It's so easy for me to look at a picture and notice the small amount of belly fat and loose skin. To think my arms are too big. To notice weird things, or to imagine that my ankles are beefy. Honestly, it's exhausting. For as far as I've come, for all the fact that I ran 8 miles a few days ago and am physically stronger than a lot of people I know (I can leg press 180 pounds), I still have these moments, all too often, where I look at myself and think, "Not good enough."
And I'm so tired of it.
There are so many amazing things this body can do--run, sing, lift weights, dance wildly, laugh, teach, hike, balance, hug, play piano, organize, create...this body is amazing. And I want to celebrate it. So, for one month, I am taking on The Body Project, to celebrate everything that makes me unique.
We'll start with something easy--my smile. I love my smile, but I fought for a long time to win that. As a child, I thought my full lips were horrible. I remember a school bus ride in 4th or 5th grade in which I was repeatedly called "cow lips" by a couple of girls I didn't even know. I can remember Dad consoling me, telling me that a lot of women pay good money to have collagen injected in their lips to make them fuller--I didn't care. This was long before Angelina Jolie came on the scene, and I hated my lips.
In my earliest days as a clarinetist, I remember trying to model my embouchure after what the teacher did, only to find I had a lot of extra lip. This wasn't a problem--I learned to play just fine--but I felt like it must make a difference in my sound, or, at the very least, look ridiculous. But I kept playing, because I enjoyed it.
I don't know when I started to make peace with my lips, but it must have been in high school. By college, I didn't mind them at all. These days, I love that I don't need to make a "duck face" (I wouldn't anyway because it's silly), and that my lips are naturally dark pink, making lipstick something I wear for fun or dramatic effect, but not for necessity.
|Exhibit A: the red lippy I always wear for Sac Choral|
These days, my "cow lips" don't bother me, as they shouldn't. They're just another part of me, and though they can look silly when I'm singing...
|Just look at that awesome "ooh" vowel!|
...mostly I feel like they're one of the sexiest parts of my face.