m supposed to look. I don’t have anymore fucks to give about your beauty “Don’ts,” I don’t care about the rules.
I stood in the mirror looking at my stretch marks and cellulite and the parts of me that jiggle when I move and got tired of feeling “unpretty.” I decided life is too short for all that. I did one final spin and started looking at myself, not from the perspective of modern beauty standards but, through my very own eyes. I’m beautiful. Full. Stop.
I’m not beautiful for being 40.
I’m not beautiful for being a mother of six.
I’m not beautiful for a short girl, Latina girl, mother of teenagers.
I’m just beautiful, not like you, like me.
I will no longer hide perceived imperfections. No. My beauty standards don’t come from Vogue or the Kardashians or the vloggers who insist contouring is like a face lift. I don’t need a face lift . Instead I’m owning and embracing, boldly displaying, all of me. I’m gonna shimmy and shake my sexy, fat ass, with pride and the world is just gonna have to fucking deal with it!