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It's A Thing That Happens To You

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"Just as you are? Not Thinner? Cleverer? Not with slightly larger breasts and a smaller nose?" Bridget Jones's Diary

“The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.” The Velveteen Rabbit


It's really tough when it comes to love and feeling like you're good enough, pretty enough, something enough for someone. You've pined for a man who isn't threatened by your force of personality, brains, and success despite your lack of a college degree or penis, you got him and he really loved you as much as you realized you loved him but would he be prouder to have some trophy model by his side? You often wonder if they'd prefer you to be this cross between a Playboy Bunny, Go-Go Girl, and Marilyn Monroe, a lady of polish, some fashionista...something you feel you're not and what too many people have pointed out. Would they be elated to see you act all gay and flirtatious and like some conga queen? Would they want you thin with C Cup breasts? Do they want you to look like Joan? Would they love you, mad hair, frowzy robe and curlers and all? Would they love you at your worst? Do they want some combo of a wife with the sexuality of Brigitte Bardot, the housekeeping skills of June Cleaver, the cooking skills of Julia Child, the sugary sweetness of Prudence and Prim, Jayne Mansfield's torso? Twiggy's tummy? Does he still think some guys are too good looking for you? It's hard to tell, you remember he did compliment you on your ass but didn't know whether to take it seriously....the fact you caught him with that girl seemed to prove everything. 

You only just married months ago and felt so happy and beautiful...why are you feeling this bad? You just had your babies and they've left a toll on your body, as if your hips and tummy couldn't get any fleshier...your breasts are a cup larger but very soft not "UP" and your curves don't have that "born in a corset" look that deep down you know isn't natural but can't help but feel inferior to. You think back to when you were first pregnant: she gave you a hard time over your increasing weight and dowdier clothes (borrowed because you can't buy a new wardrobe on your salary) after all those beauty and glamour tips she gave you and the zingers at your looks she is beautiful why did she have to remind you that you lacked her glamour? These days, you don't feel proud of this, but notice that she hasn't seemed to find a man that would love her with even the frumpiest of clothes, flabbiest of tummies, and messiest of hair and see her as beautiful, her image wouldn't seem to falter. You remember he ignored you because he was embarrassed for sleeping with the girl who was losing her looks and it turned out you were having his baby, something he didn't know until you told him that night you all thought the world was going to end. The fact that you've re-gained and kept your shape and size after a decade while he gained weight and lost his hair seemed a bit cathartic, though you don't seem to poke fun at those with extra weight. He commented on your increasing behind, years later he lost an eye, thankfully he learned to see women for who they are rather than how they look or how much money their fathers had for the sake of Cynthia. He also commented on your looks and weight, even though at your heaviest you likely weighed less. 

There is a slim teenage girl with flaxen hair; would he be attracted to her? She looks so much like her Mother, who makes you wonder? Has she ever felt this bad about her attractiveness? Carried a few extra pounds? Would she understand? The first time you met her, she was so patient with you, considering how you were clumsily keeping her company and hiding the fact her husband was sleeping with another woman. You know that looking like a movie star with a model's bone structure wouldn't bring you anymore happiness, after all look at her, but are you everything to him? Or what? You take comfort in an old children's book that assured you that true love goes deeper than that and that those that don't view your beauty (whether inner or outer) just don't understand. You don't regret being with him, you just hope against all your fears, that he doesn't regret it either.