I am extraordinarily average in a lot of ways. I’ve never been particularly good at any one thing, I’ve never been a sports star (my high school lap running test record was somewhere in the severely unhealthy/embarrassing range), I can hold a tune but have an altogether mediocre singing voice, and the list goes on. I guess it’s hard to explain how being seemingly average connects to wearing pushup bras, but it does–trust me.
Basically it goes like this: when you feel like a relatively average person on the outside, you can’t help but notice the beautiful bodies all around you that attract and absorb happiness and attention, so you fake it ’til you make it. I don’t think girls really consciously stand in Victoria’s Secret dressing rooms (which, by the way, look like oddly seductive insane asylum rooms with padded, pink walls) and think, “someone will love me if I have big boobs, and I’ll be happier and more confident when that happens.” That would be ridiculous (Because who thinks in full sentences, anyway?) but in a looser and more gut-driven form of that sentence, I felt the sentiment over and over again. And boobs aside, other people feel the same thing about being skinnier or curvier or taller or shorter or more muscular or less muscular or anything aside from what they actually are.
I understand that boobs are scientifically always going to be attractive, but I only just realized how pointless it is to constantly strap small, cup-shaped Tempurpedic mattresses to my chest every morning. A lot of people (arguably most of the people I know) look down on breast augmentation because they say there’s no need to change your appearance to become more attractive, but to that extent, isn’t wearing a pushup bra all the time really just the same thing?
Anyway, I’m not quite sure how it happened, but in the last couple months, I’ve started embracing my flat, fun, flirty, soft, imperfect physique. I’m not saying I magically started loving my body overnight, because I think all humans struggle with body image periodically, but I did start having fun with it. My body allows me to wear the little lacy bras from Free People in cool cuts and colors, and I love that. And other people have bodies that allow them to do different and equally wonderful things. All people have something beautiful and kickass about their appearance, whether they see it in the mirror every morning or not.
Let’s start complimenting each other, not each others’ bodies. No matter how beautiful someone is, the body can’t compare to the hugeness and complexity of the person inside. I often look at my friends and think how impossible it is that all of them, every little thing I love about them, is somehow flowing through the veins of a body so much smaller than everything they are to me.
So here’s the truth: I’m not perfect and I’m not a supermodel. I’m not a 32D and I’m not athletic. I’m just me. I’m 5-foot-5 and three quarters, day-glo pale, hypocritical, clumsy yet graceful, horrible at math but good with words, limited, flawed, a chronic quitter, happy, spontaneous, outgoing, shy, horribly predictable, ordinarily me.