helen | whose body is this?
Whoever coined the phrase “aging gracefully” is full of shit. There is absolutely nothing graceful about getting old. During my early teen years I went through a seriously ugly phase, that, thankfully, most of my peers seemed to be experiencing too. Even my own mother laughs at my middle school pictures. I was too skinny, knobby knees, braces, oversized glasses, and still rocking the ever-popular perm from the 80s. I was not cute. Eventually, I got those braces off, grew some boobs, learned how to use a curling iron, and along the way developed a lot more self-confidence. Now, let’s fast forward 20 years — I still live life pretty happily in my own skin, even though my body has basically started rejecting me.
Let me tell you a little about my experiences with aging.
I always envied those girls with the flawless skin, who continuously glowed. I do not glow, I am like an overcast day. I still want to slap those shiny women with no make up on. Now to add to this gloomy skin, I get to add wrinkles and age spots? And yes, still get pimples and oily skin? I buy face “recovery serum” that costs more than my mortgage and claims to be filled with antioxidants and healing crap. Where is my damn glow? And for the love of God, where is all of this hair coming from? I grow so much chin hair, I could actually knit myself some socks. There is hair sprouting up everywhere. Someone needs to tap my body on the shoulder and remind them that I am a woman, not a man, and women with hair growing on their knuckles are not sexy. I guess I can keep warm in the winter, so there is that. To battle some of this hair growth, I recently got a bikini wax. We are talking blinding pain here. I was reassured that the obscenities I screamed out during this process were completely acceptable. “Sweet Mother of Jesus” is yelled more frequently than one might think. I have decided that next time I am going drunk, so if it hurts, at least I won’t remember.
Not only has age taken a toll on me, but I had the brilliant idea to have kids. Well when you grow humans inside of you, the outside becomes proof. Tight abs, perky boobs, forget about it. You actually can’t remember what your skin looked like without stretch marks. While being encouraged to breast feed by advocates and nosy strangers everywhere, no one tells you that when it is all over, your boobs are actually going to look like deflated balloons that were poorly hot glued to your chest. And please, don’t try running with those babies properly secured in a very tight sports bra because you are liable to knock yourself out. You might not even need to go running because you may have already got a complete workout in that day trying to get into a pair of Spanx or as I like to affectionately call them, my “Sausage Pants” . If you don’t know what they are—they are undergarments made of military-grade spandex with the intent of “slimming” your troublesome post baby-belly area. While they truly work, getting in and out of them is like an Olympic event. Forget going to the bathroom, once you are in, you are stuck until you are in the privacy of your own home where you can rip them off like opening those cans of biscuits that pop when you peel the paper off. I have found that if you wear them too long, you start to lose feeling in your butt cheeks and sweat like you are living in the jungle. But I keep wearing them because I swear I look five pounds thinner and less things jiggle when I walk.
My hair is colored, my face is lasered, my eyebrows waxed to perfection, $50 bras from Vicky’s, sausage pants, my face lathered in serum, I’m broke and exhausted, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I love my banana boobs and my arms flapping in the wind. Getting old is a bitch, but at least it’s interesting.
Disclaimer: To those that have no sense of humor, having children is the greatest thing in the world, no matter what your body looks like afterwards. I am raising confident kids, that love themselves just the way they are and laugh about the things they can’t change. This blog is not body shaming, its rolling with the punches and accepting yourself with a smile. Besides, if you can’t laugh about your body no longer being able to hold in farts when you sneeze, well that’s not my problem.