Bare-ing It All: What I Learned From Being a Life Drawing Model

I've been at war with my body since I was in 3rd grade and my mom told me I was too fat to be a dancer.  In her defense I believe her exact words were, "Honey, you just don't have the body type to be a ballerina."  And I know in her own way she was just trying to protect me, because let's face it, I don't have the body type to be a ballerina.  Nor the grace (have you seen me trying to walk in the snow?).

But when you are 8 and lusting after a pink tutu and pointe shoes all you get is that you're not one of those girls and you never will be no matter how hard you try.  You are Other.  Unworthy.  FAT.  And that's when the lasers began shooting out of my eyes every time I saw a beautiful thin woman.

That's when I starting believing I didn't have a choice in the matter.  That I might as well give up because I'd never be pretty, thin, athletic, a dancer.  Might as well have another donut covered in self loathing.  Why not really when you're already doomed?

So I've spent most of my life fighting against myself.  Desiring to be healthy, thin, beautiful.  But self sabotaging because I was born wrong.  And then I met yoga and Cate and moved West and all that fell away.

Because fat is a choice.  Uncomfortable is a choice.  Hating your body is a choice.  No matter what size you are.

And it's a choice you make everyday by the foods you eat, the habits you cultivate, the people you surround yourself with.  You don't have to be at war with your body.  You don't have to hate the skin you're in.  You can be bien dans sa peau, as the french say.  You can stand naked in front of 7 people and enjoy every minute of it because you don't have a ballerina's body.  Because you are curvy and fleshy and full and interesting.

But most importantly because you are embodied.  Because you have a body.  A body that moves you through this wonderful life.  That reads, and drives, and poops, and does all this incredible, amazing, mind blowing stuff every single day.  Most of it without much thought on your part.

And that's beautiful whether you can do a pirouette are not.  Whether you look like a Rebuens or a Schiele.

So take care of the skin you're in.  Because the body you have is the only one you get.  And life's too short not to be totally completely madly in love with it.

I think you are all so beautiful.

PS-This completes #142 on my Life List.  While it may not have been Dr. Sketchy's in Columbia-I was a model, people drew me, and taking it one step further I was naked while they did it.  So I think I can totally call #142 DONE!

1 comment:

  1. Good post.

    I think this is outdated:
    I have red hair. I do yoga, cook overly complicated recipes, comment on peoples' very bad fashion, and creatively waste time. I'm always running late. I often listen to NPR in my driveway. I eat mashed potatoes out of the pot with a wooden spoon. I microwave my ice cream. I'm very loud. And I talk with my hands. I left my heart in Paris. I day dream about having Ira Glass's babies. And I left my home in South Carolina to be a yoga intern in Driggs, Idaho. Just call me crazy.