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"Lifecycle musings"

You Go Girl

Monday, 11 June 2012 04:52 by Sharon

A friend of mine the other day mentioned that she ran into a mutual friend who she told me lost a ton of weight, as she put it. My response was, "Oh, she's getting married. That's why." What brides do to prepare for the special day is daunting. The self-imposed pressures; facials, Botox, cellulite removal, teeth whitening, Brazilian Keratin, the list goes on and on! "It's all about the photos," one of my brides confessed to me when she was stressing about a beauty treatment.  I understand the importance we place on the "snapshot," the photos that eternally portray us. I suspect that if I had a nickel for every bride who needed their dress refitted before their wedding day, I'd be able to upgrade to a larger apartment on the tony Upper West Side of Manhattan. That, by the way would include my first marriage where I coincidentally went on a cleanse for a health ailment and lost over 20 pounds. It was the fitting from hell. Was it a precursor for the marriage from hell? 

People still tell me, after 13 years how good I looked on my wedding day, my second and hopefully final marriage. My typical response is that the planets aligned and the gods conspired that day. Or, I say that it was the last time I looked decent. Nobody ever denies it that vociferously. And yes, it was immortalized in photos, my best looking day ever. Suffice it to say, yes, we have an album, high up in some remote closet. There are no framed portraits of that day aside from a 4X6 that my uncle gave me. We are snapshot deficient. But, I am happy to say, my pre wedding dress fitting went by smoothly as my weight was unchanged. I celebrated well leading up to the day even though I couldn't get much food in my system THAT day. 

All this, to talk about curves. Back in the '70s, when I was a mere lass, the androgynous look was in vogue. It sported the fashion magazine covers. Breasts were flat, hips non existent. I hated myself for having both. If someone had told me that one day my curvy body would serve me well, I didn't or couldn't hear it. Although, I do remember an older yenta with a NY accent at a swimsuit and lingerie store in Ft. Lauderdale referring to my figure with my pre-offspring C-cups as my problems. Problems, really? My friend corrected her and told her that they were my assets. I would like to say that she lost the sale, but I actually bought some skimpy bikinis that ended up defining my look for years. I now have the benefit of hindsight, but if I only knew how potentially desirable I looked! You never know when things are good. If only girls were taught positive messages back then. I wasn't. Oh, did I add that my own mother was one of those "asset free" speedy metabolism skinny types? She wasn't at all helpful.

Flash forward to the now: yesterday, my daughter ran in a 5k race as part of a program aptly called Girls on the Run. It is a nationwide non-profit organization which created a 12 week program for young school-aged girls to empower themselves through fitness, specifically working up to the goal of a race. 450 girls attended it citywide. The organization celebrates girls and enables them to promote self-esteem. I confess to having been teary-eyed as I watched. I was touched and overjoyed. My gorgeous, curvy daughter is learning valuable lessons about image and self love that were absent to me at her age.  In a world where education is failing us, technology is dividing us, and profits are ruling us, it is nice to see where life can actually improve. Incidentally, my daughter ran the race with her dad. My knees have been compromised by Aikido, a martial art where I have been throwing people twice my size for 24 years. I found empowerment my own way. What does all this have to do with getting married? I get the whole photo thing and I concur. We want to remember our wedding day at our best, a true milestone, knowing how much we weighed at the time, what fit, etc. But, please know that you're already beautiful because you are you and you found love that is worthy of exploration. As the photos are relegated to the closet, you are what's left. 


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