Sometimes, when I’m a passenger in the front of the car, I play a game in my head. In an alternate universe, I possess a power to transform my body, without pain or discomfort, into any shape I want.
With nothing but careful concentration, I become 5 foot 6, lithe and slender. Silky, chocolate brown hair falls to my tiny waist with a soft wave and plenty of volume. I’ve plump red lips, thick dark eyelashes and Nigella-esque cheekbones, and an hourglass figure that looks sensual in even a pair of jeans. I neatly fill a larger cup size, my complexion is clear and dewy, and somehow my legs remain hair-free and moisturised for my entire life without so much as a sniff of a razor.
But alas, my fantasy is cut short with the arrival of our destination, and I abandon visions of the perfect body I’d own if only I had the power. In part, it’s harmless fun and nothing but a pleasant daydream to pass the time. But on the other hand, I know I will never wake up and find myself ‘improved’ in this way. So what’s the point? And is it really all that harmless as I like to tell myself?
Whatever the case, I expect it’s a natural game to play. And I’m smart enough to know that my real body is as precious to the people who love me as theirs are to me. I’ve never once laid eyes upon my boyfriend and wished he was a different shape. I’ve never looked at my parents and thought they’d look better with a different hair colour. And it never occurred to me that my brothers’ eyes, ears or nose would be improved by being modified.
So I suppose I’ll continue to play my little game knowing I can’t will myself taller or darker, or anything else I might decide is my idea of perfect. But I’ll try my best to remember that I’m loved the way I am.
What about you? Who would you like to look like? And do you dish out that unconditional acceptance of other people’s bodies too?