I turn 30 on Sunday, which means my license expires Sunday. I finally made it to the DMV yesterday for a renewal.
First, the man checked my eyes. No contacts here, still a-OK. Then, he took my photo. Had I thought about it that morning, I wouldn’t have had my hair in a French braid, but whatever, who cares what you look like on a 1-inch square piece of plastic.
I paid for my new license, which the cashier said would be mailed to me in 10 days. In the meantime, she gave me a temporary license, printed out on a piece of computer paper.
I paid it absolutely no attention until this morning. This morning, I looked at it.
And holy shit, my head is a perfect circle. Perfect. Damn. Circle.
Now, I come from a family of circle-heads. My mom, a beautiful women, has a large face. My dad, who resembles George Clooney to me in his eyes, has a large face. They both contributed to the giant, proud nose on my face. My brother, an absolute stud, could be mistaken for a bowling ball. He’s put on a shocking amount of weight over the last year or two because of some new meds affecting his appetite and his metabolism (but they keep the autism tantrums down, so we deal with it), and his always full face has ballooned a touch. Now, he’s built like a line-backer.
Me? I’ve always had a round head. I proudly display my chipmunk cheeks and think nothing of it. But I also have cheekbones under there. And while my face is full, I’ve never quite been to Joey-proportions.
In this photo, I resemble my brother to a shocking degree. My cheekbones are naught. I look a good 20 pounds heavier than I am.
At 155 and 5-foot-6, I’m by no means a skinny minnie, but I’ve always felt comfortable in my skin. Sure, I’d like my thighs to loose an inch or two and that pudge in my middle to go away, and I’ve perfected that way of standing in photos so my upper arm isn’t pressed against my side, doubling its size. But this is something all women do, right?
Ugh. I know it’s true, and that disgusts me. I’m healthy. I eat what I want, but I’m not a pig. I understand portion sizes, and I severely limit my Coca-cola intake (my biggest vice). I loathe exercise and know “endorphins” are a thing made up by the exercise industry in an effort to get us excited about sweating and one-handed push-ups when really, I’d rather be on the couch with Stephen King.
And damn society for ever making me question that. Damn society for allowing me to feel bad this morning because of a stupid photo of myself on a piece of computer paper.
I’m a confident woman. I look good in a dress. I can’t wear flats with a skirt because I’m slightly bowlegged (thanks, Dad). I have acne scars. I have awesome hair. My hands are huge and lovely. I have big feet I like to put in heels. “Baby Got Back” was written for me. My rack is tiny. I am not fat, I just have fat. Everyone should.
I have a completely realistic view of my body. I see the good. I accept the bad. This is Jaclyn. Take it or leave it.
But if this stupid photo, one that I swear has to be squished, can make me feel like crap, I’m clearly a little delusional.