A one-act play inspired by arguments I’ve had with myself (negative self-talk), conversations I’ve had with men who no longer get the pleasure of touching my legs, and unfortunately, the overheard bashings of women upon other women.
Old Me: Eww…she has no business walking around in shorts with legs like that.
New Me: It’s summer, and she’s not walking, she’s running. What else should she wear?
OM: She should cover her legs! Are you saying you would still wear shorts if your legs looked like that?
NM: There is no circumstance under which I would allow other people to tell me to cover my body.
OM: But cellulite is gross. Why should I have to look at it?
NM: She should be uncomfortable so you can be more comfortable? She’s running. You’re sitting.
OM: She should be ashamed of the way her legs look.
NM: Maybe she has more courage than shame.
OM: Courage to walk around looking gross?
NM: It takes courage to make peace with your body in world that says something is wrong with you if you don’t hate it. It takes courage to run in front of people who think that way and courage to wear running shorts. She’s not gross. She’s brave.
OM: Since when is it okay to walk around not hating your cellulite?
NM: Since when does hate improve cellulite? How does shame improve cellulite?
OM: But it’s not normal. You’re supposed to want to do something about it. Women like you make women like her think it’s okay to look like that. If they listen to you they’ll all run around flaunting their cellulite.
NM: Well hating your cellulite doesn’t make it go away, it just makes you miserable. She probably realized how backward it is that people consider it more appropriate and normal to walk around hating legs than it is to wear running shorts while running. Perhaps she chose the courage to love her legs instead. We make fun of people who won’t hide their bodies in shame. We say there is something wrong with them but who’s really gross here? She’s out there running on those legs while people sit around hating her for not hating herself. She’s not the gross one. She probably has no need to hide her body because she made friends with it. Imagine what all women could accomplish if they could do that.
OM: But they would look gross doing it, so why would it matter?
NM: It would matter because they would feel whole while doing it. Women who feel whole have magic. Women who are brave enough to claim it change the world. They change it into a place where hate is gross and perfection is small-minded.
OM: Well I don’t want to live in that world if it means accepting cellulite.
NM: Too late. Every time she runs by in those shorts another woman feels empowered. Another woman feels permission to rebel. Another woman looks at a pair of running shorts and thinks those are for me. Then she uncovers her magic legs and does the same for another woman.
OM: And you think that’s changing the world?
NM: I know it is. A woman who feels whole doesn’t tolerate rules that dictate which parts of her are acceptable and which parts should be hidden. She doesn’t accept that there are clothes she can or can’t wear. Before long she stops accepting being told what she can and can’t do. A whole woman understands that she’s a package deal and she insists that the world deals with all of her, not just the pretty parts. A hundred years of celebrity endorsed makeup has not managed to accomplish that but running shorts do it every day. Cellulite is magic.
OM: That’s delusional. You are kidding yourself if you think that’s ever going to catch on.
NM: Perfection is delusional. And you’ll notice we aren’t waiting for anything to catch on. We are moving on.
OM: Who’s we?
NM: Me and my magic legs. And hers. And maybe someday, yours.
End scene. No, wait–let’s not. Please let this scene never end. “Ask yourself what is really important and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer.”