balance · beauty · community · femininity · progress · truth

Hi. My name is Molly, and…

My thighs don’t touch.
(The following will be the notes and musings of a
hopefully complete article I’d like to submit to some magazine or website or
another.)
There was some article flying around social media recently
about “real women” and their thighs touching. Somewhere along the way, the idea
of women’s thighs not touching became the measuring stick for skinny, and has
since become a meme for ire, derision, and rejection.
I want to fully and emphatically state that I believe in the
“real women” movement that seeks to show all body types as valuable, beautiful, and audaciously sexy. I love that
there
is a movement whose purpose
is to extol the virtues of all people and to help dismantle the idea that there
is only one ideal for beauty, fitness, and femininity.
However, there is a seething undercurrent to some of this new
“inclusiveness” that feels like burning those of us whose thighs don’t touch at the stake. That somehow in simply being and
looking how we are, those of us with
this kind of body shape are pulling down the wave of feminism. That if your
thighs don’t touch, you are a tool for the patriarchy, and what’s wrong with this country.
Like many women, I poke at my body, prod the sagginess that
is and is below my tush. Lament the flatness of what god gave me to sit upon. I
pinch my belly flesh when sitting, and feel a little chagrined that my boobs
are small, but not pert, and like so many others’, simply collapse flatly
when I lie down.
But, I read a quote from a cancer survivor when I was
fighting Leukemia that helped put some of this in perspective, and I have it
taped to the full-length mirror in my closet:
When I wake up and my jeans don’t
fit right: There are times when I still have those annoying body-image moments
we all have. You can’t skip through a field of flowers every day. You just
can’t. But I’ve come to realize that if you can stop the spinning in your brain
of My jeans are tight, I can’t believe I ate that—if you can change your clothes, put some mascara on, get out of the
house, and move on, life will be much more fun.

The truth is we women are just way
too hard on ourselves. We need to remember there’s total beauty in who we are,
and it’s not about what we look like. Cancer made me realize: You can cut off
all your hair, and people will still think you’re great; you can look your
worst after chemo, and people will still love you. So what the f–k have I been
worrying about all my life? We spend all this time looking in on our lives from
the outside, but we gotta get in it, and live it. Because it’s a day-by-day
gig.
And if this is true, if what this “real women” movement is
supposed to be saying is that we are more than what we look like on the
outside, and that the outside no matter
what is beautiful, too… then why are we burning women whose thighs don’t touch at the
stake?
There is a contradiction and hypocrisy in some of what that
movement is purporting: All women are beautiful, except those whose thighs don’t touch. They are part of the problem, and
all must be dismissed and eliminated.
I get that there is a
pendulum swing that must happen in order for us to come to the center of this
issue, to the place where there is equality and equanimity, and I am still proud
that this trend toward inclusiveness is happening in my lifetime. But as a
member of the generation of women who are supposed to be supported and elevated
and freed by this wave of feminism, I would like to be able to feel like I can
march along as a “real woman” too, atop thighs that simply don’t touch, without being accused
of treason. 

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