I have been mad at my body lately. Maybe most of my life. I was too tall as a girl in the 60’s-so I slouched. My mom would instruct me to, “Stand up straight” then she’d exclaim, “You’re soooo tall.” Relatives would ask her what she fed me.


My mom was 5’2. I was 5’10” in middle school. After 20 years of marriage at age 42 I put on a pair of high heels. My husband said, “Oh, now I know why you don’t wear heels, you are really tall.” I didn’t put another pair on until we separated several years later.


I was also called “fatty Patti” by my brother and neighborhood kids. My mom countered with, “NO YOU ARE NOT!”, then refused my request for a piece of her freshly baked chocolate cake she. (My friends now call me Patricia, it doesn’t rhythm with fatty.)


As a result of this history, when I married at 23, 5’10” and 125 pounds, I thought I was fat. I wore a one piece bathing suit on my honeymoon. I wish I were that fat now! I will never see 23 and 125 pounds again in my lifetime! I missed it. I missed me.


Today I find I am up to the same old stuff. Unhappy with my body. At 53 I see my mothers thighs, the beginnings of my grandmothers giggle arms, and a roll of fat around my middle that is exasperating.


People who know me would probably be surprised to hear this. The feedback I get is that I look great. Much younger that 53. The good news about being tall is that height does disperse weight well. So my 150 pounds doesn’t look so bad, except deep down I know I am not really Patricia, but fatty Patty.


I am amazed that one day I can believe I look good, thin, the next day I think I look huge. What changed? Not my body, there hasn’t been enough time. The lens through which I see myself has changed. I donned my fatty Patty glasses and she stepped before me in the mirror.


I know am not alone in my body loathing. It is viral.


What part of yourself do you loath? Criticize without mercy? What is the story behind the lens through which you see yourself?


BUT or should I say BUTT… How do we change our stories?




Patricia Boswell

2 comments on “BUTT

  1. It hurt me to read this. In ways I felt the same way, especially before my journey through Am I Pretty Now. I criticized, I thought of how I could never be determined enough to loose the weight to become a victoria secret model ( a secret part time job I want lol), of how my mother was a year older than I was and 125 pounds, of how Im 22 and 155 pounds, I hated my nose because I felt it was too big, I hated bits and pieces of myself. But what did they ever do to me? Nothing. It was what people commented about and what my look-in-the-magnifying-mirror-tunnel-vision saw. But each of those bits and pieces makes me who I am, each came with a struggle to love but eventually, they forgave me for hating them and loved me back. I love my nose; I can hang a spoon off of it like nobody can. I love my curves; I can fill out dresses that my friends complain that they cant.
    I love that I can look in the mirror and see parts of my mom, that people can pick her out of a crowded audience and say, “That is definitely your mom, you look just like her.” I love that. Because my mom is beautiful. As i grow up I see more and more of her in me and I take major pride in that thought. No matter what I will always have her with me. I wish she knew how much I aspire to be her and be as happy, beautiful, and so loved that she is at 53. You know those moments when you do something and immediately say “Oh my god, Im turning into my mother!”? those are little moments in my life that I take a moment and smile because that is not a horrible thing for me at all. 🙂
    Every part of life is a struggle, why should what you look like have to be one? We as women need to find other defining properties of ourselves that WE can define ourselves by other than our looks. I am in many ways my mother and my very own person. I am confident and strong and happy; and that makes me beautiful.
    Like my last lines in the play: “I love my stomach, my arms. Every part of me is beautiful! Even my toes, my crooked smile, and the scar on my shoulder. I am woman and I love MYSELF. I AM PRETTY NOW.”

  2. I think it’s sad too but it is an unhappy reality of life that we lose our bodies before we are ready. Patricia, I have a few years on you and empathize but I say do yoga! I am taking private classes at Yoga Hive with Kimberly Musial and I am feeling better than I have in a long time! I think that as we age we need to be cognizant of new ways to renew ourselves. That is as important spiritually as it is physically.

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