Some of you may have seen this post circulating on Facebook. The irony of that is that you may have had to scroll past a GABILLION suggested posts about diet secrets for women over 40. Two things:
- Gabillion is both a number and a feeling of frustration
- I do realize that the suggested post from Facebook may just be Facebook’s sweet way of wishing me, a female, a happy 40th this year. Not everyone may be seeing these suggestions.
I am aware of the fact that my body at 40 does not look like my body at 19. Every so often I catch a glimpse of myself in a photo from that day and age and think, “Damn, I should have shown that off more.” Know what though, Facebook? I wouldn’t go back to that day and age for anything.
My body at 40 has a few curves in places it didn’t before. I sometimes sweetly refer to them as Phoenix and Trinity, in honor of my two daughters that I hold partially responsible for putting those curves there. But that Trinity is 11 now… and a bit of a smarty pants with her mother’s smartass sense of humor… and she recently revealed that there is something like a GABILLION calories in a single M&M. Maybe I need to nickname those curves Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter? Maybe I need to stop sending her to school and allowing her to read things like Time for Kids?
Bottom-line though – and listen closely Facebook – I wouldn’t trade me now for me then for anything. Are you kidding? Sure, the stomach might have been a little flatter, but I am way more comfortable in my skin now. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m smart… or to demonstrate it. I have opinions that I share openly even if they differ from others in the room. I enjoy listening to the differing opinions of others without feeling defensive because I’m afraid I might be wrong. I know I am worthwhile, even when I make mistakes. I don’t know everything. I dance without caring who is watching. I take chances. I have the courage to laugh at myself and take myself lightly.
And you know what else Facebook? I am healthy and strong and fit. And, I’m happy. And that looks good.
I’ve got these two little ladies who will soon be women. The world will bombard them with images and messages that make them question themselves and whether or not they are good enough. Facebook will probably fill their newsfeeds with suggested posts about how they need to change their bodies – removing this and enhancing that.
I will talk to my daughters. And in the words of Sarah Koppelkam, I will remind them that the best thing they can do with their bodies is use them to mobilize their beautiful souls. They can scream and they can sing and they can lift up the world, if they want.
HOW GOOD DO YOU LOOK?
Ifeoma U. Aduba