perfect bodies, cellulite, and a little rebellion.

Screen Shot 2013-03-31 at 11.36.25 PM i don't have a perfect body.

i have cellulite; i will always have cellulite.

but you know what, i don't know a single woman without it. every women i know has it, every woman i have ever known has had it, and moreover, every woman i have ever seen sit on the subway in that particular way that reveals a bit of flesh, has it.

if there is a woman without it, i would like to meet her. and then i would like to know what she eats. and a full breakdown of her medical history,if i could take a look at that, just for shits and giggles--well, that'd be helpful.

thing is, i have this suspicion, that that woman does not exist.

i mean... okay, fine, maybe she does. but she is a rare bird, that one.

so you can understand my ire when i come across tabloid headlines proclaiming celebrities with cellulite! as though it is something new and unusual, rarely occuring in nature. when in actuality, what's rarely occuring is the display of a real body, of any sort, in any sort of glossy magazine.

so let me, let you, in on a little secret.

my body isn't perfect. i have cellulite and fleshy hips and more moles than a person can count. i have rosacea on my cheeks and a scar above my right eye and some sort of growth just above my left buttocks that i'm determined to get the dermatlogist to remove for no other reason than it absolutely freaks. me. out.

on top of all that nonsense my under eye circles are a force to be reckoned with and my feet are a source of great concern to anyone who has ever given me a pedicure. are you sure you don't want the spa treatment? they ask. and always i get the sense that the question is driven more by actual concern than money.

but holy hell if i don't love this body of mine. if i'm not completely smitten with the little renegade mole that sits on my right cheek. that little mole that only just appeared about a year ago and as the months pass seems to get ever so slightly, just a bit, bigger. i love that i can chart constellations on my body with all the moles i have. and that only a very small number--the very best--have seen the secret stores of all my spots.

i love that the scar above my right eye tells a story and the stretch marks on my breasts point to my femininty. i love that i can't quite make out whether i have my mother's nose or my father's nose and most people i know have a different idea about it. i love that this body gets me from bed each morning, that this body does things that so surpasses my understanding.

certainly there are mornings that i wake and wish i wasn't five foot, ten. and certainly there are mornings i wish i knew what it was to be blond with thinner hips and perkier boobs. but usually i'm also wondering what it would be to have a perkier attitude. (perk, as it turns out, is not my thing. and truth be told, my boobs are okay).

i lost years of my life to wanting to lose weight.

and then, not too terribely long ago, i realized that the desire to change my body was the least interesting thing about me.

(that desire is in fact the least interesting thing about every woman i know).

it is not lost on me, however, that how i moved from a person consumed by wanting to lose weight to a person who couldn't really be bothered to then a person who not only couldn't be bothered but also acutally loved her body--well, that story--that trajectory is probably one of the most interesting things about me.

you see, i think to love our bodies in a world or a society or whatever-you-want-to-call-it that tells us we shouldn't is a powerful act of rebellion--an even greater act of love.

it is to say i refuse to buy those tabloids to see who has cellulite or who has lost weight or gained weight or grown a third head. i refuse to look at advertisements without also bringing in the knowledge that what i'm seeing is not real--it has been doctored and changed and tampered with. the vectors have been pushed and prodded to make for slimmer thighs and whiter teeth and waists so small that they don't exist in nature. it is to refuse to allow for my womanhood to be distilled to nothing more than what i look like. to refuse to buy products and spend money in search of an ideal that isn't ideal at all--a standard that is purposefully unattainable so that women just like me--smart, independent, loving women--begin to second guess and question and live in a perpetual state of doubt and plummeting self-worth and then spend money to climb out of the hole in which i was not just invited into, but pushed.

i want to know what it is to live to in a world, where we, as women, say enough. enough of this nonsense. and okay, so we're not there yet, i know that. but at least let me add my voice to my betters and my peers who have gone before me and said, there's more to life than this, and so i love my body just as it is.