Infinite (Im)Possibilities

by Bec Hawkings

I’m never going to be a size six, with jutting hipbones and thighs that don’t touch. I’m never going to have matchstick limbs, or narrow hips, or a bum that is proportionate to the rest of my body. I’m never going to have rock-hard abs. I’m never going to be taller than 5’4.

My hair is never going to be anything other than a thick lion’s mane of shaggy bed-hair and tangled, frizzy waves. My eyesight is never going to be 20/20. My teeth are never going to be perfectly straight. My skin is never going to be unblemished by freckles and scars and tattoos.

I could spend days, weeks, months listing off everything that isn’t perfect about my body. Can, and have. It’s remarkably easy to do – just look in the mirror and name everything that differs from this month’s Cosmo covergirl. Be prepared to devote some hours to this pointless, depressing exercise. (Unless, of course, you are actually this month’s Cosmo covergirl, in which case you can instead spend the time listing all of the ways the editors have Photoshopped your body into something rather unrealistic.)

I can’t do that anymore. For one thing, hating yourself takes a remarkable amount of time and energy; time and energy that could be spent on arguably more useful endeavours. Hating yourself saps your creativity and your happiness, until you are just a hungry, bitter shell. So to hell with all that nonsense. I don’t care what size I am, or how many calories I eat in any given day, or whether I’ve lost or gained weight since the last time I obsessively stepped onto the scales. (No more scales, period. Deciding how happy I’m allowed to be based on a number clashes with my distaste for all things mathematical.)

I may never be a skinny size six, or have lovely small thighs / hips / bum. Instead, I have a body that is fantastic at yoga, that can walk for miles and miles without tiring, that can rollerblade quite well, and that can even run if in the right mood. I have a body that is vegan, and mostly healthy, and that isn’t deprived of the occasional bit of chocolate or ice cream. I like my sometimes-unmanageable hair, and my thick glasses, and my freckles and scars and tattoos.

One day, I may even like my definitely-not-small thighs / hips / bum.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.

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