When the option exists to have a bath with bubbles, rarely have I ever decided to opt for having a bath without bubbles.
Something about staring into the clear, wrinkly water at the curves of what may not be considered ideal in Hollywood makes me uncomfortable. I want the illusion that I am peering down at the body of Kate Moss, not the body of a twenty-seven year old woman who still hasn’t figured out that crackers and cheese don’t constitute dinner.
The bubbles provide a really wonderful shield from reality. Beneath them, I am Beyonce — beneath the bubbles I am flawless.
On this particular occasion, however, I opted for pink Himalayan sea salt. I read that sea salt is detoxifying and I felt like I could use some of that what with all the Triscuits and cheddar.
I stepped into the tub and got to witness the miracle of my skin turning from a shade of two-week-old Ivory soap to a shade of the-lobsters-are-about-done. I watched as dozens of tiny little air bubbles settled confidently on the 19 knee hairs I had missed during my morning routine. I realized almost immediately that bathtubs were not designed to provide ample room to stretch out ones torso.
But, there I was, in the tub — and short of adding dish soap and splashing around a great deal, I had missed my opportunity to create an illusion of frothy perfection. Besides, it was too late —my two little hot dog legs were being roasted in all their glory for me to see.
I propped my legs up so they weren’t submerged and allowed the steam to rise off them until both were dry. I then placed my copy of Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl across both and found my spot. “Body” was the section I had left off at and the first line — “As a child I developed a terrible fear of becoming anorexic” — made me laugh out loud.
Even if one is not familiar with the pros and cons and yays and nays for HBO’s series Girls, all it takes is flipping Dunham’s book over to know why this first sentence is so funny. She stands — sassily propped up against a gold desk — wearing wild patterns, obscure textures, and flaunting the curves that have aroused and offended audiences all over the continent. This woman is proud of knowing she is in no immediate danger of developing anorexia — and she makes me want to be too.
When Girls first aired Dunham’s sex scene, people were mortified on her behalf — pained that she had given herself permission to appear unperfect on the television screen.
I remember watching that scene and applauding as every bit of woman went in some direction it probably wasn’t supposed to as far as a Hollywood standpoint was concerned. It was liberating to see a woman so OK with herself that she was willing to let other people look and judge the pieces they weren’t OK with.
I devoured Dunham’s “Body” portion of her book — laughing hysterically at her self-deprecating humour, but also at her ability to assure the reader she is completely and utterly in love with herself.
I had put the book down ten minutes before I remembered I wasn’t shielded by a mountain of white. Slowly and deliberately I allowed my eyes to peak downwards.
Nothing had changed — except that maybe my skin no longer looked scalded — but from the pages of the book across the room I could hear Dunham cheering me on. A sort of hip hip hooray that made me think to myself damn, girl, you ain’t so bad. And at that moment I really felt like I had gotten Dunham’s entire point.
Maybe the key to having unwavering confidence in anything is to choose to look at it in its most natural, most unflattering, most difficult state and be like, you know what? I’d totally still tap that.
—Andria is a twenty-something blogger from Kamloops