Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I used to be hot...

Let me just open with this picture, recently shown to my 8- and 10-year-old nephews who didn't know who it was.

Yep, me. My first headshots after moving to Chicago. Twenty-two years old and ready to take on the world. Look at that hair! Those arms! Those bedroom eyes! A dozen years ago I was smokin' hot. The crazy part is, I neither realized nor appreciated it.

Like most women I know, I have always had issues with my body. Or various parts of it at different times. I've never had nice legs - fat knees, trunkish calves, my ankles are thick, my feet are wide. I have always coveted height (I'm 5'4" on a good day). My neck is lined and will never look like Audrey Hepburn's. I fight with my eyebrows and I don't have good lashes. My mouth is huge, my two front teeth overlap, and I have a crooked smile that shows a lot of gum. Reading this, you may be thinking "This list is ridiculous! Who gives a shit?" But, if you are a woman, I am pretty certain you have a ridiculous list of your own somewhere.

Fast-forward 4 years, and I have moved from the physically-forgiving midwest to Los Angeles. My old list is now compounded by serious weight issues. I am the chubby girl in the room at auditions. And my curly hair is a liability instead of an asset. Ugh, no wonder I wasn't booking any work. I mean, look at me!

I know, right? I was adorable. A head case, sure, but what a sassy package! Of course, I only saw the imperfections. I wouldn't go to the beach with friends if I had to wear a swimsuit. I sucked in my stomach (what stomach??) all the time. I tempered my big horsey smile and started to actively feel bad about my body.

Add a few more years, and Gabe and I are engaged. (Awesome! It only took him three and a half years to ask!) We took a bunch of Save the Date pictures on the beach in Santa Monica with our recently engaged best friends. This is my favorite one (I know, we're hilarious), but back then I cried when I reviewed the series as a whole. I couldn't believe how fat I'd gotten.

WTF?! Seriously, Danielle, you were an insane, skinny, idiot!

Without even touching on the reality that bodies are created for more than showing off clothes and looking good in pictures, I know I have a problem. The worst part is, even though I look back on the previous Danielles with envy and chastise myself for not appreciating them, a future me covets the body I have right now.

Wait. Lightbulb say what?

That's right, current me. Fifty-year-old Danielle would walk down the street buck naked if she could conjure up my 34-year-old body, post-partum rolls and all. And seventy-year-old Danielle fantasizes about taking that 50-year-old body out for a spin.

The moral of the story: Love the skin you're in right now. Trite but true.

So in honor of my many future selves, I hereby declare my current self to be "hot" once again. Maybe I'll practice looking at myself through Gabe's eyes (he loves my big gummy smile), or Jude's (every time I wear a skirt his voice gets hushed and he tells me I look like a princess).

To kick this transition off I am going to give my List o' Flaws a two-fisted middle finger salute and then buy myself a new pair of jeans. A body this great should be celebrated.


Claudia said...

I love every iteration of you. You are beautiful and amazing and I'm glad you realize that those two amazing boys are worth a postpartum roll. Enjoy the new pair of jeans and I hope to see the wonderful smile the next time I see you.

Kris Bryan! said...

You had me at "two-fisted middle finger salute".

Eryn said...

I love this post! I TOTALLY get it! I laughed so hard and nearly cried, too, as I was reading it. Thanks for the reminder! Really awesome.

TSC said...

aw, I love this! And I get it. I really, really get it. (This is Tiffany. Please don't read my old, out-dated, not-written-in-anymore blog. I have tried to effectively hide it but stupid Google still links to it and won't let me post anonymously. Boo.)

Fiero said...

Love this Danielle! I think I am going to try to think like my 50 year old self when I shop now. Also, never knew you were an actress! LA kind of ruined me too. I get it.

Derek & Chrissy said...

You are HOT!! Love the blog, love your cute boys! Keep celebrating your fabulous self : ) Chrissy

Amanda said...

I don't even remember how I got here. I think I was Googling cloth diapers. Anyway, I love, love, love this post. What a great reminder.

artfromthewood said...

Hmm.. thank you and oh yes that's me too, I totally understand.Would just like to say that actually you look the best, happiest and content with your babies and that's true beauty.

Post a Comment

Join the conversation - we love to hear from you! Please keep it civil and own your words as anonymous comments won't be posted.