The Dance

“I’m a queen, Mama,” my daughter declares, looking up at me as I help her into her favorite sparkly twirling dress. Her eyes glow with the same determined assurance that comes through in her voice when she stands transfixed by a ninja warrior performance and declares with calm certainty, “I could do that.” As we…

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Do You Like Me?

The door gently shut behind your back as you made your way into the bathroom. Placing your toes on the back of the opposite tennis shoe, you slipped each heel off and shoved them under the counter. They are dirty and torn, but they take you where you need to go. You patted each pocket…

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For the Love of My Body

I am moving through the class movements when I hear our instructor Anna say to the yoga class, “Relax your shoulders and pull your tongue back from the roof of your mouth.” It takes a few seconds to register what she is saying, and then I notice my tongue is, in fact, stuck to the…

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Doorway to a Forgotten Land

My breath came in short, labored bursts, reflecting the intensity of the circuit workout my friend and I were making our way through. I told her I’d begun “hiking” on the treadmill set at a steep incline, practicing for the mountain hikes on the itinerary for an upcoming trip as couples to celebrate our friends’…

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Blessing Her

Black spandex leggings—“Spanx”—hug her tightly. The wide waistband at the top stretches across her abdomen, smoothing and holding her core. On top she wears a long-sleeved black top, silhouetting her curves nicely. The rust and burgundy crushed velvet flowers covering her duster make a bold statement as she walks. 

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The Woman in White

“This is the dress​.” I breathed the words barely above a whisper, just loud enough for my mom and best friend to hear. As I stood in front of the bridal mirror mesmerized by my reflection, I heard my mom break the awe of the moment with a quick clarifying question: “But we can get…

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Body Meets Soul

She stares back at me in the mirror.  The dark hollowed eyes, the rounded face, the heavy thighs, the slumped over posture.   I know the contours of her well.  I despise her most of the time.  She doesn’t look like I think she ought to, and she knows it.  I tell her all the…

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On the subject of love, legs, and femininity.

Hairy kneecaps. The first time my body became “my body”—a thing separate from me—was at 6thgrade lunch period when Valerie Warner informed me Pete Harris would never date me because I had hairy kneecaps. She’d asked him about me, and his answer, given in the presence of the other 7thgrade boys, had been, according to…

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A Way Through

“97, 98, 99, 100.” I pull my exhausted, 8-year-old body out of the pool, and collapse onto the warm concrete patio. Through the haze of chlorine fumes and low blood sugar, pride at my accomplishment revives me. Later I speak to my father, who is on a business trip, “I swam 100 laps”, I declare.…

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War and Peace In My Body

I stared at the number on the scale, then stepped off quickly so it would disappear before my husband made his way into the room. How could I have let it get this bad?  I began to run the numbers in my head, each one a new accusation. I was scarily close to my self-defined…

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