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May 20, 2013

“Dang, I look good”: Reflections on body image

I was wearing the tightest clothes I could find in my closet, no small feat when baggy t-shirts are my style. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the “Pure Barre” class based on what Anne had told me: I think it’s like ballet; there’s a barre and “tucking” and please-for-the-love-of-pete-take-these-classes-I-already-paid-for-so-I-won’t-have-to-do-them. Despite my best efforts, when I walked in, I knew immediately I hadn’t achieved the desired level of tightness or bare skin. My relatively form-fitting t-shirt was still a t-shirt, and tank tops and spaghetti straps appeared to be the order of the day. The yoga pants I considered thigh-hugging looked more like loose maternity clothes (which is, in fact, why I had bought them while I was pregnant) than the painted-on spandex everyone else appeared to be wearing. Still, the combination of mirrored walls and the tightest clothes I own gave me a glimpse of my full body, a rare occurrence on account of the boxes stacked in front of the only full-length mirror in the house, which I still haven’t bothered to go through two years after our move. And the first thought that crossed my mind upon seeing my full figure was,

Dang, I look good.

I tried not to stare, but it was hard not to. After months of not sparing even a second to look in a mirror, I had forgotten about how my waist always seemed to be just the right size, with the pouch below adding what I like to call “character.” (It goes without saying that love handles also add “character.”) I forgot about the sleek thigh muscle that made an ever-so-slight appearance when I tightened my knees. And don’t even get me started on those knees, which were hidden by the flare of the pants, but I could imagine were probably looking fantastic under there! Even the arm flab that Addison had so exuberantly played with the week before while shouting flappy, flappy, flappy looked just about right. Life with a toddler can certainly underscore every bodily imperfection. What IS that?, Addison likes to ask about my every skin tag and mole (which, my friends, are many and varied). Or there’s my personal favorite, when she grabs a pair of tweezers and comes at me saying, Let me get your beards. Hold still; this might hurt a yittle bit. But when I finally take a moment to study my body, I am struck by the way every curve and muscle looks practically perfect in my eyes. If only my body worked half as good as it looks, I would never need to worry about a workout, I think.

As we started said workout, it soon became clear that (1) this was nothing like the ballet I grew up doing for hours each day and (2) it sucked. But hey, it was free. I’ll even do sucky things for free! So I tried my best to follow along, anxiously looking right and left to see which leg I was supposed to be lifting and if I was supposed to be exhaling with the lift or the tuck. Occasionally, the instructor would say, “Now close your eyes while you do this exercise and picture what you want your thighs to look like.” Instinctively I would look down, puzzled. What the?! It’s a thigh. What’s it supposed to look like?

While we were lifting weights behind our backs (very unnatural, if you ask me), the instructor shouted, “Picture what you want your back to look like. Lift it! Push it!” I looked around the room. What does a back even look like? Should I be striving for the instructor’s sculpted back? What if my back already looks like hers, I just don’t know it because, after all, it’s behind me? Which brings up another good question — how does one even look at their own back? I’ll have to ask Neal when I get home; he’s always ready to spout off an opinion. Internal monologue notwithstanding, I did my best to lift it! and push it! despite having no clear vision of a future back in mind.

Three months and ten classes later, I’m starting to get a handle on all these exercise class conventions (except not the exhaling; I still have no idea when I’m supposed to breathe): you picture what you want your body to look like as motivation to keep going. What a peculiar idea, no? Who has the energy to both examine their current physical appearance AND contemplate a future appearance that would be more pleasing, all while lifting, tucking, pushing, and burning?

