I keep a body in my trunk. Her name is Audrey.
From neck to hip, she is perfect—an ideal hourglass figure. She never had a head to lose, and her “legs” consist of a silver pole that ends in three wooden feet.
Audrey came into my life in February of 2007, just a few weeks after I entered the world of jewelry sales. I found her on Ebay and eagerly awaited her arrival. She’s been my faithful assistant at shows ever since. At times, I’ve loaned her to other jewelers or set her aside for a replacement, but after her perfect form I can’t handle the one-dimensional personality of the others.
For years Audrey wore only a black body suit. It bothered some of my customers, but how does one justify clothes shopping for a mannequin? I’d much rather spend the money on my own wardrobe. However, this problem was solved over two years ago when a tall and slender hostess donated the dress that Audrey now wears. It, like her skin, is black. I don’t see how it makes much difference, but women appreciate knowing she’s fully clothed.
Audrey has suffered multiple injuries. In former days, I would lean on her shoulders while discussing different aspects of the fashion world. She could only handle three years of this behavior before one of her feet snapped during a show. My husband kindly screwed it back into place. And if I remember correctly, the glue he found there was left over from an even earlier repair at my dad’s hand.
Since then Audrey has suffered multiple leg injuries in automobile accidents—mostly the result of my slamming the trunk on her when she wiggled out of place. When will she ever learn?
Audrey has served me well, but there is one truth she has pointed out most glaringly:
We women are never satisfied with our bodies.
Most everyone I share fashion with comments on Audrey’s perfect form and wishes that she, too, could look like that.
Firm, perfect C cups.
No bra-line chub or love handles.
A flat, toned stomach.
Hips that don’t spill over the waistline of our jeans.
Audrey is hard and perfect…and empty.
I speak of Audrey as if she is a friend, but she has never made my life richer. She’s never enjoyed a drink or a decadent dessert with me, laughing over the outrageous caloric intake. She knows my secrets but she refuses to share her own.
Think about those you love most, those you’ve chosen and grown closest to over the years. Don’t their imperfections make them more approachable? More relatable? Don’t the asymmetrical parts of our lives make us more perfectly well-rounded, even while we view them as imperfections?
~Four of my best friends. Three happen to be sisters.~
Don’t we all just want to sit down and hear our best friend’s story and know that she will listen and empathize when we share our own?
At the bottom of it all, don’t we just want a friend who is real?
Bulges and struggles and blemishes and joys and all, we are women. Not some soulless body in the trunk.