As I stumbled out of bed and made my daily trek into the bathroom to pee and brush my teeth, I walk by an obscenely large builder-grade mirror over the sinks. So every morning I get a good view of the state of my body through the lens of half-focused eyes and bad lighting. Today I must have walked in such a way — or the DST lack of sleep is catching up to my brain — but I saw in myself the figure I’d seen once in historical art.
So this morning I did an online search for that art. The rabbit hole of “women’s bodies in historical art” seemed like the lesser of evils, and I came across this BuzzFeed video chronicling the beauty standards over the past 3,000 years and several different cultures.
I wasn’t able to find the exact piece of art that I had in mind, but this Bored Panda article has a few similar, particularly Ancient Greece’s “full bodied” figures and the Italian Renaissance’s “rounded stomach and ample bosum.”
I’m slowly but surely coming to terms with beauty at my current size. It isn’t “giving up” so much as embracing myself. It isn’t glorifying obesity, it is leaning into the notion that we are all different colors and shapes. Just like I’m not going to drag a skinny woman for looking the way she does, I’m slowly getting in the habit of seeing my tummy fold over the top of my undies and be OK with it.