10. I Believe in Goddesses

10. I Believe in Goddesses

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

I Believe in Goddesses

A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself, and only herself.

~Maya Angelou

I remember at the tender age of five being sent home from kindergarten for pinching a girl. She was the cutest girl in the class so I decided to show my affection for her by pinching and slapping her chubby bottom. Growing up, my brothers and I often showed affection for each other by punching and slapping each other.

My father addressed this issue by telling me a story. He told me that little girls were special, not at all like little boys. When a little girl was born, he said, all the goddesses in the universe stopped by and touched her forehead. When this happened, a little bit of each goddess went into the girl, and that’s what made them so beautiful, kind and loving.

Along with those attributes, though, they also received the power of each goddess. So if you made them mad they could unleash all those goddesses on you. And if that happened, my father warned, you were by yourself and nobody could help you.

“Nobody survives the wrath of a goddess,” he warned.

He knew I was fascinated by Greek and Roman mythology and in awe of the power of the deities. I always had nightmares about being chased and hunted by Diana, goddess of the hunt, or meeting Persephone, queen of the underworld. So the next day, with a big box of chocolate in hand, I apologized profusely to the little girl I had pinched and asked her to please not unleash her goddesses on me. She was very confused, but we soon became fast friends. We became know as the duo, Tubby and Lulu. We were by far the chubbiest and cutest kids in the class and were the stars of every school dance.

Goddesses became a fascination for me, and since my father’s story I would look at the girls and women around me and try to spot the goddesses that dwelled in them. I would catch glimpses of Aphrodite, Venus and Juno on a regular basis and to me this totally made sense. How else would you explain stories of women who lifted cars off their kids or confronted men twice their size? This gift that my father bestowed on me enabled me to see women for who they truly were, and began a lifelong love affair with these amazing incredible creatures called women. I wanted to know and understand everything about them.

I started looking up pictures of Greek and Roman goddesses. They were curvy and soft, powerful and beautiful. I remember drawing them all the time and creating new outfits for them.

I started looking up pictures of Greek and Roman goddesses. They were curvy and soft, powerful and beautiful.

I soon knew that I wanted to be a designer and dress these goddesses.

I grew up in the 1960’s surrounded by images of Twiggy, and was confused why she was considered beautiful instead of the women who looked like Venus or Aphrodite. I didn’t understand why I did not see women in magazines who looked like the women in paintings. In fashion school, my sketches always looked different from the other students — my figures and lines were curvy and round.

When I worked as a designer at Anne Klein, I was part of a team that created the first “full figure” designer line and worked with celebrated women like Camryn Manheim, Rosie O’Donnell and Oprah Winfrey. This was a dream come true for me. Another even better dream come true was creating a groundbreaking fashion brand inspired by Queen Latifah for VF Corporation.

Women should know that their form represents the form of the goddesses that live within you; your form inspires painters, musicians and designers. When I run across little girls who say they want to be a princess I laugh and look at them and think, “If you only knew that being a princess is way beneath you. Princesses are mere mortals, but you are touched by the goddesses.”

So I ask that you find your inner goddesses, nurture them, and unleash them sometimes. Because everyone needs to see who you truly are. Believe in goddesses because they are real.

~Sunil Ramchandani

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