I was a skinny kid.
Lots of kids are gangly and scrawny when they are small. At least we were in the 70s. Nowadays I see seven-year-olds who boarder on obese and I think there is no excuse for that. Get your kids off the couch people. Feed them food from the garden - not from a box! But I digress.
Yeah, I was a skinny kid. I didn't know just how skinny until adolescence. Because then - someone told me e v e r y d a y.
"Oh you're so skinny." "Oh you're lucky. You're so skinny."
In junior high when the other girls with fat potential were developing breasts and I was still a beanpole - I started to feel bad about being skinny. Sometimes I felt guilty.
There were programs on 20/20 that profiled people who had trouble losing weight. This was a new problem, apparently in the early 80s - maybe it was the advent of fast food restaurants in every small town and packaged foods for convenience. But I would watch these shows and feel bad for being skinny - so I'd scoop a huge bowl of ice cream to make up for the injustice of my size.
Each day after school I would eat 6-8 slices of toast buttered on both sides because I had heard that butter made you fat.
In high school, other girls pointed out how skinny I was. Once, in sewing class, where we measured ourselves so that ours projects would fit, I bemoaned my measurements because I knew they weren't 'womanly'. Another girl disagreed with me. "You have such a cute figure."
"Figure?!" I scoffed. "I don't have a figure. I'm a stick." Everyone laughed. Probably uncomfortably.
Other girls called me anorexic... and claimed it was a compliment. "You're so lucky, you're anorexic."
This was shocking to me. A compliment?! You just told me that I have the appearance of a mental and physical disorder!! If I said you looked like an alcoholic would you take it as a compliment? For the record, I was never anorexic. I could put away a lot of food - but I was still skinny.
Then in my college years, came the defense of curves as 'real women'. Those skinny model b!tches were the enemy. Real women have curves.
Does that mean I'm a fake woman? Because I don't have curves?
As a result, I've never felt very feminine. No breasts, no hips, no curves and in the past few years I've lost my butt too! Add to that many, many years of sexual abstinence and the result is - I rarely ever felt appealing as a woman. Men don't oogle skinny chicks. Particularly flat chested chicks who don't put out!
Now that I'm rapidly approaching 40 ( just a little more than a year away) and the clock is ticking the final count of my reproductive years - I have an incredible longing to have children, mostly to experience pregnancy and childbirth and nursing. Because that is what God created the female body to do. That's real.
Sometimes I feel like that will be the one thing that really makes me feel feminine.
Last night in a very long, very fascinating phone conversation with the latest guy I'm dating - we talked about so many things.
He has three kids, and we talked about whether I would want to have kids, and if he remarried, is he open for more children considering the brood he already has? (he is)
He asked me about my dreams... what do I really want? I told him that I still want what the world sold me as inevitable - I want to be married and have kids. I told him that I feel part of the reason I want that so badly- particularly the experience of pregnancy and childbirth - is because I've never felt really feminine - growing up skinny and being a non-curvy woman.
I was surprised to hear the shock in his voice. I realize now that a man can't understand that. When he looks at me he sees all woman. He even said that I must be curvy because he can't understand being attracted to me if I actually resembled the boyish figure that I see in the mirror!
That had to be uncomfortable for him to hear me describe myself that way. And he'll never really know what I mean. Maybe none of my bloggy friends ever will either.
Every so often I realize, when it comes to men - real women should just keep their mouths shut!