You are very young and you take showers with your mother. Hazy, humid, and pink-hued, these moments are marked in your mind by their pleasant soupiness. Your mother’s body mystifies you. Small and unformed, your shapes are so much different than hers. It has been explained to you that one day your own anatomy will rearrange itself to look like hers. You do not completely understand this and so you seek to.
“Why is it shaped like that? How come it’s squishy there? When will mine be that way?"
By the time you think to ask these questions, you have already begun to notice the ladies on T.V. They are smooth, hard, and thin. In your minds eye, they are haloed…Shiny. You would have no way of knowing there is any difference between your mother and the Shiny Women on T.V. She is the most beautiful lady in the world. But she plucks at her arms and belly with disgust, the pinkness of those soft parts brightening under the scalding steam at her angry prodding. You don’t understand why those soft parts are bad. They make her warm and nice to lay with. Sometimes, when you are supposed to be praying, you think about your mother holding you instead. You’ve never met that big old man god everyone is telling you to talk to and remembering how safe she makes you feel is as easy as breathing.
That being said, the heat with which her gaze scorches across her body sparks in your own belly a squirming anxiety. You look down at your smaller form and see its’ softness for the first time. Dots that once seemed harmless dust motes become ball and chain upon connecting to one another. One day you will be like your mother. Your mother is a woman. Women are supposed to be thin. You are all soft. You begin to pluck at yourself in time with her as you boil under the spray together. She does not seem to notice.