Size matters. Or does it?
I watched an Oprah episode the other day with two 30 year old virgins. Yes, they do exist! And one of them was still untouched because of her body image. She was overweight. Not huge, but, in her words, she couldn’t imagine letting a man see her jiggly parts. I really felt bad for her. Not that I couldn’t relate!
After years of being in a marriage which started out with me weighing less than a hundred pounds(oh, were those the days!), I’m now a widow. I’ve had three years to get up the courage to try the dating waters again. Not yet, I keep saying. Because, trust me, that hundred pounds was left in the rear view mirror a long time ago. My hubby and I grew older and wider together. He never judged my jiggly parts and I didn’t care about his less than firm six pack(okay, maybe it was more like a ten or twelve). Oh, it was gradual, over time and we loved each other so it wasn’t that big a deal, not the externals.
Now I write about a woman, vampire Glory St. Clair, who is bigger than the norm, who wishes she could be smaller but is stuck. In the book I’m working on now, she has a chance to change, to get to a size six. Does she? Well, you’ll have to wait for that. But the real issue is self-esteem. Glory has come to terms with the fact that she likes herself, her men like her no matter her size. And she can make herself look good with what she’s got. She doesn’t force her body into clothes that are too tight. She never goes out without full makeup and her hair is clean and cut into a flattering style. She doesn’t slouch or hide out in a muu muu and house shoes. Have you done that? I’ve had those days. But they are not good for us. And they can be the beginning of a downward spiral.
On Oprah, the woman with the body issues had to try to appreciate the fact that there are men out there who like a woman with some size. A dating service put her picture, a real one, full body, on their site. She had four nice looking, successful men who wanted to date her. Two out of four came back for a second date. And this was after she was nervous and out of practice on that first one! You see where I’m going with this? It’s not the outside that’s so important, it’s what’s inside that counts.
That’s always been Glory’s message in the Real Vampire books. She has been working to find her independence, her self-esteem and confidence. For her, the real problem isn’t her body size, it’s the size of her ego. Her ability to stand on her own two feet and tell the men in her life to back off and let her do her own thing. It’s been tough. Because she loves a strong man. Maybe two strong men, maybe three. Hmm. This is fantasy I’m writing. But there’s an element of reality in there too. That women need to quit beating themselves up and limiting themselves with negative self-talk. Quit staring into a mirror and seeing only the ugly and never seeing the beautiful. Glory doesn’t even have a reflection except the one in her lover’s eyes. But I’d take that. Now I just need to work up some courage. But that’s me. Glory’s got it.