Being in your late twenties is kind of great. At least, for me it is. I had a much harder time loving myself and my body in my early twenties, so it feels good to finally be in a place where I generally like not only the way I look but who I am.
Of course, that's not to say I don't still have plenty of f*cked up and negative thoughts about my body, as you'll see below. I mean, now, not only am I dealing with the societal pressures of being a woman, but I'm also starting to get visibly older, and that brings with it a whole new set of weird, self-conscious thoughts. But getting older also puts things in perspective; I'm starting to realize just how finite youth is — yet I'm still in the very comfortable position of having it mostly on my side. I try to revel in the sweet spot as much as possible these days; I fully intend to have me some dirty thirties.
So while my body is not your body, in my continued quest to represent my experience honestly and destigmatize the realities of being a young woman, here are 20 thoughts I've had about my body as a (nearly!) 29-year-old.
1. "Is It Anti-Feminist To Pluck My Grey Hairs?"
Now that I have more than a few springing up, I don't freak out every time I see one anymore. But I do feel a little feminist guilt when I decide to pluck them out, maybe about half the time.
2. "I Better Enjoy My Body While It's Still Hot"
This is obviously a problematic thought, since it buys into the idea that beauty expires with youth, but I have it nonetheless.
3. "I Hope My Chin Doesn't End Up Disappearing Into My Neck One Day"
Have you noticed how this happens to some older women? I've definitely looked at my profile in the mirror and worried that it's going to happen to me.
4. "Do I Look Like I Do In Pictures Or How I Look In The Mirror?"
I like how I look in mirrors, but I usually hate how I look in pictures. So which is it? Who's the real me??
5. "... And Why Do I Look So Terrible Walking By Store Windows?"
Seriously, how do I think I look so bad from that angle, but so good head-on?
6. "I Can't Believe I Didn't Know About That Chin Hair And Everyone Was Probably Staring At It!"
The humiliation is real.
7. "I Wonder If He'll Still Want To F*ck Me Like This When My Body Is Old"
When you start getting serious with someone, it's a totally normal thing to wonder.
8. "Should I Be Investing In Fancy Wrinkle Cream?"
When I went to a plastic surgeon for an article, he suggested I start getting Botox now to prevent wrinkling. While I didn't, I have to admit I was more tempted than I expected. Since then, I've sometimes used "anti-aging lotions" — but always feel gross about it, since I generally feel grateful and excited to be growing older. It's a tough call.
9. "Sh*t. My Boobs Are Already Lower!"
They're small, too! WTF. I thought delaying that inevitability was supposed to be when we get ours.
10. "... At Least I Finally Love Them, Though"
It's just this year that I feel like I've really accepted and begun to love my little boobs, now that I've stopped wearing bras that attempt to make them look bigger. It's a really nice feeling.
11. "Do People Judge Me For Being Thin?"
Other thin women are probably familiar with this paranoid thought. You worry that people think you have an eating disorder because you're thin, and that on top of that, they hate you for being a "skinny bitch."
12. "Maybe Life Is Too Short Not To Be As Good-Looking As Possible & I Should Get A Nose Job After All"
I've worked really hard to accept (and even sometimes love!) my strong Jewish nose, but sometimes, especially when I'm feeling low, I'll just think f*ck it — I should just get a nose job after all. Isn't life too short not to experience being as good-looking as possible? My self-esteem and pride wins out though. I wouldn't feel good about caving into that beauty standard at this point, though that doesn't stop me from still wondering about it sometimes.
13. Why Is That One Nipple Hair Always Darker?
I guess I'll just pluck that my entire life.
14. Will I Hate Looking In The Mirror When I'm Old?
I generally like looking at myself in the mirror now — sure, clearly I have some body image issues, but overall, I think I look pretty damn good! Sometimes, I wonder when or if this feeling will ever stop. I hope I can find a way to always love my body, but I'm realistic that it won't be easy once it doesn't match society's narrow beauty standards.
15. "Am I Starting To Get That Underarm Jiggly Thing?"
16. What Will It Be Like When I Can't Delude Myself Into Thinking My Partner Believes I'm The Sexiest Woman In The Room?
Right now, I can sometimes tell myself my partner thinks I'm the sexiest woman in the room, even if I know I'm not the prettiest. But when I'm 80, what will it feel like to not believe he thinks that anymore? Will I care? (By the way, he says he still will, but you know, he has to say that.)
17. When I Stop Getting Catcalled, Will A Part Of Me Miss It?
Catcalling sucks, but so does internalized misogyny. I'm so used to moving through the world as a sexual object that when it ceases to happen I've often wondered if it's going to throw my self-worth and identity into question to suddenly feel invisible. Just one of the many ways women get f*cked by our society.
18. I'm So Glad I Don't Hate My Body The Way I Did In My Early 20s
Seriously, I spent so much time in my early 20s hating on my beautiful self. I had a hard time adjusting to my changing adult body — and to adulthood, period. I channelled that into feeling bad about my nose, stomach, you name it. Luckily, I realized what was happening and that I didn't like it, so I also worked hard to confront my body image issues and work on self-acceptance. Sometimes I see how far I've come, and I revel in the fact that I'm reaping the benefits. Which brings me to...
19. He Should Feel Lucky To Be Hitting This Right Now. I'm In My Prime.
Yes, I have had this thought looking at myself in the mirror during sex. And yes, I'm proud to have gotten to the place where I have it. Of course, I feel even better that I feel lucky to be f*cking him too.
20. Isn't It Weird How If I'm Lucky, I'll Live To See This All Fall Apart And Shut Down One Day?
Good thing I'm starting to confront my mortality now.
Images: Rachel Krantz/Instagram