Marilyn Monroe Was a Size 12, They Tell Me

I've pretty much given up ever being pretty. I have been waiting for this to happen since I was about four and it seemed it was an inevitable threshold of womanhood. I think there was a two-week period in the late 90's when I was kind of cute, but that's about it.

This knowledge came about largely as a result of putting on a dress I bought as a freshman in college and discovering that it's now a good two sizes too small around my rear and lower abdomen. I don't know why I haven't reached this conclusion before; five generations of German inbreeding have created an insipid paleness the camera hates. And I'm not even comparing myself to the skirts on TV; I'm talking about the women I work with, my cousins, and the ladies I whine with on the weekend. They are gorgeous. I either most decidedly am not, or I need to start hanging around uglier people.

I've been working my thighs nonstop since approximately 1997 with no discernable results. A few days ago I caught sight of myself in a dance studio mirror (don't ask) and I flinched and never so much as looked the same direction again.

I am in my twenties. How do you recover from losing the bloom of youth when you never had it to begin with?

September 22, 2003

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