I was once told in a casting “You’re not the sexy, gorgeous one. You’re more the… matronly, plain one.” Talk about a sucker punch to the vagina, right? Here’s a blog about the elephant in my room – my arse size.
You know the phrase ‘Be The Leading Lady In Your Own Life’? Well, in my life, I’m Samwise Gamgee, Chewbacca, Mini-me, Wilson (yes, the ball in Castaway). Just find the roundest form, that’s me.
Seriously, am I the only one out there whose subconscious tells them what an unsightly blight on the landscape they are? A blob blotting out the sun? A walrus trying to climb a hill? My subconscious pops in when I’m least prepared for it. My brain is just chilling, having a brain cuppa, maybe a brain biscuit, thinking about a brain bath it might have later, when my subconscious rocks up like a drunk after too much vodka and starts throwing her weight around, slurring hateful bile my way.
“You’re a mess, look at the state of your house, your hair, your panda bear arse, MY GOD YOU HAVE BELLY OVERSPILL. Sort your life out you obese sperm whale”. By the time my subconscious vomits on its shoes and passes out in a gutter, I feel like an ogre on a crack comedown, stumbling around, blinded with self disgust. Anyone else? Anyone???
How much extra wobble we’re carrying around is a hot topic, hotter than baby poo, vomit stories, and how little sleep we’re getting and honestly, I’m not one bit surprised. My first memory of worrying about weight is age 6, playing ‘Nellie’ in the musical Annie Get Your Gun. I wouldn’t tell anyone my character name for fear they would make the damning connection to Nellie The Elephant and leap to acquaint this chunky mammal with my humongous 6 year old thighs.
Oh the shame! 30 years ladies. 30 years worrying and obsessing about my weight and what I’m eating or not eating. And where has it got me? To the same ‘I’d like to lose that extra stone please’ place I’ve been at for as long as I can remember! When will it end? I don’t want to be in my nursing home worrying about the calories in my arthritis tablets now do I?
So, how do I make my peace with this body? This wonderful body that grew life from nothing. This unworthy body that makes me pace in despair at the wardrobe door like a guilt walk before Slimming World.
This ingenious body that sailed through the baby-making without a single intervention from me, it just knew what to do! This chubby, flabby body that makes me despair and cry because it isn’t perfect. This womanly body, this cellulite-ridden, gorgeous, unsightly, awe-inspiring and distinctly average body.
Maybe if I could learn to have the same relationship with my body as I do avocados:
1. They have lots of fat in them but it’s good fat.
2. They’re pear shaped and it works.
3. They’re a bit knobbly on the outside but they’re pretty goddamn awesome on the inside so no one really gives a shit.
4. No one knows if it’s a fruit or a vegetable, I don’t know how this relates to me, but I’m sure we could all benefit with an air of mystery around us right?
I was once described in a casting as ‘Matronly’. Specifically, ‘you’re not the sexy, gorgeous one. You’re more the…matronly, plain one.’ Talk about a sucker punch to the vagina right? If you put Matronly in a thesaurus it comes up with the words ‘dignified’, ‘womanly’, ‘honourable’, ‘motherly’, ‘respected’, ‘stately’. What did I hear? Pig. I heard Pig. What woman wants to hear those words? We’re conditioned to value ‘sexy’, ‘beautiful’, ‘pretty’, ‘gorgeous’, not ‘dignified’ or ‘honourable’. WWWWWHHHHHHYYYYYYY?????
Will I ever find peace with this wonderful vessel that allows me to live a life I love? Well, maybe if I can just lose that extra stone…
About Riona O’ Connor
Riona, AKA The Unnatural Woman is an actor, singer, over-eater and blogger, usually found on a West End stage. Nowadays she spends much of her time despairing over how to entertain her young baby or plotting how to make Wine Time as compulsory as baby groups and cake.