Neal’s answer to this question, which he has tried to explain to me many times before: Everyone. EVERYONE has the energy to contemplate — and in many instances, obsess over — their appearance. Especially every single woman you know or have probably ever known. He’s insistent about this, estimating the percentage of women who worry about these things at a minimum of 90%, possibly closer to 95%. It’s not like this is entirely new information to me; I remember once in high school I made a jesting comment about a good friend’s appearance, which I later learned wounded her deeply. At the time I made a mental note: never joke about ____’s appearance because she does not seem to realize that she is both incredibly beautiful physically, and also possessing so many other outstanding qualities as to make her appearance completely irrelevant. I still regret that comment almost 20 years later (and I am grateful she forgave my terrible thoughtlessness), but I also regret that I did not realize sooner that that mental note had more widespread application. I suppose I concluded then that she was just unusually sensitive; perhaps that insecurity was one of her unique crosses to bear in life. Then I went to college and lived in a dorm with 100 wonderful young women and it turned out that a lot of them seemed to be “sensitive” about this. So I added to that mental note: keep in mind, young women are sensitive about their appearances.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I went to a Relief Society meeting in which the average age of attendees was probably 65 and someone made the comment that it was “hard to look at herself in the mirror and like what she saw.” I looked around to see how others were taking the news, stunned to see so many nodding heads. So apparently, older women struggle with this, too. And then in a feminist book group I once attended, the topic of insecurity came up and it turned out that these self-proclaimed feminist warriors are also sensitive about their appearances.

And so Neal goes on insisting, It’s kind of a universal issue for women. There’s this pervasive societal neurosis that you are inexplicably unaffected by(Sometimes, if I’m in a good mood, he adds, Also, I wouldn’t complain if you “fancied” yourself up every once in a while. Or threw out a few of your 35 XXL t-shirts.) And now that I think about it, I’ve gotta admit that my last several years on Facebook have confirmed Neal’s assertions that these are ubiquitous issues. Lately, not a day goes by without a friend or two posting about body image or fat-shaming or women’s negative self-talk.

I am trying to get all this through my head. Sympathy is a great thing, but I have always wanted empathy: to be able to understand and share the emotional states of others. If I can’t really feel where others are at, how can I hope to help bear their burdens? Having a daughter three years ago also raised the stakes. How will I know how to empower her if I don’t understand what so many women struggle with? I can’t just accept that an emotional state that appears to be so widespread is simply beyond me, so I look for common ground. I remember there was this one time when I looked critically at my appearance. It was about a week after I weaned Addison and as I got out of the shower I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Hmmm; I think I look different than I used to. My breasts look flatter, saggier. Yeah, saggy, that’s the word. I’m not sure I like that . . . For a moment, I could sympathize with the woman I met that month who looked at her post-baby body and imagined a surgery that would give her back the body she once had.

But when I left the mirror, the moment was over. It was as though I had momentarily stepped into a cloud of anxiety, disliked the feeling, and simply stepped out of it again. I never think about it now, except to use as a protest whenever Neal tells me how fundamentally unable to understand the female experience I am.

“But don’t you remember that time I looked in the mirror after I was done breastfeeding and . . . “

“I know, I know. You were critical of your body for about 4 seconds. You totally get it.”

I concede I’m still far from “getting it.” In fact, I am beginning to see what an uphill battle it may be to internalize what other people see when they look in the mirror. When I look in the mirror, I see a friend. Sometimes I notice her “flappy” arms, but they seem like just one more endearing feature, all the more valuable for the few minutes of entertainment they can bring to a child’s life. When I look at my friends, there’s no voice in my head assessing weight fluctuations — which, by the way, is actually inconvenient when your friend has lost 30 pounds, and your husband has to prompt you to compliment her on it — or chin hair. I’m not sure I know how to look at a friend with an eye critical of her appearance. Why should I see myself any differently?

The irony in all of this is that as I’ve read myriad articles, blog posts, and advice columns about how to teach our daughters to love their bodies, I find myself subtly more susceptible to that cultural fog that I was inexplicably unaffected by for thirty years. When I look in the mirror, I still see someone who is beautiful in every way that matters and even in some ways that don’t (like how she looks in form-fitting t-shirts and thigh-hugging yoga pants). But I’m more keenly aware of how “society” might condemn the features that seem so lovable to me. In that way, I am sometimes a little sorry I undertook this exploration in the first place — it feels like unnecessary aggravation to worry about how someone else would deconstruct my appearance. At the same time, I am learning a valuable lesson: if society is going to pressure Addison to see only her body’s flaws, then maybe the best thing I can do is to put words to the atmosphere of simply confidence I’ve been floating through all these years. Without the willingness of other women to share their experiences, I would never have known that we aren’t breathing the same air. So now I know better than to just think these words; now I will say them out loud:

Dang, I look good.

