There are many aspects of my appearance that I struggle with, but my size and shape was one of the hardest for me to accept.
Though I don’t consider myself to be unhealthy or overweight, I also don’t consider myself an athletic person. Even when I was exercising on a competitive dance team for two hours a day, five days a week, I never did it for the exercise… I did it because I loved to dance and perform. Throughout the years I found myself shying away from highly athletic people, especially runners, because I never felt the competitive high that others seem to feel.
It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that someone called me “teeny” that I even considered that perspective. Though I’m an average height and weight, I always felt so overwhelmingly “big”. It was during my first year of college that I basically stopped wearing pants and I spent a large portion of that year, and every year since, wearing dresses or skirts. Dresses helped me realize what I had been missing… my small waist. Now you’re probably thinking “duh Morgan, didn’t you ever notice that in the mirror?” But to be completely honest, I hadn’t. I had been so focused on the “big parts” that I couldn’t see that there were “small parts” to me too.
When I moved to Seattle, I found myself surrounded by people who were very athletic and very healthy. They played competitive team sports or religiously haunted the gym… and for the first time in my life, I felt zero inclination to join in. I like lounging around on my days off. I prefer calm yoga to high intensity… anything. But I walk. Everywhere. And I refuse to weigh myself. Because no matter what number pops on up on that screen, it won’t be the number that I remember from when I was dancing two hours a day. My body has changed, and it’s become more womanly. Maybe it’s not the body type that’s in vogue, or that every girls wants (or every guy, but that’s another discussion altogether) but it’s all about how you perceive beauty.
The other day I was talking to someone about the actress Rachel McAdams and I mentioned that she was a movie we had both seen. I said something like, “Oh she was just in Midnight in Paris and she looked so…” The other person interjected, “fat?” at the same time as I said “SEXY.” To me, McAdams had looked sensual and soft with a very Marilyn Monroe-like quality to her. To the other person, she looked chubby and unattractive. At that moment, I saw so clearly that beauty is entirely different in every person’s eyes.
The other day, when a stranger approached me on the street, I wasn’t at all embarrassed when he said, “look at that waist!” and then proceeded to grab it, in order to emphasize his point. Oddly enough, this happens pretty frequently. The stranger continued by telling me his actually impressive work as a photographer and asked if I would be interested in pursuing a career in pin-up, burlesque-inspired work. Of course I said no (I’ve had friends who have done this, but I would die of embarrassment!) but when he asked my measurements, I only half rolled my eyes because at the back of my mind I was a bit curious too.
When I got home, I tucked away my pride and broke out the tape measure. I figured that because I’d never measured myself before, I couldn’t be upset with whatever set of numbers. Because unlike my weight, I had no previous numbers to compare it to. And here’s what I found:
But I didn’t stop there. Because I couldn’t compare with my own measurements, I did the unhealthy thing and looked online to see if I could find any famous people to match up to. The first person I came across, the woman most famous for her body was Marilyn Monroe who came to a 37” 23” 36”, which is almost a complete hourglass shape with a corset. Then Lynda Carter (also known as Wonder Woman) came out to a 39” 25” 35” corset size, which are my measurements, reversed. But what I found truly ironic is that after I searched a little longer, I came across another famous woman known for her body… whose “comic book proportions” are identical to mine (though to be fair, I’m at least an inch taller). Can you guess who? Kim Kardashian.
In the end, I’m not going to be the most physically fit person. You won’t see me at the gym. There are going to be some people think I’m “chubby” or “fat”. But for the first time in my life, I’m happy with my body. I have boobs, a small waist and a butt. It’s the body that at one point in time, most women wanted. And most men desired. And it’s almost the body of Wonder Woman. I couldn’t ask for more.