Can I Get Away With This?

Modern Homo sapiens (that is, people who are roughly like we are now) first walked the Earth about 200,000 BC. Since then, more than 117 billion members of our species have been born, according to estimates by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB). 

You and I are but two of them.

Isn’t it funny, then, that we worry about something as trivial as the imperfections of our bodies – these amazing meat-vehicles that allow us to see, hear, taste, and touch, and to move and sing and communicate with the world around us? 

Forgetting all that magnificence, we obsess over the giggly-ness of our tummies, the chunkiness of our thighs, or the softness of our under-arms. 

We are told to purchase lotions and potions and moisturise daily to avoid looking exactly the age we are; as though it’s a curse rather than a ridiculous gift to get another year of life on this spinning blue ball travelling 30 kilometres per second around the sun.

Then, there’s that dreadful question we ask one another before wearing something new; that horrendence 6-word sentence: “Can I get away with this?” Most of us have uttered those words at least once, twice, a thousand times before. 

Of course, “Getting away with it” can mean many things, such as: 

“Are there any tell-tale signs that I have a big arse, big thighs, and a soft human tummy? Because there’s no way I could let anyone see that.” 

“Am I too old for these bright purple funky six-inch heels that I absolutely adore?” 

“Am I too fat to wear swimmers? Or too fat to go swimming at all? And does this stupid little beach shawl thingy hide my arse dimples?”

“Do I look too slutty? Too frumpy? Too try-hardy? Too old?” 

As an ex-dietaholic who counted calories religiously, exercised twice daily and measured myself with tape measure and on the scales morning and night, I’m tired of uttering the “Can I get away with it?” question. 

I’m also tired of the courses that pop up in my Facebook feed to help me “dress for my shape”. My shape? I’m human shaped, thank you very much. If the garment has arm holes, a head hole and leg holes, I’m going to be just fine. 

These days, instead of asking whether I can “get away with it”, I ask myself how I feel and what I like. The end result? If the garment is on my body, it’s safe to say I’ve gotten away with it – at least in my opinion. 

And when you’re just one of 117 billion, and you’re hurtling through space on a spinning blue ball, who else’s opinion matters?

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