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26 Comments »

  1. Wow- Linds, this is such an amazing post! I have so much I want to say now, or else it won’t happen, but the foremost is to just be YOU, and forget the empathy. That is the best thing you can do with Addison. I’m still learning on the safe words to use around my girls (I had a good slap in the face when my skinny Emma at just 7 years, after listening to me talk with Will about my work-out and diet plan. Pushed her breakfast away and said, “I don’t think I should finish this food. I don’t want too many calories.”).

    I think I have a relatively healthy balance now, but I think your is even more healthy. Why can’t I just enjoy the fact that I can run 7+ miles, and so many other things, and not care that my thighs are still flabby, I have virtually no chest, etc. Why when I was trying on swimsuits the other day, I mentally told myself I wouldn’t wear the darn thing for at least another month- “just to give myself more time to work on all my problem areas”.

    Love you and your grounded security. Something that needs to be shared more often!

    Comment by Ishkhanoohie — May 20, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    • Forget the empathy. I always love your advice 😉

      What you said kind of brings up the epiphany that I had while editing with Neal. I was mentioning in my previous post that he kept wanting it to be one or the other: either X — I am apathetic about my appearance or Y — I love my appearance no matter what. And the epiphany was that all he had ever felt communicated to him over the last 8 years by my words and actions was X — apathy. That’s the paradox right there: I am apathetic and I don’t think appearance matters, but I also love my looks. I do have a voice in my head that affirms how good I look, but I never really speak it out loud or not a lot because that’s vain, right? It was only in writing this and going back and forth with Neal that I realized I probably need to say it out loud more often, so that Addison knows that I feel more than apathy. Do you think that’s right?

      Comment by llcall — May 20, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

      • I don’t know there’s a fine line. I think the important thing- or at least what I really try to do with my kids is not just talk about what good I see in them or me, but in everyone, this is definitely including physical appearances. And then on the flip side, if they are focusing too much on the physical I ask questions about the personality. We are still struggling, especially with Emma who seems to have inherited the Clayton negativity, that drives me bonkers, but I hope the seeing good and believing everyone does look good in their own way will prevail.

        And did I mention that I’m running about 7 miles everyday? 😉 Dang, I’m good!! AND I wore the swimsuit yesterday- all props to you Linds!

        Comment by Ishkhanoohie — May 22, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

      • Aren’t there just so many things to remember in parenting?! I just finished reading “NurtureShock,” which I’m pretty sure you told me to read a long time ago, and that book is chock-full of things to remember and habits to instill. But it sounds to me like you’re on a parenting track — I hope I can deal with it half as well.

        Comment by llcall — May 23, 2013 @ 4:48 am

    • P.S. 7 miles is too many miles! Yuck 🙂

      Comment by llcall — May 20, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

  2. One of Peter’s most fervent wishes for K is that she grow up without insecurities. I feel it’s an impossible task because I suspect part of the problem is an innate personality trait that many women have. However, that “trait” (whatever it is–insecurity, comparison making?) can be mitigated by, like you said, a mother’s own confidence, a focus on non-physical attributes (look how good you are at problem solving!), and teaching a healthy approach to food. I’m sure there are other ways that I can’t think of off the top of my head.

    What is interesting is when you wrote about the problems with *not* noticing other people’s flaws (and apparent improvements). I actually feel like I’m the same way. I am critical of myself but never ever notice when someone loses or gains weight unless it’s a completely obvious change. I have a friend who notices EVERYTHING and one day complimented me on my skin. It actually was incredibly clear that day due to some medication I had been taking and I was blown away by her observational skills! I resolved to be more vigilant about things like that so that I could make my friends feel better, but alas, it is not something that comes naturally. The best I can do is make vague comments like, “You look great! Something is different….tell me your secret!”

    I guess my point is that I guess I have to teach my children to be the opposite of me: not critical of themselves and astute observationalists of others. I’ll let you know in 30 years how it goes.

    Comment by kei02003 — May 20, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    • You hit on a ton of things I was pondering as I wrote this — and don’t have answers to, which is probably why I have thought of like 5 spin-off posts to this one. Like, what is a healthy approach to food? Is it just not mentioning it in the context of counting calories (like Ishkhanoohie mentioned above), etc. Addison is naturally drawn to sweets and I want to curb her semi-obsession; is that only bad in a way that frames it as a weight issue? (Which so far, doesn’t seem to be a problem since last week she told me, “I need to eat more food so my belly will be plump. That’s a different way to say fat.” My mom taught her to use that term.)

