I started hating my body at nine when my belly was a white biscuit between two slick navy blue bikini parts. I hated my body when my Dad said we should jog together and started calling my sisters and I the Bertha Butt sisters. My breasts were too small to offset a ribcage that towered over hip bones when I lay deformed on the beach. Later, my pregnant belly swelled and then deflated into two doughy parts on either side of a vertical C-section scar. I gained fifty pounds and lost only the weight of a ten pound baby.
At fifty-nine, I almost love my body, I certainly don’t hate her any longer. My legs are strong and my knees can bounce on a trampoline. My arms, though melasma mapped, can squeeze my grandchildren. My dimpled thighs droop like my breasts, which point southeast and southwest these days. Preschool children love to squish my upper arms. My soft stomach is the bodyguard who tells me when to take a break from sweets and rest my body. My hair sparkles with natural highlights and I still smile with my eyes. If I could just learn to love my neck.