Open Letter to my WUG
Hi WUG. I see you there. I bet everyone else does, too…they just don't know it because they don't know my name for you.
WUG is an acronym. It stands for Weird Underarm Girth. You know, the part of your body that kind of puffs out over the top of your bra band or tank tops. I hear you're also known as "sideboob."
I came up with the nickname WUG in high school when out trying on clothes. Tank tops are pretty standard summer fare in St. Louis because it's so darn hot, so I had lots of opportunity to see my WUG and to dislike it very much. I had very little affection for you, WUG.
But now, that's different. I guess I do have a certain affection for you. It's not because I suddenly love excess body fat distributed in seemingly random places. It's just because, well, you're part of me. Like it or not, there you are.
Same with the smile lines at the corners of my eyes and my exponentially increasing amount of gray hairs, and the muffin top pooking out over the top of my mom jeans, and the stretch marks, and the bugbite scar pitted up legs, and c-section scar, and varicose veins, and the dark, tough little hairs growing out of moles on my face, and my unruly eyebrows, and all the rest of it. The imperfections.
I'd never make it as a supermodel unless there was liberal use of Photoshop (and as it turns out, pretty much nobody can make it without Photoshop these days, since we seem to be Photoshopping away our reasonable achievements of beauty into oblivion).
Too many flaws. This used to bother me quite a bit. I never aspired to be a model, super or not, but every girl wants to know she is beautiful, and every guy wants to know he is attractive. I spent most of my teen and college years in doubt of this and doing many of the various cultural prescriptions for beautifying.
Waxing, bleaching, dyeing, dieting, working out, Spanxing, push up braing, shaving, nail polishing, sucking it in, and most of all, despising. That seems to be the unnamed prerequisite. Despise something about yourself, and then buy/do whatever it takes to fix it.
There was a rather embarrassingly long amount of time in which I assumed that the only reason I was single was because I didn't look a certain way. It couldn't have had anything to do with my personality, my time in life, or Divine Providence.
No, no, it was clearly because I was a size Medium on top and a size XL on the bottom. It was clearly because I have these weird little hair-growing moles that have a mind of their own. It was the fat legs! It was you, WUG, wasn't it!
With time came perspective and lots of grace, grace to learn about myself and my insides mattering more than my outsides. I began to accept myself more as I was instead of looking at myself with disgust.
Then came this guy, who married me at my top weight and has spent more time around me while I'm pregnant than while I'm not.
And speaking of pregnant, this WUGalicious body has produced some rather adorable offspring (who have contributed to its further stretchy, pooky, squishy nature).
WUG, I'm not even calling a truce, because that would imply that there's still a battle raging. The battle's pretty much over. I'm still working out, and I still need to eat healthily. I'm still not always happy with how clothes fit me, and I don't know when--if ever--I'll be wearing clothes whose size label is considered acceptable by whatever cultural standard is prevailing these days.
But I'm not really fighting you and hating your existence anymore. You just are. Not even sure what I'd look like without you, really, and I don't think you really bother anyone else. You're just a happy little WUG, occupying some really undesirable real estate come summer time. Good on ya, WUG.
You just keep WUGging along, and I'll just keep remembering, a day at a time, that I am in fact living the life I always wanted. I'm a wife and mommy. My body is a gift from God, and to despise it or any part of it for even one more day is just another culturally-sanctioned blasphemy against my Creator.
Rock on, WUG. I got your back. Or…maybe you've got mine.