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Why I love being me

The other day I read an article on Yahoo's blog about a Ralph Lauren model and was absolutely disgusted at the ad (and not just because I thought the clothes were bad). Read it if you haven't already. (Uncanny Valley, anyone?)

A couple of nights ago after I finished reading in the tub, I felt weird. Not because I like to almost boil myself in the water, but because I saw myself in the mirror. Now I know you're saying to yourself, "Self, why would that make Chantile feel weird?" and most days I would agree with you. But I've gained around twenty pounds since I met Mr. Hercules last year, and lately it's like seeing myself for the first time. The weight gain isn't something I'm complaining about--it's honestly about the grandest thing that could happen to my body, if you've known me very long--in fact, it's a little exciting. Mr. Hercules described how I looked when he met me as "Zombie-scary-skinny."

(I've honestly never been called a zombie before. I may have laughed. A lot.)

And now he pokes my stomach and pinches my fluff, and smiles. "I love you with weight on you. You're curvy, and you look healthy now," he said. (Which is true--I am actually MUCH more healthy now, and I always dreamt that in an alternate universe, I am a lovely voluptuous Latin woman who doesn't fall down in high heels).

We've been looking at pictures of ourselves (remember the long babbling post about cleaning up the computer?), and it's been interesting to see the transformation of me gaining weight. (I actually took pictures of myself to help me keep track of my weight--mile-markers of sorts. I thought about posting some of them, but they're gross.) I feel so much more like me now (even though I still sort of have hips of death), and it's a great feeling! I want to go to my doctor who told me last year to quit trying so hard to gain weight, because this is who I am and how I would probably always be, and show him how happy I am now, how much better I feel, how much better I sleep, how much better I look! Take that, high school guidance counselor, and everyone in my old singles wards who thought I had an eating disorder!

I had a friend call me the other day almost in tears because of a comment someone made about her weight. She's a lot like me: tall, skinny, and eats like a linebacker. Somehow, she's managed to avoid comments about her weight from everyone but her family. Until the other day. Why, oh why, do we women feel the need to be hurtful? We are born with such a capacity to love and make things beautiful; can't we extend that to each other? The only thing I could give my friend was a quote I read a long time ago: "Where is it written that the skin on thin women is thicker?"

H's.O.D. notwithstanding, I'll take being me, thank you very much. I feel so sad and disappointed in anyone who feels the need to portray a woman's body in a disfigured way to sell something. Eat, woman! I'll buy you (and the retarded Photoshop guy) a taco cart!

It's not flattering--it's honestly disgusting. I don't know why anyone thought that it would be a good idea to change the model's body this way... I hereby declare that I will never shop Ralph Lauren ever again. Thanks, RL.

So instead of feeling the need to edit and change and falsify ourselves, I thought it would be nice to announce what we love about ourselves--our quirks, our freckles, our boney elbows, our double chins: it's all beautiful because it's us.

What I love about me:

 1  Few people can trip as gracefully in 3 inch heels as I can
 2  I am very empathic
 3  I have a freakishly accurate memory for numbers
 4  Watch out for my fast right hook! ;)
 5  Hips of death!
 6  I look great in green (no, that was not a clever way of saying that I have a low carbon footprint)
 7  I have a wide, toothy grin
 8  I can beat anyone at Oblivion!!! (yes, that was an official challenge)
 9  I have an insatiable hunger for books
10 Have you tried my brownies? C'mon.

What do you love about yourself? :)

7 Responses so far.

  1. Ann says:

    wow, what a wonderful post :)

    Let's see...I love that my body has taught me to accept things...learning to accept my body as it is, and learning to then change what I do not like in healthy ways, has helped me to accept life as it is, and then to change life in healthy ways. :) And I love to make treats. And eat them all. I am grateful for being able to taste yummy treats. :)

    And that ad was disgusting. Did you see the colbert report on the 14th? I laughed pretty hard when he talked about it. Even though in jest, he made the point.

    I love you so much!!! I'm so proud of you!!

  2. Chantile says:

    No, I didn't see that! I will look it up! I love Colbert :)

    What I love about you: That you are such a good example to your girls (and me!). That you make killer peanut butter popcorn! That you inspire me to love my body more through yoga. That you let me tell you all my stories and jokes :) I love you! :)

  3. Thanks Chani.... I have had the opposite problem my entire existence... Being too fluffy, but now since I'm losing weight (not by choice but illness) people chose to tell me not too... Well it took me years to be comfortable with my body, and I am, fat or thin :)

    What I like about my body? Well, I love that I can see Dad in my eyes, smile, and face when I look in the mirror, I love him. I love that I am built like a woman, because I am one... I am not a little girl, or a lurpy teenage boy!

  4. Oh, and while you are buying people taco carts, I would also like one :)

    Just read the story... Gross... How does that look good?

  5. Chantile says:

    Jessie - I will definitely buy you a taco cart, too :) What I love about you is that you are very forthright and blunt. You just tell it like it is, and I like that :)

    I have also always envied your voluptuousnes :) And no matter Who says what, I think you look great! :) Reagan is one lucky daughter! :)

    Aww. I miss everyone now. sigh.

  6. What a lovely post! I love the list about what you love about yourself. I'm going to have my daughter read this post! Fantastic!

    PS Thank you again for being my present-in-the-mail fairy today. It was sort of a rotten day, and you turned it into something beautiful--and happy!

  7. Chantile says:

    I'm so glad I made your day better, Becky! :) What I think is so lovely about you, from all the lurking I've done on your blog, is your appreciation and gratitude for simplicity. I love the soft eyes that you have for the world, and that you see things in a way that few other people can, and then choose to share it with us. :) It's definitely a rare gift!! I also love, love, love your dog :)


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