54. Cracked Rear View

54. Cracked Rear View

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

Cracked Rear View

Embrace your curves and who you are. I feel proud if young girls look up to me and say, “I’m curvy, and I’m proud of it now.”

~Kim Kardashian

It happened in the shower. There I was, soap in hand, minding my own business, when I thought, You know, having a curvy butt really isn’t a bad thing. This was a huge improvement for me. Normally, I’d look in the mirror and I’d think, Good lord, why does my butt have to look like a shelf?

For a white girl, I have a lot of booty. Whether that’s a blessing or a curse depends on your point of view. Viewed by my husband, it is a blessing. However, until my recent revelation, I viewed my posterior as a very large and inconvenient curse.

Until I was about twelve, I had a pretty normal girl’s body. I was fairly lean, long legged, the tallest in my sixth grade class. But once puberty hit — bam! Up jumped the booty. The older I got, the more it kept jumping.

Clothes that fit were harder to find. In the late 1970’s, wearing boys Levi’s jeans was all the rage. But boys Levi’s weren’t cut to accommodate a Rubenesque behind. Actually, no pants were. If they fit my bum, I had to tie up the waist like a burlap sack. Not a great look.

I learned to make do. That’s code for “I wore a lot of skirts.” My parents let me dress to the nines for school, even in junior high. If nothing else, I was fashionable. Still, I didn’t feel very attractive. I had one boyfriend in high school who liked me just the way I was. But I was too stupid and insecure to believe him, so he gave up on me. I can’t say that I blame him.

My rear view stayed pretty much the same through college and my twenties. At thirty, I was newly married and very much in love with a man who admired my shape. Fashion had changed, was more accommodating of my least favorite asset. But neither of these improved my attitude about my overly generous genetic jackpot.

A few years later, a series of family tragedies, combined with lengthy and expensive fertility treatments, gave my system a one-two punch. I was a stress eater and a worrier. My cortisol was through the roof and so was my caloric intake. I gained a lot of weight. Guess where most of it went?

I started wondering if my problem was not in my bum, but in my head.

As I ventured through two pregnancies, postpartum depression, and the hormonal imbalances that accompany aging (thank you so much, Mother Nature), the rumpus just kept growing.

Some days I felt like my bum deserved its own zip code. But, no one else seemed to notice. No one pointed as I walked down the street. I started wondering if my problem was not in my bum, but in my head.

A few years ago, I decided to make some changes. I took better charge of my physical and mental health. I dropped some weight and got my system back in balance. My rear view got a little smaller. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel better.

Then I noticed the world had changed again.

Stores sold expensive shapewear promising to make women’s bums look full and curvy. Female entertainers had ample posteriors that earned them lots of appreciation and big bucks. Women were paying plastic surgeons thousands of dollars for something called a Brazilian butt lift.

I looked in the mirror and thought: Wow, what am I complaining about? I have all this . . . for free!

Finally, I started believing my husband’s compliments (and the glimmer in his eye). I started thinking that just maybe I wasn’t the unlucky one, that maybe the real problem had been in my head all along, and not in my rear end. And, to paraphrase the great philosopher Pumba (the fat funny one in The Lion King), I started putting my attitude about my behind in my past.

And this morning, after all this time, I found acceptance in the shower. Who would’ve thunk it.

So what if I’ll never fit into boys Levi’s or model haute couture. I like who I am. At forty-eight, I can rock a fitted skirt and 4” heels like nobody’s business while juggling a successful career, setting a healthy example for my growing daughter, and inspiring lust in the man I love every day of every week.

There isn’t a skinny jean model in the world I would trade places with now.

~Cindi Carver-Futch

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