Will I stop disappearing if I get Botox, or whiten my teeth, or thicken my thinning hair with extensions?

Will I stop disappearing if I highlight under my eyes or draw in my eyebrows? What if I strap on tights, a push-up bra and high heels?

Will I stop disappearing if I appear fuckable? If I ignore my breasts that prefer to hang loose, or my feet that beg to spread like wings rather than squeeze into a point?

What if I let my belly out of the closet – and tuck my shirt into my jeans with a trucker style belt and walk with my gut hanging out like a man?

I’ve succumb to the pressure from my youth, my mother, society – but ultimately I am the master of my own destiny – or so that is what one of the Human’s of New Yorker’s proclaims to me as I lose myself in the shiny light of social media.

My beloved New York – that dares to be raw and honest.

My beloved New York – that feels as though it’s tumbling away from my grasp like tumbleweeds in a ghost town.

My beloved New York – that I run after in my imagination – trying in desperation to grab back at all those old feelings.

But I must stop the chasing and start accepting that nothing is what it is, or was, or what it should be, or what I even imagine.

It is what I make of it. The boldness to love my bigness, to walk with it with pride – back straight, breasts flying, belly out, and my mind free of all that shit that clouds it all day long – not allowing me to think about what I really want to think about – and delve into my being in a way that extends beyond my physical self.

I hate waiting in the waiting area anywhere – the pick-up line at my daughter’s school or at her dance classes – because ultimately that waiting area of women turns into a conversation about weight – about food and diet and exercising. And I fucking hate hearing it every fucking time. I wonder what other conversations are hiding beneath our obsession over packaging.

What would happen if we unwrapped the bow and paper and sliced open the box? What would fall out? What desire? What function? What pleasure? And what would happen if women who adore push up bras and pointy shoes merged with those who didn’t – and talked together about things on the mind rather than stand apart in judgment about things on the body.

I long to be naked. I long to reappear.

 

Photo Credit: robertDouglass Flickr via Compfight cc



Alice Barstow

Alice has had a handful of careers and pursuits over the years with writing being a constant friend throughout all journeys, and the place that feels the most at home. Aside from articles and columns published on local news outlets, her work also appears in the anthology "This One Has No Name"- a collection of works by a small group of writers she happily meets and writes with monthly. Alice resides in a hilly New England town mothering two fascinating daughters, an overly excitable dog, and a moody cat, alongside her thankfully very patient husband.

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