Yesterday, as she kissed me hello, my grandmother told me that I looked "pleasantly plump."
When I looked at her in horror and told her that I was going to pretend I hadn't heard her, she swore that it was a good thing and meant that I "have sex appeal."
Which is exactly what every 26-year-old woman wants to hear from her grandmother.
As I drove home later and throughout the rest of the day, I attempted to blow her comment off--trying with all my might to believe that she really thought she was paying me a compliment, but the truth is I'm still a little unearthed. It isn't so much my grandmother's poor choice of wording (though I have a feeling it wouldn't have bothered me quite so much if she'd said I looked "curvy and beautiful"), but rather the fact that her words ever-so-gently piqued my insecurity. Because though I profess to believe that it's what's on the inside that counts, I can't deny that there are days I wish I were a little bit thinner. And also taller. Oh, and it would be nice if I had really long, wavy Blake Lively hair too.
But the truth is, I have a body that is designed to be neither tall nor thin. I'm curvy and short-limbed (or, as my darling brother once described me, "like a little teapot--short and stout."). To top it off (pun intended) my hair is extremely straight and never seems to grow very far past my shoulders. And yet, most of the time, this is all OK with me. In fact, most days, I actually think I'm pretty cute. Still, most days no one calls me plump--"pleasant" though it may be.
But seriously, I know I can't let this get to me. As long as tall and thin remains our culture's beauty ideal, I fully recognize that I will continue to run into people who point out to me exactly how I fail to fit the mold--and letting myself go to pieces over it will only be self-defeating.
Besides, how many people can say that their grandmother has told them they have sex appeal? It is, as my cousin Christine, who is also one of my closest friends and who witnessed this interaction said,"at the very least, a pretty cool thing to put under the "About Me" section on Facebook."