Disclaimer: Remember, I’m over 40. Some of you may relate, and some of you may cringe. Either way, I hope you find some laughter….
When’s the last time you walked round naked in front of your husband? Did you ever? If you did and don’t now, when did you stop? Was it after you failed to lose all of the “baby” weight (or “age” weight, or non-work-out-weight? I guess any type will do…). Was it after you nursed 3 kids and found that your boobs were shrunken pendulums reaching half way to your navel? Was it after your second C-section when you saw that any ounce of extra fat around your belly now bulges over the scar (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, imagine a rubber band around your hips and how the fat would hang over the taut band. Well, the scar is like a damn rubber band!) Was it when you turned around to find that your ass now resembles cottage cheese? Or that the veins on your legs look like mean, red and blue worms? Or when you discovered that your knees (knees for chrissake!) are terribly wrinkled? Or, or, or………………….
Lord, when it comes to our bodies, a lot of us have a lot to bitch about. Having babies and aging is really, really hard on a body.
Aside: Not that we didn’t bitch about our physical flaws before the kids and the years but that was, well, kid’s stuff. (Oh to have that 25 year-old skin again.)
Now we’re into the serious shit. Our bodies are letting us down, embarrassing us, and many of us feel we must hide it.
Aside: Well, o.k., when I’m 70 it’ll be even more “serious” and I’m sure I’ll wish for my 42-year old t&a. Although God! I hope I’ve gotten over all of this by then.
I don’t want to gaze at my body, so it makes sense to assume that no one else would want to either. I mean, who wants to look at back fat? Or my C-section scar/blob (did I mention this already??!)?
Aside: hang on here…I know I’m being brutal and graphic (gross), but the….ahh….naked truth, can be that way.
Are you shaking your head yet? If you’re not, you should be, because this is crazy talk. Irrational thought brought on by a culture that vilifies anything not skinny and young. I could find out how much money is desperately thrown yearly at dieting and plastic surgery, but we’ve all heard the numbers. And we know it’s outrageous. And sad. And not natural.
I try to remember that what is happening to my body IS natural, and it’s o.k., and boy that is a tough pill to swallow. But I truly want to. I truly know how crazy this all is. I don’t want to be a part of it (and I certainly don’t want my daughter to be!). So I’m working on it. Part of the way I force it down (NOT a diet pill, the tough pill from above) is to (still) walk around naked in front of Steve. I do it with resolve and on some evenings, with gusto (in my mind, not physically – I try to keep the body gusto to a minimum…flying parts and all, you know).
Steve loves this. He absolutely, 100% does not see what I see when I look in the mirror. He just sees a naked woman standing in front of him. One who he happens to be in love with. In his eyes, it doesn’t get much better than this. He let’s me know this (in fact, when he read through this, he asked me to add “beautiful, hot, sexy, gorgeous” to modify “naked woman” in the sentence above. What a man.). He knows how important it is for me to hear it. His generous words encourage me to keep taking it all off. He knows this, too.
If your husband doesn’t compliment your body (clothed or not!), how about letting him know how important it is to you? And don’t give me that old, standard, bullshit about if you have to tell him what to say, it doesn’t mean anything. That’s a whiney crock. He can’t read your mind, and he’s not a woman so he doesn’t instinctively/emotionally/empirically know these things. Tell Him!
Aside: And remember, guys love compliments, too. You can show him what you’d like by “doing unto him.” That actually would work in a lot of instances, now wouldn’t it? (!)
Tonight (after you Tell Him), instead of turning out the lights, or wearing just the right teddy that fully covers this or that flaw, or staying under the covers, or surrounding yourself with pillows (although I must say that if I do find myself unexpectedly in a position where things are hanging straight down, I seize any blanket/pillow within reach and shove it between me and the pull of gravity!), instead, just be naked. Shyly strip away your clothes or wildly toss them over your shoulder; bare your body to your lover, and allow him to glorify in it. Just maybe you’ll too see the beauty that is (still) there.
This concludes another view from my married life.