One of the most valuable lessons I have learned in my quite improbable life — and one that I have taught my two daughters and one son — has to do with the tricksy, slippery, bemusing nature of beauty.

Back when I was young, fresh, dewy, pubescent, and practically perfect in every way…I felt profoundly IMperfect and tragically flawed and NOWHERE NEAR our culture’s ruthless standard of female beauty.

And, now, all these many long years and many hard miles later, now that I really AM those things — PROFOUNDLY IMPERFECT and TRAGICALLY FLAWED — I gotta tell you…I feel LUMINOUS. Stunning. Dripping with pulchritude. When my husband lovingly takes my dual chins and accompanying whiskers into his adoring hands and gazes at my crepey face and tells me that I am beautiful…listen to me:


Which is proof positive, Mein Poppets, that the truest, most authentic, most enduring beauty has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the taut of your tum, the flip of your nip, or what unfashionably hairied treasure dwells betwixt yo gottdamned legs.

Beauty isn’t about being The Prettiest Girl At Your School.


So, little sister: BE HER.

About muffybolding

Muffy Bolding is a mother/writer/actor/knitter/feminist/withered debutante who likes the smell of asparagus pee, and remains obsessed with the bathroom hygiene of her three children -- despite the fact that they are 23, 19, and 16. She is blissfully married to a cute Jewish boy who looks like Willie Wonka, but remains tragically in love with the dead poet, Ted Hughes. She has the mouth of a Teamster, and her patron saint is Rocco (pestilence relief.) Ms. Bolding lives in Southern California, where she enjoys typing words, making movies, and plucking the rings from the fingers of the dead. She was the co-creator and Editor-in-Chief of the award winning satire zine, Fresno Lampoon, and in between writing screenplays, carnival barking, and savagely threatening her trio of darling larvae with a wooden spoon, she currently publishes the zine, "Withered Debutante." More of her work can also be found in the anthology, "Mamaphonic: Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", the compilation zine, "Mamaphiles III: Coming Home", as well as in The Cortland Review and She is currently writing and producing for film and television, and working on a book of essays entitled, "Inside A Chinese Dragon." She has slept around, but not nearly as much as she would have liked.
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