      Also, should I compliment my friends on their appearance? Or does that support the idea that appearance is really important, a message too many people are already sending them? I’m also fascinated by the idea that others could view themselves critically but not others. I had another funny moment along the lines of my obliviousness to others’ appearances — I’ve been walking with a woman in my neighborhood off and on for about 8 months. I think one time about a month ago the thought crossed my mind that she was looking a little thicker, but I didn’t really go anywhere with that. Lo and behold last week, her toddler points to her tummy and says “Baby.” She is FREAKING 6 MONTHS PREGNANT — how did I miss that?

      Comment by llcall — May 20, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

      • I’m not sure if complimenting people has the opposite effect because all it ever makes me feel is good 🙂

        I was reading an approach to feeding children (dang it, I can’t remember what it’s called now), but something that struck me was not restricting sweets during snack time. The idea was that you don’t induce feelings of scarcity and therefore kids aren’t as likely to binge. I’m not sure if it actually works though!

        Also one more thought. I loved my body when I was pregnant, even though I was the fattest I have ever been and I had stretch marks etc etc. I think part of it was that my approach to food was less about fattening calories and more about nourishing the miracle inside me. It was liberating! Chocolate cake every day! Ultimately though, yes, an unhealthy way of living 🙂

        Comment by kei02003 — May 21, 2013 @ 1:59 am

      • I have read about that scarcity thing when it comes to sweets. I always thought I would not be a strict parent when it came to treats, but 2 things happened so that Neal and I have ended up very strict: 1) her digestive issues and 2) the fact that she gets fed sweets so often by other people that it is hard to want to give her any myself. I was actually trying to find a recent article I read written by a doctor and parent that summed up my thoughts perfectly. He was talking about how every single activity that his kids do is followed by a “and a treat, of course” — and that the “of course” is the biggest problem. Every activity we go to, even most stores, the post office, etc. she is offered candy and treats — and it seems like it actually gets worse as kids get older and do more activities (just at church, for example, many of the teenagers get a treat in Sunday School and YM/YW). I guess I am just someone who has always naturally limited my treat intake so that when I did indulge, it was that much more tasty and rewarding, so I am shocked at how much sugar is going around at every single activity we attend.

        Comment by llcall — May 21, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

      • I don’t know why I can’t reply to your reply to my comment, but that’s so true! They *do* get treats from all over the place! Kennedy doesn’t but I’m positive it’s just because she’s still a baby. I remember being in church and getting MIFFED if we had a substitute and they didn’t bring us snacks. I am having a semi formal meeting with a neighbor this weekend and wondered if I should provide treats. 🙂

        Comment by kei02003 — May 22, 2013 @ 2:50 am

      • I think after a certain point WordPress stops nesting comments, so that’s why you can’t reply to that specific post. But I guarantee with your little extrovert making eyes at people, she’ll be getting the candy soon enough. I actually once walked Addison back into the dry cleaners to give back a lollipop because she was being disobedient (like really disobedient, not just mild). I was holding her sideways while she screamed and flailed. Oh. my. goodness. The ladies in the shop looked at me like I was the cruelest parent they’d ever met!

        Comment by llcall — May 23, 2013 @ 4:53 am

  3. Wow. You are rare, my friend. Exceedingly rare. You will never cease to amaze me. I can’t even imagine NOT noticing how I or others look. Yes, I can compliment others in specific detail, and yes I have empathy, but there’s a lot of baggage that comes with it. I can think of only 2 specific times in my life where I looked in the mirror and immediately and overwhelmingly felt complete confidence in my looks without it being entangled with vanity/competitive thoughts; that is not to say it hasn’t happened more than that, but I don’t have specific or strong memories of the experience other than those two times. And both of those experiences were when I was completely under the influence of romantic love (when my college freshman boyfriend and I told each other I love you and after I got sealed to Ryan (who was not my college freshman bf, btw). (And I’m sure there are many other times I could have had the experience if there had been a reflective surface around (like after Ry and I said “I love you.”). And yes, I mean reflective surface because I can’t even walk by store windows without checking myself out and making assessments of one kind or another. Of course, I did grow up with a mom with huge issues with her image—physically and facially (which is sad because my mom is quite the athlete for a woman her age and is extremely beautiful, but you try telling her that) and in a family where everything, especially anything with the potential for artistic merit, is picked to the bone. And then the bone gets chomped on until the marrow gets licked out. No joke, I’m a pain to watch tv with or ride in the car with because I’m constantly picking apart commercials and billboards. So yes, like most other American women (and I would guess Neal’s 95% estimate is about right) I have serious negative tendencies related assessing body image. Let’s talk about this in more detail in a few weeks, shall we? 🙂

    Comment by Victoria — May 20, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    • Maybe I am always under the influence of romantic love — with myself? (No, that doesn’t sound right.) But definitely more discussion will ensue!

