If it were not for some things about my body other things might make people think that I was a boy in drag.
The first time I trotted into Confession I rattled into my pre-prepared speech. “Bless me Father for I have sinned. This is my FIRST confession and these are my sins..”
“Ah, you are a little American boy” the Irish priest crooned through the mesh.
“I AM NOT A BOY” I spurted with my usual little girl decorum.
“A little American girl then?” He is tentative, on guard.
I am not American although Z for me will never be ‘zed‘ but ‘zee‘.
It was always easy for me to phone boyfriends at school and university. Their mums did not suspect that I was anything other than an adolescent boy.
Deep voice. Little breasts. Big butt. High Heels. To this day I am kind of a chimera – a hybrid half female half something else entirely.
It is an odd little body but I have been living in it in for 46 years now so we are accustomed to each other now.
Here are my arms.
People stare at my arms. The deltoids are defined and when I demonstrate Pilates arm exercises the ligaments rustle underneath the skin like a werewolf mid-transmogrification.
These are warrior arms – arms with hair and muscles and sinews.
My ex-boss frequently suggested that I get the hair lasered. I equally countered that if my arm hair offended her and she was prepared to pay for laser hair removal I would happily commit to a course of depilation.
My arms are still hairy.
Here is my waist.
For some reason at an early age I became a bit obsessed with tiny waists. I had a collection of wide belts that I progressing tightened until, more often than not, the leather snapped or wore clean through. Fast forward 20 years and suddenly steel boned corsetry is back in vogue. Through the magic of a beautiful waist training device I can shave anywhere between 4 and 6 inches off my usual waist size.
The only thing that prevented me spending $500 plus on this Puimond corset from Baby Likes to Pony two years ago was that I can guarantee that until the children are teenagers I won’t get enough nights out to burlesque/fetish events to justify the expense.
Hang on… I can hear collective murmurs out there. You are a yoga enthusiast, a Pilates instructor, a modern woman, a mother. Why wear a corset?
Have you ever worn one? Have you ever tried breathing in one? Walking around in one? If you have not, do try. If you have you will appreciate that a good corset will keep your spine in alignment and will force you to breathe laterally and posterially. Pilates breathing is a posterior lateral breathing – when you inhale you breathe deep into the back and sides of your rib cage. When you exhale you engage deep abdominal and pelvic floor muscles and maintain this engagement throughout the sequence of exercise. To help my mat class members experience this concept I have brought one of my leather corsets along to strap people into.
Lastly but not leastly I would like to doff my cap to my big, beautiful backside. It snagged me my first serious boyfriend. When I say this I mean that I was serious about him but the converse was not true. His nickname at school was Bumface. Perhaps it was kismet that he would break my heart.
At university, I used to walk up the stairs two at time to the law school library. This, I reasoned, would justify a restorative pint later. Often I wondered why I could hear footsteps behind me but no one ever rushed past to overtake. One drunken evening one of my friends told me that her brother and his friends used to follow me up the stairs to stare at my arse. I suppose I should have been flattered but wondered why none of them ever asked me out. Perhaps like my arms, my arse is just a wee bit scary.
My husband does not have a problem with the booty. I hope that you do not have a problem with the booty. If you do I am sure that there are other blogs to read.
Here is my big butt:
And just in case I haven’t offended anyone quite enough yet…
If you can, do drop in to read and comment on some of the posts by other contributors, including this one written by my legal blogging pal Kathryn Hodges.