One of my all-time favorite films is Pulp Fiction, I admit I am a pretty big Quentin Tarantino fan…can’t explain it. In Pulp Fiction there are a few lines by a minor character Fabienne that when I saw movie 20 years ago, didn’t really register but as I grow into a chick of a certain age, these lines totally resonate.
Fabienne: I was looking at myself in the mirror.
Fabienne: I wish I had a pot.
Butch: You were lookin’ in the mirror and you wish you had some pot?
Fabienne: A pot. A pot belly. Pot bellies are sexy.
Butch: Well you should be happy, ’cause you do.
Fabienne: Shut up, Fatso! I don’t have a pot! I have a bit of a tummy, like Madonna when she did “Lucky Star,” it’s not the same thing.
Butch: I didn’t realize there was a difference between a tummy and a pot belly.
Fabienne: The difference is huge.
Butch: You want me to have a pot?
Fabienne: No. Pot bellies make a man look either oafish, or like a gorilla. But on a woman, a pot belly is very sexy. The rest of you is normal. Normal face, normal legs, normal hips, normal ass, but with a big, perfectly round pot belly. If I had one, I’d wear a tee-shirt two sizes too small to accentuate it.
Butch: You think guys would find that attractive?
Fabienne: I don’t give a damn what men find attractive. It’s unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same.
My reality is that I have not had a totally flat belly in years, oh for years I could suck it in and voila, she was flat. But ever since my unfortunate umbilical hernia and the resulting double hernia repair surgery sometime back, it’s become clear that I and the flat belly will never know each other ever again. Even when I have lost weight and gotten down to some small number, the belly is there. She is fucking magnificent; she is a fucking pot belly!
When I am in a good mood, I revel in this belly, I marvel how I have seen her stretch to accommodate the womb and the humans it’s grown, one of whom now stands 6’4 and resides 1300 miles away at college…I think fuck, my body is powerful. Then I have those days when I am trying to find something to wear and all I can think is why are you in my way? Since apparently no one other than the makers of maternity wear assume that woman can ever have a pot belly. Never mind that men’s clothes seem to allow for a little man girth around the middle, so a guy can have a little pooch and still look sexy as hell but with women’s clothes we either appear pregnant or everyone knows we have the belly.
Yesterday was such a day for me, as someone I know through work decided to ask that nosy question, and I had to let him know, sorry I am not expecting. Mind you the guy doing the asking had a pooch; maybe I should have asked him when he was due.
Part of making peace with myself is learning to love me in all my stages and shapes and that means trying to accept the body I currently reside in, but I have to be honest, it’s rocky at present. I have been forcing my midsection into various pieces of containment devices, Spanx, hell I even put on a girdle contraption the other day to force my lovely pot into submission. When will I learn?
Yet it hit me last night, that for many women once we sail past 35, start creeping towards 40 or dash past 40, that are bodies settle much like our minds. Some of us are graced with lithe dancer/runner bodies that can give birth to 4-5 kids and still deflate back down, but many of us don’t have it that way. Shit, it’s why almost every woman I know owns at least one piece of Spanx.
I am starting to think as women we need a movement to make the belly sexy, demand that clothing designers allow for some girth around our middles. Since as I have learned going up a size in clothes rarely helps since then then the top is literally falling off my shoulders. Big asses are sexy, so I say let’s make potbellies sexy!
Today’s post is part of an occasional series I want to do on women’s stuff, I am toying with the idea of maybe even talking about issues of sexuality that affect women, the good, the bad and the in between but wondering how regular readers may take it. Feedback and thoughts would be appreciated.