      Comment by llcall — May 21, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

  4. This was pretty interesting. I think I’ve always been self-conscious. I mean, when most of your life, you’re told you look anorexic, it might make anyone paranoid. And then, I had Beth. And then… boy, it was so hard. Going from super skinny to post-pregnancy flab mixed in with lots of digestion problems and I was a wreck. Honestly I cried about how I looked for maybe six months every day. Matt and I talked a lot about it (meaning, I cried and he tried to reassure me that he loved me despite the weird post-baby body), and it was just a really weird change for me. It was pretty awful. I compared myself to other new moms (you being one of them (is that weird to admit?)) and felt like my body didn’t measure up. Maybe being engaged to someone for a year (not Matt, obviously) who had pornography problems and told me things like if I gained any more weight (I was just over 100 pounds at that point), I would be too big and he wouldn’t love me (whew, so glad I got away from that!). And I’m noticing that I’m using way too many ()… 🙂 Anyway, you are very rare. I’ve tried talking to Beth about it, and she says that she’s beautiful, that I’m beautiful, that Daddy’s handsome, that Russell’s handsome… everyone is beautiful or handsome to her. She really means it too. I love hearing her say it. Isn’t it odd that we pick ourselves apart and give friends so much grace? In everything? Well, I should work on this a little more, thanks for a thought-provoking read.

    Comment by Sabrina — May 21, 2013 @ 12:56 am

    • I didn’t realize you had had such a hard time adjusting to that postpartum aspect, but of course, it makes sense since you have all this extra skin/flab everywhere. (That it usually goes away eventually is in itself a really strange miracle.) Thank you for sharing that!

      I loved what you said at the end about friends giving us so much grace — I wrote something along those lines on another friend’s blog post recently (http://amomentaglow.com/?p=138). As I was kind of struggling with whether/how to continue this blog and feeling a little more self-protective than usual, I finally started to realize that my friends are protective for me, so I don’t need to worry so much about protecting myself. Thanks for being one of those friends.

      Comment by llcall — May 21, 2013 @ 3:11 pm

  5. Tonight at yoga I practiced saying “Dang, I look good” when I looked in the mirror. 🙂

    Comment by Victoria — May 21, 2013 @ 1:18 am

    • Good! I’m happy to share that mantra!

      Comment by llcall — May 21, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

  6. I’ve had a very new experience for me. Just last week I started getting up in the morning and running a few miles purely for the emotional health benefits of exercise. I’ve never exercised before without the intent of looking better. I’ve also really been struggling with body image lately (but that is not new to me, I’ve struggled with it since 13). But my struggles have not been enough to get me motivated to exercise, the opposite actually, I haven’t wanted to exercise. But I have been feeling very stressed out and realized I need a healthy emotional outlet so I started running. Not only do I feel totally transformed emotionally, I have seen myself so differently. I wouldn’t say I have no insecurities but when I look in the mirror I don’t just see a list of things I don’t like. I see me, if that makes sense, not just my body, Exercising without the intent of looking better has made me feel better about my appearance. I wish this were not such a complex issue bringing daughters and friends into it. I think we can each just do the best we can to raise each other up and to work to love ourselves and not let this be yet another place where we are overly critical with ourselves. I so appreciate your perspective!

    Comment by Lindsey — May 21, 2013 @ 1:52 am

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Linds — though I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the emotional benefits of running (see here for refresher on my deep hatred of running :)) But I really liked what you said about just seeing you — Neal has always thought I was sort of (or totally) apathetic about my appearance, but I think what it is is that I embrace all of me, I don’t separate out my appearance for much specific attention. So glad you are experiencing this renaissance in your self-image!

