My Body

By Terresa Wellborn

Body image is a thing. No matter what stage of life we find ourselves, we can’t escape it: tween or teen, pregnancy or postpartum, menopause or beyond. We bleed, slough off dead skin cells, lose hair, gain weight, earn wrinkles. We morph as the years pass. Things once perky now sag, gray hair sprouts, and …

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To Be or Not To Be In the Photos (This Christmas/Year/Life)

By Kellie Purcill

I took a lovely selfie on the weekend. I’d just had a make-up tutorial, and was looking (and feeling) awesome. I rarely take pretty photos – I’m just not built that way or so inclined. But the pretty opportunity present, so I took the pic, and entered into the philosophical question of our year – …

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Blindness and Sight

By Shelah Miner

Alice McDermott’s new novel, Someone, shows scenes from the life of Marie, who grew up in Brooklyn during Prohibition and the Depression, and whose life spans through the present day. In many ways, Marie’s life is completely ordinary– the situations she faces as she grows and ages are nearly universal, yet McDermott manages to captivate her readers with the details of Marie’s life story. In the first pages of the novel, we learn that Marie is nearsighted. McDermott frequently mentions what things look like for Marie when her glasses are off, and the book is full of colors, textures, details that Marie might notice more than other characters would because of the condition of her eyes.


When I look in the mirror, I avoid looking at my stomach. I’ve been doing this for years. In the shower too– I close my eyes, soap up my hands, and lather up my stomach. Some women hate their thighs or their boobs or their nose or their butt, but my problem spot has always been, and always will be, my belly. I don’t want anyone to touch it, pat it, or acknowledge it exists. And while I hate to look at my stomach in the mirror, it’s the first place my eyes go when I see pictures of myself. Is it getting fatter? Can you see my love handles? I will gladly hang up a family photo where I have a screwy look on my face and one of my kids has their tongue stuck out if I look skinnier in that picture than any of the others.

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Curl, Interrupted

By Brooke Benton

Let’s talk about my hair.

Its been a topic of conversation my entire life. Beginning when I was born completely bald till now, when people comment on my younger daughter’s delicate tangle of almost-curls by saying, “She has your hair!” And I will correct them with a simple, “No she doesn’t. When I was her age I had a ‘fro.” No exaggerations here, it was a legitimate Afro piled atop my head—it grew out, not down.

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