Thursday, August 03, 2006

the way to a girl's heart is through her belly

the Buddha, the impudent little belly, the pooch, the pouch, the love lump, the glorious gut.

now, in the past, i've obsessed over this little bump of flesh that disturbs the slope of my silhouette. i've done countless situps, taken tortuous Pilates classes, sworn off soda, refined sugar and flour products, and squeezed myself into those absolutely humilating Nancy Ganz Bodyshapers that do nothing but make you look and feel like a sausage...only far less appetizing. (for those of you who have yet to experience the joy...imagine, if you will, wearing a giant rubberband wrapped around your midsection.)

the other day i was chatting with my friend K who is similarly endowed, and the subject of our bellies came up (god knows how). we lamented a bit, then she stopped, her crystal blue eyes glittering with epiphany, she took a decidedly full sip of her martini and pronounced:

"ya know what though? my husband loves it, so i don't care."

i love that.

now, i'm a liberated woman. i am absolutely in favor of a woman coming into total acceptance and love of her body without looking for approval from the opposite sex. that's just as much an exercise in futility as trying to obtain the cultural ideal. why? same reason:


just as all of our bodies are miraculously and stupendously different, all men have different tastes and ideals when it comes to the female form. though men like to think they're so steadfast and true, don't let 'em fool you; they're just as fickle as we are. that ex-boyfriend of yours who said he's only into petite blondes with size B cup breasts...yes, well, don't be surprised when he shows up at your wedding with a towering Latina whose boobs are twice the size of his noggin. (of course, you're marrying a 6'5" black man who teaches kindergarten. you, whose ideal has always been a "corporate version of Robert Redford.")

so, yeah...we can't go looking for some guy to validate our innate beauty and worship the peaks and valleys of our landscape. that's our journey, and frankly, i want it to be. i want to stick that flag in the ground when i get to the summit. i'll admit though, there is something to be said for the little boost in self-confidence it can give you...The Boy who sees the lovable light in the heretofore unlovable bits...The Boy who sees your lifelong cursed freckles and christens them constellations. from your vantage point, you see nothing but cracks and fissures, but The Boy sees the genesis of a stream, and he's just taking you up into a helicopter to show you the miraculous view, a perspective you just can't get down here (you're so fucking busy planting flowers to cover up the faults, you won't even look up anyway).

so, in honor of The Boys that have helped us "appreciate the view," here's an absolutely ridiculous poem i wrote about a year ago after one such encounter. it's borderline bawdy (for me anyway), so pardon me if i blush, but it makes me giggle too much not to share. besides, he gave me a lovely little gift, and he deserves a little ode. thank you, boy, wherever you are.

The Belly

Someone kissed The Belly the other day
And it made my heart go hummmmmm
Made my gut go whirly dervish
Made my head go ummmm…?

“What are you doing?!” I wanted to shout.
“It’s fat, it’s round, it’s vile, it’s stout.
It’s bulbous, it’s bulging,
It’s not worth indulging,
Not ‘til it’s perfect and flat.”

“No, no,” he said. “Perfect,” he said.
“Perfect is what you are.
Your belly is a tender new autumnal moon
Crowned by two bright luminous stars.”


“Oh my god!” I thought.
“How can this be?!” I thought.
"I gotta get out of here now.
Clearly he’s lying, for there is no denying,
That I am nothing if not a fat cow."


“But no,” he said. “No, no,” he said.
Or didn’t so much say, as he did.
With his heart, and his hands, and his peckish sweet lips
All my “done up” got undid.


Now, what do I do with The Belly I knew
To be bulbous, and bulging, and vile?
The one that I’ve hated, abhorred, and berated,
Driven to nausea and bile?

‘Cause It no longer is
In the hands that are his
A bane, a bulge, or a lump
But a delicious dip, a landscape of plump
That makes someone’s ahem want to hump.

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