Ready for the thing no one ever says? I like my body better at 50 than I did at 20. It’s not perfect now but it wasn’t perfect then. In general bodies aren’t perfect. Bodies are encasements, temples, tactics. Precious and purposeful. Us. At 20 I was sick, scared, anxious, angry–anorectic, with the colon and joints of a much older woman due to two decades of sustained and displaced trauma. Aka hysterical in the classic Freudian sense. (Fuck Freud, obviously.) I panicked over every extra calorie and drew what little self-esteem I had from being thinner than others–no one acknowledges what mean girls we anorexics can be. At 50 I am all curves and angles–fully inhabiting the Scottish-Sioux-Ashkenazi peasant body that is my birthright. Big hands, breasts, hips, belly, brain. Fierce look, limbs, will. Strong as a mother, o yes, and perfectly willing to flirt with whomever stares because at this point no one can topple me with their desire. I’m like a red oak that way (every way). Are my eyes going? For sure. Is my back worse? Doubly sure. But every day I feed this body beautiful useful things. I stretch it, walk it, water it, sun it, shower it. Lipstick it. Listen to it. Love it. In return it still holds me up and sometimes even lets me shine. At 50 I am old enough to be grateful for every day and every way I feel physically good–for every organ, muscle, inch that works well. For every ailment that heals. Even better, I have learned how to be grateful for change–even decay–because it means I’ve lived long enough for it to happen. At 50 you don’t look like anyone’s projection anymore, no one’s generic dream of a girl or a perfect lady. But you’re not really invisible. Instead, you look like the life you’ve led. What’s more beautiful than that?