A Woman, Her Body

In the grocery store, my second year of college. I’m standing in the checkout lane, a cart full of “necessities” – a new shower curtain liner, shaving cream, Special K. I scan the rack displaying magazines and gum, flip through the latest issue of Glamour.

A woman with my grandmother’s earrings waits in line behind me, tsk-tsking at the cover I’m holding.

Smoother thighs? Better breasts? What are we, chickens?

I laugh in solidarity, put the magazine back on the shelf.

Today, I realize I haven’t picked up another one since.

  • Oh the money I would have saved in my youth if I had only realised it was bs. I love this too. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Love so simple, but so powerful. Have you read this book -Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy, and Fulfilling Lives by Rachel Simmons. Kelley Hampton recommended it. I put it on hold at the library. Have a great day. Ginny

  • So glad you recorded this in a beautiful post. Little unexpected moments as these have shaped me far more than anything else in this world!

  • I’m chuckling to myself – that lady could give sold-out talks for women and make a mint, yet a little (free) comment can change everything!

  • Wonderful! If only my teenage self had believed that. Thankfully my 17 year old daughter doesn’t buy into all that stuff, literally and metaphorically.

  • I remember being a teenager and people would tell me I was pretty and I thought they were crazy or lying. And now I see all these young teenagers and think how beautiful they are, but they don’t believe it either. One of the best parts of getting older is learning how to let go of the ridiculous standards and see the beauty. Each year it gets a little easier and I find that so contradictory, but it makes the bad parts of getting older (I wish I had the energy I did ten years ago!) a little easier.

    • Oh yes, yes, yes. “Beauty is wasted on the youth,” isn’t that right? :) And oh what I’d give for an ounce of my daughter’s energy!

  • This is a good reminder today! I am a month into nursing my 2nd baby and can’t help but mourn the loss of my perky ladies. I am so happy that I get to feed my babies, but still, I can’t help but feel a little sad for what once was.

  • Easier to put the magazine back than forget its message… but it’s a good step in the right direction… loved this post!

  • Chickens! Damn! If you ever see the woman with your grandmother’s earrings again, will you please give her a hug from me? Every time I see a Victoria’s Secret commercial from this day forward, I’ll be seeing chickens with lipstick instead of sultry angels, lol!

  • I wish I could put down the feelings of not quite being enough, of being desireable as easily as I can put down one of those magazines

    • I hear you, Natalie. And I also believe, deeply, you are enough. (For the small weight my words may be worth.)

  • This is awesome. Part of what our daughters struggle with these days is brought on by our society and the things that are written in magazines and online. You set a good example by ignoring these. Thank you for sharing.

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