This past Wednesday marked the first hot day in Manhattan. Watching men ogle women was especially comical. They didn’t know where to look. But it also dug deep into some of my most powerful insecurities. I look totally unfuckable at this point. And I certainly feel this way. Asexual, almost. Coinciding almost exactly with my eighth month of pregnancy, the young women of New York have stopped wearing clothing. It’s legs, ass and tits as far as the eye can see.
I’m trying to keep it together as best I can. Wore what I thought was a flattering black tank maxi with a statement necklace to dinner last night. I had my hair up in a bun because it was 90 degrees. Felt like I looked like a pretty pregnant lady. We got to our favorite Mexican spot and there was a table full of young drunk women talking about something VERY PASSIONATELY. And two of the three women were smoking hot and one had super short jean shorts with banging legs, which I wouldn’t have noticed except that I saw my husband look at them. [I do not expect my husband to avoid looking at banging legs, by the way. They were fantastic.]
And I hated myself in that moment. And I was filled with fear.
Even on my best, non-pregnant days, I still feel some of this inadequacy. Whatever beauty I have as well as all my non-physical assets pale wildly in comparison to a young oblivious woman walking around looking decidedly more sexually attractive than I.
Then I thought to myself: “Katherine, you’re having a girl. You have to got to get this shit sorted out. You cannot let her know about this. Get this locked down NOW. P.S. you’re turning forty in September. Do you need to compete with 23-year-olds?”
I don’t know how my mom felt about her looks. I know she dyed her hair once it began graying. She didn’t wear much makeup beyond lipsticks in the red family. She, unlike her daughters, had borderline olive skin, a product of her Slovenian heritage. She definitely could’ve used more supportive bras and maybe could’ve lost about fifteen pounds but she was an attractive lady, for sure. Pictures of her before marriage and children in her late twenties depict a happy, short-haired, very pretty woman. The type of girl my college guy friends would’ve referred to as “cute.”
Was she ever insecure? I could see her being too busy to care about competing with other women. My parents’ marriage began to fall apart at least a year if not a few years before she died. I somehow doubt keeping my dad’s interest was a priority for her. I’ll never know.
I write this at 1:37am because I woke up from an anxiety dream about this very topic. My looks, my sex appeal, my comfort in my own skin. I know I won’t be pregnant in a matter of weeks but I fear these self-doubts will remain.