Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cancellation, and Perspective

My ballet class has been cancelled due to low enrollment; apparently, I was the only student. The new term starts in the fall, so I have plenty of time to crochet myself a little backpack for my gear. I bought my dance clothes last Thursday from a little shop in my city, and the young lady clerk was very helpful and supportive of my beginning ballet at my age and size (she said nothing about either). There was a large range of sizes available, and mine actually fell somewhere towards the middle, though I did select a "Tall" size to suit my long torso. I tried on the complete outfit last night and it felt very good. I will use the time between now and the start of the fall term to work on becoming more flexible, though, happily, I'm quite bendy now.

My friend Heinrich Saint-Germain at The Judgment of Paris recently posted some new photos of the gorgeous Barbara Brickner. Wouldn't you know it: in one of them, Mrs. Brickner is posed almost as I am in the photo of myself that I thought so lumpy and bumpy and, therefore, ugly. Of course, she is wearing more clothing in her photo than I am in mine...

I don't think that posting my photo here is appropriate, but if you must see it, I'll email you the link to the gallery page.

Anyway, I found my reaction to Mrs. Brickner's image very interesting. First, I was struck by her beauty, of course; she is very lovely. Then my mouth slowly opened as I realized how similar my body is to hers, though at five-six, I'm at least two inches shorter than she is. After a moment or two, I whirled around to my husband and almost shouted into his startled face, "Why don't I see that when I look at myself?!" The very characteristics I like about her body are the ones I feel funny about in my own body. Is it possible to see oneself as beautiful, all the time?

The gaps in self-confidence during which I feel bad about my looks are shorter, though still intense. The difference is that now, I acknowledge when I have those feelings, instead of pretending to everyone, including myself, that I know beyond any doubt how hot I am. I still dress up and wear short skirts and camisoles, even when I worry that I resemble the Stay-Puft marshmallow man more than a vibrant, healthy, young(ish) woman who is lucky enough to be living many of her dreams. Because, really, I am. I am thankful.


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