So it’s Friday morning. I’m sitting on the couch in my pajamas, eating breakfast, drinking a little coffee, and I decide I’d like to watch tv while I enjoy my Cheerios. So I start flipping through the satellite menu. I check all my usual haunts, (Food Network, Comedy Central, A&E,) and there is fuck-nothing on. So I start checking some of my lesser-watched channels, and still nothing good. Finally, in my desperation to see if there is fucking anything good on tv, I start perusing the lower channels, where it’s usually nothing but talk shows and shopping channels. And it’s as I zip past WE that I see it.
The program is entitled “Look good naked in 21 days!”
It’s obviously an infomercial shilling some workout-program-of-the-week. But that title. Look good naked in 21 days. As if to indicate that the driving force behind my weight-loss should be to salve my burning hatred of my naked body. Or as if I might not know it, but my naked body is some how unacceptable in its present state.
Look, I’m going to level with you here. I weigh more now than I have ever weighed before in my life. You don’t spend a summer hanging out at the race track, drinking beer every weekend without some ramifications. It’s not exactly a goddamn mystery where this extra 10 pounds that have materialized since the beginning of the summer came from. Even if the scale didn’t proudly inform me every morning that my magic number is rising, I would know, because I have a lot of clothes that don’t fit quite so well anymore. You know, pants that bite a touch more than they used to, dresses that zip with a little more resistance than I remember. Okay, who am I kidding, the last time I wore a strapless bra it was like putting a ratchet strap around a beanbag chair. I get it, I put on weight. It happens, and I’m going to work to fix it.
But of all the times that I hate my body, all the moments that I’ve stared at myself and thought, “You are disgusting.”
When I’m naked?
Not one of them.
It didn’t used to be like this. I used to do that thing where I unfocused my eyes as I walked by the mirror after a shower. I have a giant, fluffy white robe that I would wear from the bedroom to the shower, and it would go right back on the second I was even remotely dried off. And if I did happen to catch a glance of my naked form, I’d be embarrassed for myself. Everything was so bulbous and paunchy, it was just…gross. I felt like a tiny, adorable pixie of a girl trapped in this…this doughy blob. Even when having “sexy time” with Kyle, I would hide myself under the sheets whenever possible, and try not to look at any part of myself when it wasn’t concealed.
But not anymore.
Now, things are different. I don’t know what’s changed; maybe it comes with age and confidence, that bit of self-acceptance. Maybe I’ve subconsciously realized that what the world thinks of the size and shape of my naked body is completely irrelevant, as the world is never going to see it. (Unless we get like, super wicked verging-on-homeless broke, but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it…) Now when I catch a glimpse of my naked self in the mirror, my thoughts aren’t those of disgust, but delight. “Damn, I look good. Look at those curves. Va-va-voom, bitch!” When I’m naked, I just can’t hate my body, because it’s just so purely and unequivocally me. Me and this body, we do things together, and I love us just being us. When I’m naked, I am Jessica motherfucking Rabbit. It’s only when I put on clothes that used to fit and no longer do that my self-image turns from that of a voluptuous pin-up to that of an adolescent manatee.
So keep trying, fitness workout companies. I have zero doubt in my mind that you will find some way to prey on my self-esteem that will drive me to want to spend my money on some “fool proof” weight loss plan that only requires that I work out for 14 minutes a day and lets me eat anything I want (even chocolate!) while losing half of my body weight.
But not by attacking my naked body. She’s perfect.