I’m pretty sure that there exists only one person in this world whose job it is to look like Rihanna, and that person is… Rihanna.
It isn’t my job to cultivate washboard abs, or legs long enough to mark out the Eastern bloc, or a neck like a royal swan. I won’t ever have to worry about doing a Versace gown justice in HELLO magazine. Or panic that those photographers at The Brits caught my thighs at their ‘fat’ angle. I don’t have a shoot for my album cover scheduled next week, won’t ever get papped unawares on a beach holiday, and save for the odd bitchy Facebook stalker, I probably won’t ever have strangers speculate as to whether or not those are my natural boobs.
Rihanna is a hot piece of ass, and hell – her music videos wouldn’t be the same without the way her lower back arcs into those harem pants. But Rihanna is the exception, not the rule. And therein lies my point.
About eleventy times a week I’ll hold myself to the ideal of somebody as unarguably body beautiful as Rihanna, or that one Orlando Bloom was married to, or whoever else is being featured on People. And then I have to give myself the same mental pep talk: it’s not my job to look like that. I have to teach myself to mind my own damned business.
My job is to sit at a computer all day and write stuff without being distracted by Twitter/staring wistfully out of the window/Youtubing more Jennifer Lawrence interviews.
Every morning, as I prepare for my job that isn’t being Rihanna, I make a point of doing my make-up in my underwear so that I can see my body reflected in it’s chubby glory, thighs lightly chafing and arms jiggling freely, so that I feel like a woman and see my body. Know my body. Own it. It’s a daily battle to remember that I won’t go through life photoshopped, and that’s okay. It’s not my job to punish myself because my tummy happens to occasionally brush up against my legs when I sit down.
What I have to tell myself, over and over again, is that the inches of my waist are not directly proportional to my attractiveness to the opposite sex, my worthiness as a female, or ability to blow a man’s mind. Magazine Life and Real Life are two entirely separate worlds, and where, in one, I might not pass as Top 100 Totty, in the other, I’m a motherfucking catch.
As a woman who has conducted a very scientific research project into the inner psyche of sexually active blokes (i.e. has shagged around a bit) I say, with the sort of confidence normally reserved for Adele when she’s telling Karl Lagerfeld to do one, that no man has ever seen me in a thong and then changed his mind about putting his willy inside of me. Never.
Through rigorous mental exercise, I’ve become very comfortable with what my mama gave me: bouncy little boobies and rounded hips and curves that wrap into those special fleshy warm bits like a kind hand gently guiding towards where the best treasure lies. It wouldn’t work on MTV, but I know how to use my pelvic floor muscle at the right moment and with maximum effect, so that’s something.
This affection for my fullness isn’t an excuse for obesity, or unhealthiness, or for eating a pint of Karamel Sutra every night – though I’d like to, sometimes. But it is reason enough to resist a 200-calorie day twice a week, or to refuse to let the fact that my new Lycra dress shows off a little back fat make me feel sad. I work out when I can, because it makes me feel good, and eat what I want, pretty much, and when I know that dress looks better on Rihanna than on me I choose leather pants and a sexy sheer blouse to go out in instead. I’m more comfortable like that – and I can focus my attention on the hot barman as opposed to tugging at my hemline all night.
Because of this practised sense of my form, I can honestly say that not once, ever, have I grazed my way through a dinner of peppered mackerel pâté with sour cream; grilled John Dory, dauphinoise potatoes and butter sauce; and then a chocolate marquis with a Bailey’s chaser and felt anything other than satiated, fulfilled, and like everything is right with the world.
Because of this practised sense of my form I can also honestly say that not once, ever, have I grazed my way through a dinner of light butterfly kisses with nervous giggles and over- the-trouser groping; passionate de-robing and intense foreplay of the oral kind; and then a rounded, deep, deserved crescendo of orgasm and felt anything other than satiated, fulfilled, and like everything is right with the world.
Compare that to say, Kim Kardashian’s sex tape. She has one of the most enviably gorgeous figures in the history of the hourglass, and seeing Ray J sort of, spank? rub? jiggle? her flawless body a bit, I was about as turned on as a rotting fennel bulb because, quite frankly, it just doesn’t look like fun, the trying to be sexy thing.
That’s what it all comes down to. Fun. Because when you stop worrying about whether your lover is mentally noting that your ass looks big when he bends you over from behind that way, it stops being A Good Time. And pretty much, life should be a bit of a laugh, shouldn’t it?
I might look thinner in missionary, but that ain’t gonna make the lady sing. Or skip dessert.