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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


The garage sale was only part of the reason for Amy coming to town that weekend. She also wanted to look at bridesmaids' dresses. I'm going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding and I hadn't even started looking because I was afraid I'd get the color wrong. I figured I'd just wait until she could be there with me. I don't know why, but I thought we'd start our dress hunt at the vintage shops that are 39th Street. We were in Rock Candy Boutique when Amy pulled a mint green dress from the rack and said "This! Try this on!". I tentatively said "OK" and took it back to the dressing room. I pulled the dress over my head and tied the belt and then stood there looking at myself in fluorescent lighting. The skirt hit just below the knee and I was wearing Chris's old Smartwool socks that are not sexy and I just thought I looked lumpy. Amy peeked around the curtain to see and I looked at her and said "I don't know. I look lumpy." Amy looked at me and said "What are you talking about? That dress looks great. Plus it's only $18. I'm getting it and if we find something else, I only wasted $18." And so she bought the dress. Later that evening, she made me put the dress on with decent shoes (minus the socks) so that she could take pictures to send to the other bridesmaids. I put the dress back on and was still unsure. When I looked down at myself, all I saw where rolls of gross. I stepped out in the living room and Amy was clapping her hands with glee. She took several pictures and then I looked over her shoulder at them and that's when I saw what she was talking about. I wasn't lumpy or gross at all. In fact, I looked pretty nice in that dress. I have two mirrors in my house and both them are on the medicine cabinets in the bathroom. I can tell you that my face and hair looks good, but anything from the chest down is a mystery. When I look down at myself, I see rolls and bulges that I'm trying too carefully to conceal with layers of t-shirts. What I see is not reality.

I'm pretty sure this is an issue for most people. I'm sure many of you have seen that Dove commercial that's been floating around facebook. If I had to give a description of myself to a sketch artist I'd probably say that I have big bright blue eyes and a large toothy smile that takes up half my face and that I look a lot like Carol Burnett. I don't think there's anything negative about that because Carol is lovely. If I had to describe more than my face, I'd be in trouble. I'm sure that my head didn't always work this way. All babies love looking at themselves in the mirror. I'm curious to know when that switch in our brains happened. When do we go from being content with our appearance to thinking that we're unattractive? What's the barometer for attractive? Or better yet, WHY is there a barometer for attractive? I want to re-train my brain so that when I look down at my body I don't see gross. I'm not skinny Minnie or a Victoria Secret model, but I'm not gross. And I think that it's only fair to say that while I'm working on this particular brain exercise, you guys should be doing the same. Think of it as a new app for your phone, a fun house mirror that only reflects your awesomeness. there an app for that?