The Good Body

During our final teacher meeting on Friday, we were told that our school psych (who is rather tiring) was going to introduce two speech/debate students to do a dramatic interp (I can’t remember which category it was, but this is close) that she and several others had found quite moving and thought we should all see.

Now I’m not really one to drag out a meeting so I was unthrilled about listening to more stuff. I also assumed it was going to be on diversity or respect or whatev – a common theme in a suburban school that is changing from white upper middle class to a definite mix of lifestyles.

The girls came in – one thin and blonde the other round and black.

It was called “The Good Body”

They started:

“When I was a little girl, people used to ask me, What do you want to be when you grow up? Good, I would say. I want to be good.”

They parsed a lot of the opening – but here it is in entirety.

It was all about how we perceive ourselves. How every woman has at least one part of their body that they hate, that if it were different they would be different etc. How we are whittling away at ourselves trying to be good. How women around the world are doing the same. How one woman in Africa, however, made the comment when asked “do you like your body?” was like, sure, My arms are strong, they carry things, my body is strong, it houses my soul etc. She said “In Africa, we live in our bodies.”

I have to say, I was happy to spend 10 minutes of my life listening and watching this. Especially considering that these are teenagers. And I daily watch the naughty that they do, and don’t always get to see this remarkable talent that they walk around with.

Last night Alex was sleeping frog style on me. His little legs frogged under him in my lap, with his head resting on my tummy.

I spent 36 weeks dreading the stretch marks, the inevitable stretch marks. The ones that within 3 days shot across my stomach like cracks in a windshield on a subzero winter day. Now, I will say that post pregnancy, my body is better than I’d expected. However, my stomach will now always be imperfect. The flat, tight, unmarked, crop top worthy stomach is way out of reach now.

And I’ve looked at it often in the porno mirror in the bathroom. The marks are already fading from that ghastly purple to pink, and one has already retreated to white. My stretch marks are kind of freeing me. I’ll never be “perfect”. Not by my former rules of perfect. And I’m almost completely okay with that. I can be perfectly me.

*This is not to say that yesterday when I looked in the same porno mirror while I was wearing pants and could see the muffin top expanding around the sides of my pants that I didn’t just cringe. At the same time I was inwardly cringing, Scout looked at me and called me beautiful.*

So while Alex was sleeping like bear in winter on me last night I said, Maybe this is why my tummy is soft now – He spent 10.5 months punching it into the shape of the perfect pillow for himself.

I googled “The Good Body” when I got home. I didn’t realize it was by the same woman who did “The Vagina Monologues” (Eve Ensler). I was amused to see her haircut and realize that “Friends” poked fun at her during one of the Season 8 episodes. I found more of the book here.

This all ties back around to my drug free birth – but that’s thoughts for another day.