I am gradually letting my magazine subscriptions lapse. Whichever ones don't make me feel happy about myself and empowered are not going to be renewed. The first obvious casualties are Fitness and Self, whose models get skinnier each month to the point where they don't look like they'd have the energy to exercise. Luckily I never subscribed to People or Us or any of those other celebrity magazines, because as I read the "articles" in which they discuss Ashlee or Jessica's figure flaws, I feel my own self-respect gradually slipping away.
One that is still in the running to stay is Oprah's magazine, O, but even that magazine has its bad moments. Whenever they do a "fashions for all sizes" layout, the copy tells us that the "plus-sized" women are size 12, or sometimes 14. Rarely a 16 or above. And this month, there was a layout on how to dress that had mostly good advice, but this comment threw me: "If your knees aren't perfect, don't show them." Um, OK. Actually, I have always had great anxiety about my knees. Maybe I should take this advice. They're scarred from being a normal kid who liked to play outside and who fell down a lot. There is this part of them that I don't like at all, this chubby part on the inside, next to the kneecap. So I guess I'm a candidate for not perfect knees.
In fact, I have a lot of not-perfect parts. Why stop at the knees? The only parts of me that I would nominate for perfection are my ears (they're very cute), and the last two fingers on my left hand. I love my hair, or at least I do most days. The rest of my body has scratches and dents and parts that aren't as firm and beautiful as I'd like them to be.
But instead of ordering a specially-made burqa that covers everything but my ears and part of my left hand -- with a removable top for good hair days -- I think I'll celebrate the National Organization for Women's Love Your Body Day with a big old raspberry to the fashion editors and advertisers who want to turn my shame into their profits.
I am wearing a skirt and just-below-the-knee boots today, showing my not-perfect knees to anyone who would like to look. The rest of them can close their eyes unless there is a Keira Knightley look-alike around to watch. Or they can order their own custom-made burqa, one that covers their eyes and their mouths.