Sunday, January 31, 2010

Age 28

I am 28 years old, and I have had three children in the last five years - and nursed each for a year. No one really tells another what effect this has on your body. I am not quite sure if my stomach will ever go without having a big flap of skin hanging loose, like an extra appendage that just suddenly grew overnight. I will never regret having my sons, but what bothers me are celebrities having babies then walking down the runway three weeks later in lingerie. Can any woman possibly live up to that? And talk about getting people's expectations too high to ever be attainable. At this point in my life, I am just completely unhappy with my body, but feel so powerless to do anything about it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Age 22

I have the same insecurities as another author about being "too skinny," but that's not my greatest insecurity. Perhaps if I was less focused on the hair on my body, my flat and skinny body would be my top priority. I'm not sure why or how it came about, but around the beginning of college my body hair became thicker and more widespread. Now I have a happy trail and thick nipple hair. It actually pains me to even write about it. My mom tells me that she'll help me pay to have laser hair removal, my friends have no idea and my boyfriend says he doesn't care. But I do. I care that my mom isn't comfortable enough with her own body image to pass something positive on to me. I care that in other cultures body hair removal is not a "necessary" part of social survival. I care that I know beauty is relative and in the eye of the beholder, but yet I do not feel beautiful. To this day I keep it despite the fact that I am uncomfortable. When I am feeling really insecure or tempted to remove it, I ask myself "If I were in a place where no one cared, would I still do it?" No. Besides, like I told my mom, once I remove it then I'll just find the next insecurity to focus on. At some point I have to stop. So hair I am, and I'll stay until my hate turns to acceptance and my acceptance to love.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Age 32

Two years ago I took a ballet class for fun - it was a great way to get exercise, and I've always loved to dance. But I hated having to look at myself in the studio's full-length mirrors. Wearing tight leggings and a leotard top, I was disgusted that my body didn't resemble the svelte, delicate form that I'd long come to associate with beauty. My stomach stuck out. My thighs were thick.

I remember that at around age thirty I noticed that I had belly fat for the first time. Nothing major - I just realized that my stomach wasn't that perfect (usually airbrushed) washboard that gleams on the covers of magazines. I was embarrassed to sit on my own couch in a pair of jeans, looking down at this extra piece of skin that I had been told in no uncertain terms was hideous and unhealthy.

I never realized how hard it was to fight the messages sent by magazines, movies, television and the beauty industry until I started doing it. As lefty-liberated-feminist as I considered myself, I couldn't shake the idea that my completely normal, healthy-sized body was ugly. It's a battle that I fight every day, every time I find myself harshly judging that image in the mirror.

I have one trick that seems to work for me. Right before I get in the shower, I look at myself naked in the mirror. I don't pose, I just stand there. I feel the texture of my skin, the soft fullness of those parts of me that society says are supposed to be smooth and hard. I look at my eyes, my hair, my moles - all of it real, unairbrushed, unmodified. In that moment, at least, I am able to feel beautiful. Not because of some arbitrary set of guidelines, but because my body is my own, and loving it in the face of so many voices that tell me not to is the ultimate act of joyful rebellion.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Age 21

I am 5'0" and 90lbs.

Sometimes I feel beautiful. Especially when someone compliments me. Or when I'm with my boyfriend.

And sometimes the world I live in makes me feel hideous. Especially the media. Splashed all over magazines, websites and TV shows, I'm told time and time again that "curvy women are real women." I see so much resentment towards skinnier girls. Comments like, "I hate anorexic girls." Or, "She's totally flat and doesn't have a butt. That's so gross." Or, "Stick-thin toothpick girls are so overrated. Curvy is beautiful."

I can tell you that nothing is quite as hurtful as hearing people talk about "REAL women." Being told that I'm not a real woman, not a real and attractive female, makes me feel sick and awful.

I've been underweight my whole life. It's in my genes. I eat more enthusiastically and more frequently than all of my friends put together, but my skinny frame doesn't keep any of the fat. I'm healthy and eat healthy. But If I miss a meal, then I lose a few pounds. I have bony shoulders, and obvious collarbones. I have breasts so small that they don't fit into 32AA bras (but I wear them anyway). I have narrow hips. I have a thick waist. A small and flat bottom. The only fat I have gathers around my stomach, which inflates once I've eaten a lot. It looks disgusting to me, since I have no breasts or butt, so my stomach becomes the largest protrusion on my body. Like little toddlers with fat stomachs. I'm short for my age. In all respects, I have the body of a teenage boy. I try to tell myself that I have the body of a woman, but everything around me tells me otherwise. The media makes me feel ashamed and ugly.

Sometimes I wonder about breast implants. I have dreams where my waist shrinks and my hips balloon outwards. Where I get a perky bottom. I have nightmares about anorexia. I know I'm so far from it, and it would never happen. But it's my greatest fear. I'm terrified of missing a meal. Sometimes I stare at myself in the mirror and grow so frustrated that later, I avoid the mirror for days.

Sometimes I try to gain weight. I force myself to eat constantly, for days on end, until I feel sick. I gain maybe a few pounds by the end of the week. I rejoice and go back to my normal eating schedule. I lose the weight in a day. I go back to square one.

Nobody has my problem. Every one of my friends worries one way or another about gaining weight. They talk about diets, about shedding the pounds. When I have insecurities about my weight, they ignore me. Tell me I have no real problems. They get jealous, too. And that saddens me so much.

I wish the world would learn to chant, "Every Body Is Beautiful." No matter how tall, or short, or fat, or skinny, or big-breasted, or tiny-breasted you are. Every Body.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Size Ate

Margaux Laskey's autobiographical, award-winning show Size Ate: One Woman's Search For the Perfect Fit returns to the NYC stage at the Wild Project for a limited engagement, January 14-16, 2010. This one-woman show chronicles Laskey's harrowing, yet humorous struggles with body and food issues, and her journey towards self-acceptance at any size.

Size Ate explores the universal themes of obsession, addiction, redemption and recovery through humor, drama, song and imagery.

For more information, please visit

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Age 28

I see beauty. A body that celebrates it's own uniqueness. A skinny top with pointy breasts and round dimply bottom. An infectious smile. Tiny hands that heal.