Monday, June 18, 2012

Badass Beautiful

My friend Red texted me that someone, a man, thought she was beautiful.

Which didn't surprise me because she is beautiful.  She has amazing Flaming Jane hair (if a company could bottle that color, they would make quite a bit of money).  She's got an Ivy certified brain, perfect porcelain skin, and she is kind and considerate.  She left the Big Consulting Job in Manhattan, to walk the walk and teach History to kids in the city.  She's fun, athletic, and funny.  She reads sci-fi and history.  She's one of my oldest friends.  As they say here in New England, she's wikid cool.

Her response did surprise me: "You know, I never thought that. . "

I think women over thirty should own their beauty-- and that realization should come from within.  Women should tell men they are beautiful, not the other way around.  Besides, men are silly creatures.  If you tell men you are beautiful, they generally believe it. Confidence is seductive.

Yet, even at 40 and years of Knowing Better, I'm still having trouble with this concept: there is gap between principle and action.  In some ways I feel like its it's a fantastic con job I've manage to pull over the years (sorry Maj. C).  I've always been built more for comfort than speed.  Right now, eight months after the birth of Bunny, I'm pretty much in the category of comfortable as an overstuffed Lazy Boy recliner.

But is it really a con? I know I'm smart.  I have a bright smile, good taste in clothes and Italian shoes, and will once again be able to hump a 35 pound pack (or kid) up and down a mountain. And that makes me beautiful (oh yes, the lady doth protest too much).

But I understand what Red is feeling.  Being Jabba-riffic at the moment, I find it hard to feel beautiful and project that glamour (glamour, in its archaic definition).  I find it very frustrating that I can't seem to lose weight post partum.  I get irritated with people telling me I should simply be grateful that I experienced the Miracle of Life-- all well and good, but feeling weak and tired all the time and not fitting into my half my wardrobe (which took years to curate). . .blows. Running a mere three miles is a both a logistical and physical struggle. Turning 40 hasn't helped either.  I'm not going to lie, there are days when the only thing keeping me together is Maj. C texting me, "Good morning beautiful!"

I'm going to indulge to my vanity and post my favorite pre-pregnancy, insanely flattering, photo. But here's what I love about this picture. I went stag at a wedding at a dear friend.  I was strong: I hiked 45 miles across Yosemite a few weeks later. I could run ten miles. I'm wearing my favorite dress and my favorite Valentino heels. I was Badass Beautiful.  And somewhere inside, I know I still am.

1 comment:

  1. I think Red is one of the most beautiful and coolest people I've ever met. The way her eyes set off her hair and vice versa: amazing.
    But, like you say, some days it's hard to remember how beautiful we are...