Saturday, 29 March 2014

Curvy: How one man's lust made me see myself as fat

Curvy. Voluptuous. Hourglass. Buxom. Luscious. Curvaceous.

They were all words a recent boyfriend used to describe me. He lusted after curves and it was all he ever cared about when we were together or apart. It was almost an obsession and one he proclaimed was my most alluring characteristic.

For all the people who have called me a narcissist, I have never really thought of myself as being physically beautiful. For me, beauty is about your soul. It is your kindness and compassion. It is having a mind like a steal trap and always improving it. It is an ability to express your thoughts and convey real emotions. It is about authenticity and sincerity in actions and words.

Yes, it can be dressed up with a fit body, nice clothes or makeup but without a solid baseline, none of that makes you beautiful. People see through the socially acceptable beauty that is but skin deep. That makes that kind of attraction fleeting. Although I appreciate an attractive person, I do not crave them if they have no more than that.

This man I was seeing is quite amazing with words. He can convey in a paragraph more than most men I've known could say in a novel, with one of the great Russians writing on their behalf. He could paint a picture with words, that hastened your beating heart or restarted a stalled one.

The problem was that instead of focussing on any of the things I care about improving in myself, he pointed only at those curves. He would write to me each night about them and lay with me for hours, always concerned with them. Those bits and bumps that most women work hard to hide or exercise and diet away.

Now, some men act as though them accepting you aren't a supermodel is them doing you a favour. This was in that vein but a little more insincere. With him, it was as if nothing else about me existed and if I were any other women with any other brain or talent or soul that it would not matter.

After a while, I started to become very self-conscious of my curvy parts. Words like voluptuous and buxom made me think of tavern wenches in old stories where drunken men with little to no inhibitions would hit on anything in a skirt.

Before him, I always thought I was ok with a need to exercise more and lay off the cheese but now I feel more aware and a little alarmed at my curvy physical nature. What before was a part of who I am but not that important, makes me feel bulgy and awkward.

He has gone now, on to curvier pastures but his legacy lingers. It will take me some time to work my way back to being confident with who I am and in knowing that I am not the sum of my fatty bits. As I move away from that continuous maths view of curves back to my discrete maths underlying building blocks of the world view, I will ignore those men who focus on that aspect of me.

Even if I was a supermodel or whatever some guy's exact physical type is, I'd still rather be loved or lusted after for the other parts of me that I think are quite special and wonderful. Not the aspect but the attitude. Not the shapely shapefulness but the happy happiness beneath my smile. Not the fat or skinny parts but the thinking and speaking parts.

We must all find that beauty inside us and not let anyone break that with their obsession. If we don't then we are held to the standards of others and will only disappoint.

This is why I will always ask: Will you still love me when I'm no longer young and beautiful?

No comments: