darling don’t you go and cut your hair

4: in the city we forgot to name

i am human and i need to be loved

Y’all, I don’t normally get all personal up in this space, but can we talk about body image and curvy asses and chubby thighs and bad hair days for a minute?

I have spent a lot of time in the last year thinking about body image, primarily because I spent so much time taking photos of myself in 2011, which meant I spent a lot of time looking at myself in 2011. I also lost a bunch of weight in 2012, and have put an amount of it back on since, but regardless of that. So last year, I took a lot of self-portraits. Not 365 a lot, but a lot all the same, and for the most part, I hated the way I looked every time I took one. I was fat (I carry my weight in my belly, and people are super rude about asking if I’m pregnant; I just cheerfully say, “Nope, just fat, thanks for asking!”), my hair was awful, my skin is not baby’s-butt-smooth and unblemished, I’m 32 and still get zits.

45: there's no survivors

Even after I started dropping weight, I still didn’t like the way I looked. Even after I started gaining muscles and feeling healthier, I didn’t like the way I looked. Last summer I painted the 506 bathroom red in order to avoid coping with the fact that I didn’t like the way I looked, like the purple walls were the problem there. (The purple walls were totally the problem, you guys. It’s true!) And then somehow, some way, over the course of 2011, I kind of started to like myself. “Hey!” I’d sometimes think, after taking a photo, “I’m kind of pretty!” Or, “Hey, these jeans make my ass look bangin’!”

Not often, but sometimes.

10: i've got a lot of things i want to sell

A few weeks ago at work, I was wearing a cute sweater and good pants, and I caught a glimpse of my self in the full length bathroom mirror and genuinely thought, Self, you look awesome today! You look skinny and curvy and hot! Your hair is great! The next day, I was wearing those very same ass-bangin’ jeans frmo above and my favorite pink sweater and I hated the way I looked. Nothing had changed. I’m still not “skinny” and I never will be. Why is “skinny” the metric we measure ourselves by? I was, in fact, having a mess of a hair day. I do need a hair cut, it’s true. But I still looked cute, and curvy, and hot. Because I am, you know? I’m not everybody’s type. Some dudes would rather date someone who’s genuinely petite and not hauling around ten extra pounds like I am; some dudes would rather date someone heavier, or curvier, or boobier, than me; some dudes would rather date dudes, and some ladies would rather date ladies who are not me. (That works out, since I don’t date ladies, YOU GUYS GET MY POINT.) Some dudes would like to date me. That’s all cool.

But I thought to myself, nothing changed from Tuesday to Wednesday. How can you be smokin’ hot on Tuesday, self, and ugly as sin and fat and awful on Wednesday? It doesn’t work like that. My body isn’t perfect. I’m a little chubby, and my thighs are kind of jiggly, and I have scars from bad skin on one cheek. Sometimes my hair is, in fact, a mess. But I have gorgeous eyes and a bangin’ ass and nice boobs and I am, generally, put together well. I should like myself. I mean, hell: I took 133 self-portraits in 2011. After all that, I should know my flaws by now — and maybe be able to accept them.

73: so we could cry

Life is goddamn hard anyway, so why do we add to it by being even fucking harder on ourselves? I’m awesome. I’m a great photographer and I’m well-read and I can make Indian food from a package like a champ and sometimes I can even hold my liquor. I have a great ass and a great smile and sometimes my hair is pink, which is a fact not a subjective judgment, but it’s still true. Some day, some dude is going to get to see me naked and be really excited about it.

I’m not perfect, sure. I’ve been on a lot of bad first dates this year, and I’m lonely, but it doesn’t have anything to do with that extra ten pounds, or a bad hair day. If dudes don’t think I’m awesome and gorgeous, that’s their perogative. I don’t think they’re all that attractive, either. My ass has nothing to do with my dating failures, so I’m going to stop blaming my dating failures on it, or on my pudgy stomach. I dyed my hair pink again, because it makes me happy.

Let’s be nicer to ourselves, okay? You’re all super hot. And you deserve to be loved.

92: and watch the camera lens

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