My first reaction is what beauty? I’ve definitely crossed over to the invisible side. I rather prefer it that way…

My whole life my weight has fluctuated quite a bit and my self-image with it. When I’ve been fat, I’ve been ugly — at least in my mind.

I noticed that the more weight I gained, the less teasing or ogling I’d get from boys and men. Being fat was safer, damn it. I liked being safe. I hid there.

But at different times I would go on diets and lose weight. That happened in my late twenties, when I went down to what I weighted in sixth grade after the summer diet my grandmother put me on.

Connecting the dots

I feel the connection between the colorful visuals and the magical vibrant world I’ve created in my writing. The pictures reflect who I am as a creative spirit.

This process has nudged me back from the ledge of self-loathing, especially where photos are concerned. Going forward in my life necessitates being seen in person, on paper, and perhaps even in some forms of media.

Yes, my beauty is about a lot more than gorgeous photos. But if it took seeing myself through Barbara’s eyes to get on board with my full, vibrant, impish, playful, radiant self, so be it.

Now that I am “out” so to speak, it’s up to me to feed myself with beautiful images and stories of women close to me in age who are enjoying their fine physical selves and letting others see them through their eyes, not vice versa.

Let’s unsubscribe from magazine culture and sign up for honoring ourselves in the full glory of just how good it feels to be alive in our skins, with our eyes, our hair, our unique ways of moving and being and shining.

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