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Absolutely Beautiful

When I was a child, my mom would look at me and say, "you have a belly, suck it in!"


It was so embarrassing.  Growing up in Los Angeles, my world was extremely body conscious.  That was complicated by my father's extensive pornography magazine collection.  From a very young age, I saw semi nude models, they were the standard I believed I needed to live up to.  I wanted a tiny waist, large breasts, cellulite-free butt.  Instead....

Fast forward to high school.  I had small breasts and an athletic build. I've always made muscles, but not been hourglass shaped.  I've generally been "normal sized" but not skinny.  I'd never, ever worn a bikini, despite being in shape.  I didn't deserve it!

Now I'm in my 40s. I'm in the best shape of my life, despite having had two children.  My breasts are still a disappointment, but this summer I wore a bikini.  50% of this is attitude.  One doesn't have to be a model to be allowed to wear a swimsuit.  I never allowed myself to believe I could be beautiful to anyone.

As a college professor, I feel so sad for the girls in the university locker room with less than perfect, Victoria Secret model bodies.  All the girls are so beautiful!  I think back to how I used to beat myself up, and how wonderful my body really was, and I wish I could walk up to each of them and tell them that they are absolutely beautiful.


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