My Kind of Beautiful

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“Here, put this on. It’s getting a little chilly,” said my best friend/boyfriend Jake. I had smiled at his thoughtfulness and was about to put on the jacket when someone shouted,
“Hey babe, you got a great body; can you give us a peek?”
The comment had come from what looked to be an overgrown frat boy with hindering on orange concealer and way too young for his age blond streaks. Standing behind him was a male of the same stereotypical appearance of what they presumed was attractive. Along with looking like the guy’s fraternity brother he looked like an oversized insect with his large camera monogrammed with the initials LLAS. I recognized the letters to represent “Ladies Loose and Sexy.”
I made a look of absolute disgust and was about to walk away when the camera guy hollered with an oozing tone,
“Come on, viewers like sexy ladies and we’ll give you a free T-shirt if you show some of that.”
On “that” he waved his hand slowly over my body. The guy smiled in what he perceived as a charming and inviting gesture, when I tasted slime coming up my throat.
Jake looked outraged. He wasn’t angry in the way a jealous boyfriend would have been when someone had hit on his girl. He looked mad in the sense that if I decided to kick the guy’s ass he would stand behind me and throw a few punches as well.
I took courage from his reaction and held his hand for what was going to be my next leap. I thought of every guy who thought of me as public property; of every inappropriate touch, crude comment, and violated feeling I had. I smiled at the guy and replied in a practical, polite tone.
“Some of what may I ask? One of my breasts if you observe, wish I can tell you really want to, has a lump. That lump is malignant breast neoplasm, or more commonly known as every woman’s nightmare. Would your overly perverted male viewers claim to find that sexy?”
The oversized teenager began to stutter his apologies when I cut him off.
“Do you say what you said to me to every woman you encounter? Do you come to bars to find drunken women and pressure them to strip for you in exchange for cheap clothes?”

Mr. LLAS run his fingers through the top of his thinning hair and replied,

“Look, its just business. The market out there wants to see beautiful girls perform in ways to please their senses. I don’t see how those who aren’t involved in our business care, so why should you?”

I glared at him and began channeling Rosie O’Donnell from “Beautiful Girls,”
“Beautiful girls”, I asked curtly.
“You mean, like the girls in Penthouse or Playboy? Those aren’t real women. They’re liposuction, capped teeth, silicon, acid peels, implants, and stitches. You know what LLAS and those magazines have in common? You both produce this crap that tortures every woman, and some men, out there. They think that in order to be able to attract someone they have to be as “loose and sexy” as the girls on your show. The guys learn from your show that he should expect that anything with boobs who automatically should show their “perky privates.”
‘When you’re promoting this narrowed minded idea of sexiness you’re saying to the world,
“All those who are normal need not apply to our world of “sexy”. Well, let me tell you, this is a mockery, this is a sham, this is b.s.”
I was about to leave the creep confused and stuttering when Jake intercepted.
He looked down on the guy who was a several inches shorter than Jake; heck, he was shorter than me, and said,
“I know that you think that all guys are sexually excited little boys who care about nothing, but drinks, sports, and girls, but let me tell you something. When my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t think about whether she would lose her breasts or not, but whether she would lose her life or not.
‘This woman right here,’ gesturing to me, ‘is intelligent, funny, kind, beautiful, and so many other things. But the one thing that you LLAS people choose to notice is her body. She deserves respect, not some cheap T-shirt.”
I squeezed his hand in thanks for repeating the same thing he had told me a long time ago, not that he needed to. I looked at Jake and saw my equal.
I zipped up my jacket, not so much because there was a chill as a pleasant stillness. I wrapped my arm around Jake as he did the same, both of us supporting each other.
To end off on a less corny note, I walked away not just as a girlfriend, a female, or as someone with a body and voice, but as all those things. I walked away as myself, Liza Stanton.





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