I have to admit that I was having a tough time trying to think about how I would write this one. There is still some way to go with accepting my body in all it’s flawed glory so I was hesitant to write about it. But the more I mulled over this, the more I knew that it was necessary for me to be transparent about my insecurities.
You’re going to have a chuckle at this but I really love my shoulders 😀
They are broad, strong and have kept me walking with my chin up during the most trying times. That term ‘world upon your shoulders’ ? It rings very true for me.
So..I get my dad’s tanned skin and shoulders. It is hilarious how I have contrasting body parts thanks to mom and dad.
Due to my years of learning classical Indian dancing as well as other forms of dance, keeping my shoulders straight and strong comes naturally. But I like to think of my shoulders as swimmers shoulders. I am a swimming enthusiast, and my shoulders propel me through the water with ease.
Most Asian women have smaller shoulders so it is hard to find a blouse that will not have an unseemly gap between a button. I swear it sometimes feels like I am The Incredible Hulk when trying tops or dresses! But when I do find the right fit for me, my shoulders look rather nice.
My arms are like that of my mom’s – ample, fleshy. I detested them for a really long time! But I was always brought crashing down to my senses when I strained it and realised how important they were.
My arms have been gawked at or glanced at by strangers and people I know. I am very sharp when it comes to making observations. I go sleeveless or strapless a fair bit because I really cannot tolerate Singapore’s heat and humidity. I am not of those ladies who will compromise comfort over fashion, hell no. I perspire A Lot so I prefer the option of short sleeves or sleeveless.
I certainly do wish that my arms were less unsightly with their weird fleshy bits. If you think it is easy for me to pose for photographs with my bare arms, think again. If you think I am immune to the stares and glances,
But do you know what?
Underneath the ample flesh, these are some bloody strong arms. I move furniture or heavy objects around the house with no trouble at all. I throw my arms around my loved ones for a loving embrace and I am pretty affectionate so there is a lot of hugging, throwing an arm around a shoulder/waist when I am around. My arms allow me to carry my pet cats and dogs, to scoop them up and pepper their faces with kisses.
There also is a personal reason behind not wearing long sleeved or full sleeved outfits. I hid the lashings, cane marks and self-mutilation for years by covering up. I was embarrassed and ashamed. Well not anymore.
My hands, like my forearms and arms have seen a lot of strife. I also cannot do without using my hands to blow my ever-irritable nose, type like I am doing at this very moment, enjoy my meals, soothe my temples..they are a very very busy pair of hands! Oh gosh that sounds so odd :p
My culture definitely has a part to play here. Being Indian, I greet my elders by putting my hands together. I apply henna on them when the occasion or festival calls for it and adorn them with bangles. I eat with my hands when eating from a banana leaf.
The hubster, his mom and mine like to run their hands across mine because I have soft, unblemished hands that according to them have not seen a day of hard labour in this life. Come to think of it, they are quite right. I play the piano, read books, type out posts and emails…not the kind of stuff that will make my hands coarse. I can’t do that much house work because of my allergies, I don’t carry the heavy groceries and I don’t cook very much.
I use my hands to lift weights, that’s the roughest load it carries. I don’t apply nail polish on my fingernails because well, I suck at painting my nails.
I do have sensitive skin (or as I like to say, I have sensitive ‘everything’ – from my scalp to my soles) so I keep the hands moisturised with calendula because the skin on my fingertips tend to peel. My hands are a little chubby but they aren’t short, I think they’re quite cute actually 🙂
To sum this post up, I am very grateful for my shoulders, arms and hands. They are strong and graceful, they are in good working condition and I really can’t complain.
This was easier than I thought it would be. I don’t know what all that apprehension was about!
Til my next post,
xxxo Aarti Olivia