      Comment by llcall — May 21, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

  7. Kind of random, but I have to say, good use of the word renaissance in your last comment, Lindsay. I am so going to copy you on that. 🙂

    Comment by Victoria — May 22, 2013 @ 2:13 am

    • Between this one and your very last comment, you’re really trying to capture the crown! Ha!

      Comment by llcall — May 23, 2013 @ 4:54 am

  8. Today this post came across my mind and I wondered if you would have the same feelings about your body if your body didn’t happen to be so closely fitting in size and shape to the cultural ideal for women’s bodies. (Has there ever been a time when you were significantly overweight? From the pictures I’ve seen, I’m guessing not) I think a lot of women’s negative thoughts are related to receiving specific criticisms about their body’s shape or size; it may be difficult for women who have never been overweight or who have bodies closely mirroring the hourglass ideal (like yours) to ever understand how a woman with thick ankles, a “pear” figure, or who has ever worn anything over a size 8 feels; if you have never had these issues, you’ve probably not received as much of the criticism/critique of others that feeds negative self-perception. When we talk, make sure I tell you about my paternal grandmother and a little about my mom’s experience.

    Comment by Victoria — May 23, 2013 @ 1:53 am

    • I wonder a little about that too. I had such a negative stigma put on my body (imagine some poor, scraggly, sensitive, shy little thing and that was me) that I wanted to get away from it. I was happy to gain some weight, but when my body went from thin to thin-with-a-blubberous-tummy, I was mortified. At least my proportions were in sync before. I wonder if it’s like always being chosen last for sports, or invited not to sing in choir… some sort of rejection makes you more sensitive to those situations. Hmmm… it’s late, so I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but this post and comments keep making me think…

      Comment by Sabrina — May 23, 2013 @ 2:01 am

      • I’m excited that I’ve kept you both thinking, Victoria and Sabrina — I am loving this dialogue! Mission accomplished for this post. You bring up a very significant aspect that Neal and I spent quite a bit of time addressing; in fact, one of his primary issues with the first draft of this was that it made it sound too much like I was some sort of supermodel, and he thought it should be more clear that I’m not (which also led to a lot of backpedaling when his statements came out perhaps a bit more negative about my appearance than he intended.) I think there is definitely something to what you guys are positing. I have never been overweight, and I have had what seems to be a pretty lucky metabolism — with all my health problems I have obviously spent significant chunks of time very immobile and even then I didn’t gain much weight (though I also didn’t eat very much during some of those periods). So there is no doubt that I have been advantaged in that way.

        That said, I did spend about six months being insulted pretty mercilessly when I was the “new kid” at my elementary school. The insults mostly revolved around my appearance: you’re ugly; you wear boy clothes and shoes (true, because I got hand-me-downs from my brother); you have a fat, freckled face; also, you have no friends and nobody likes you. In fact, the very first thing that a classmate ever said in my presence was, “Wait till Sarah sees her.” My mom says I came home crying most days during the rest of that school year, and I remember feeling perplexed, why do they all hate the way I look so much? I literally made not a single friend that year — and only one girl was even the least bit nice to me, which oddly enough, ties in a little bit with this story because it was Anne (who gave me these exercise classes) who became my best friend the next year when we a bunch of us went to a new school and the old school hierarchy was dismantled (mostly). Besides that period, the thing that I got teased about pretty regularly over the years was my white skin — as in, “Put that thing away, you’re blinding me!” if I wore a swimsuit, shorts, or anything that wasn’t a turtleneck and pants. I was pretty sassy (sometimes rude) back to people who talked to me that way, but it definitely made some impression since I didn’t really wear shorts for years and years (though that’s also mingled with the fact that I sunburn so easily that full coverage always seemed easier than sunscreen). I think having super white skin is easier to deal with in our culture than weight issues, so I don’t think it is completely analogous. But I do think that almost no one escapes being teased about something while growing up.

        Comment by llcall — May 23, 2013 @ 5:48 am

    • P.S. You have actually told me some about that on my last trip back east, but it was before I had been contemplating these things quite so much so I wouldn’t mind a refresher.

      Comment by llcall — May 23, 2013 @ 5:50 am

  9. Oh, and it’s probably kind of cheating to leave another comment just to point this out, but I have to say, this post topic has been very good for my commenting stats. I am so going to stay a top commenter this year! 🙂

    Comment by Victoria — May 23, 2013 @ 1:54 am


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