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my physical self

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meredith_eats wrote in "My Body: An Unexpected Triumph": in your journal or in the comments, write about one thing you love about yourself.

This is a difficult exercise for me because I have never felt as physically adept as I do intellectually. And yet during several periods of my life I was exceptionally active, most recently in Burkina Faso, when I was playing tennis nearly every day, or in Aspen, when I swam in snowy weather. I think of myself as a slug but I'm not as big of a slug as I think I am.

Maybe that's why I feel so comfortable in the developing world: big women are the ideal, the prize, and the standard. When I ask MoBob if he's noticed how much weight I've gained, he says no. But he comes from a culture where physically strong women are the norm. I'm a hothouse flower compared to his sturdy sisters and cousins.

So I will give overboard here and name two things I like about my body. *deep breath* My mouth because I think it's nicely shaped; I have a full lower lip and a good smile. My breasts because of their shape and their size and their symmetry. When I was in Peace Corps I was named the volunteer with the most beautiful breasts, so at least I have some external confirmation of that. *blush* Don't ask me how.
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On October 25th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC), hatter_anon commented:
:) what a great post. I'm glad you shared that.

I've actually been thinking about body image myself. Ironically I feel I'm probably more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have been before, just when I'm bigger and more out of shape than I ever have been before! I used to be quite self-conscious, and while I don't think I'm cured exactly, I'm much happier being me.

One thing I like about myself? My hands. I talk with them (and consequently spill more things than I should on myself) and I generally have good nails without doing much about them. Perhaps also because hands are one of the things I notice about other people. I love watching how they hold them and move them.
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On October 25th, 2006 04:47 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Do you think that physical self-acceptance is something that comes with age, then?

I agree about the hands. One of the reasons I was physically attracted to MoBob was that he had working hands, but very gentle. Someone used to handling camels. :)

On October 25th, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC), clynne replied:
I think to a certain extent physical self-acceptance is easier with age -- as women in the US, we're no longer *expected* to be gorgeous all the time, although we do get some social "you're no longer desirable" baggage that goes along with that.

For me, I waver back and forth. I look at pictures of myself during periods when I was convinced that I was horribly ugly and I think "wow, I was really pretty then, what is wrong with me?" Sometimes I think "I wish I were that pretty now," but that feeling comes less and less often. Being physically successful (rollerderby) has certainly helped that feeling come less often.
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On October 25th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
When I look at photos of us from high school, I can't believe I ever thought I wasn't attractive!
On October 25th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC), clynne replied:
Isn't that CRAZY? You were lovely in high school -- hell, you're good-lookin' now.

Here's some fucked-up shit: I thought I was *fat* in high school. I envied girls with anorexia.
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On October 25th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I remember those late night discussions. Golly. We were both hot - and just didn't realize it at the time!
On October 25th, 2006 07:43 pm (UTC), clynne replied:
Oh, hey. Can I just say here: I am SO HAPPY we have managed to reconnect. You're one hoopy frood who knows where her towel is.
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On October 25th, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
And back to you! :)
On October 26th, 2006 05:57 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
I'm not sure whether it's age or something else. Every now and then I have an attack of insecurity or shyness, but mostly I'm much more comfortable these days, and maybe that is getting older or life experience or whatever you want to call it. I also think it has something to do with having good friends and support networks who have taught me to be confident in myself.

Hands can definitely be sexy. Strong but gentle is the best combination, not sure about the camels though ;)
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On October 26th, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC), hatter_anon replied:
Oops - that was me!
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On October 26th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Turning 30 was such a milestone for me - it's such a cliché but I'm definitely a lot more confident and self-assured now.

I am still waiting for my camels. :)
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On October 30th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC), hatter_anon replied:
I am still waiting for my camels. :)
I'd file a complaint!
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On October 30th, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Heh heh. (They will probably get held up at immigration as terrorist camels.)
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On October 25th, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC), meredith_eats commented:
I have never felt as physically adept as I do intellectually

Same here! Even normal things, like climbing into a tall SUV, can pose grave challenges for me. I remember a driver in Ireland asking me if I was drunk because I stumbled so many times while trying to get into the car. It was only 11 a.m.
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On October 25th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I've resigned to being one of those "awkward on land, graceful in the water" type people. *sigh*
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On October 25th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC), meredith_eats replied:
Dude, I can barely swim. Treading water is out of the question. I need to improve that though because I intend to have a scuba diving license one day.
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On October 25th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I think you should do your dive course in Zanzibar. :)
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On October 25th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC), 13oct commented:
'I have never felt as physically adept as I do intellectually'

I am 4 feet 10 inches tall - so yeah I can relate to your statement completely. But the flip side of being so short is that, most people somehow always allow you to get with murder (hehehe) coz you are always being underestimated.

What I like about myself... err.. my eyes, coz thanks to my mixed genes, they are a kinda large as well as a bit slanted... and my skin - which again, I have to thank good genes for.
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On October 25th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
That's true - also, I am often mistaken for being much younger than I actually am (I'm 37) - hope that lasts!
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On October 25th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC), 13oct replied:
I have the same thing going on for me - and I LOVE it! Hell, which 30 year old would have a problem about being carded?!
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On October 25th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Although I'm getting gray so I may just cheat and start coloring my hair....
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On October 26th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC), 13oct replied:
:D
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On October 25th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC), flemmarde commented:
go you! and lucky you to have symmetrical breasts... my uneven ones can be the bane of my life :(
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On October 26th, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I had a boyfriend who was really turned on by his previous girlfriend's asymmetry...but I can see how that can be hard getting bras, etc.
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