Bathing Beauties

| March / April 2005

A teenage girl and her friends learn the radical concept of loving their bodies

NOT LONG AGO some summer-camp girlfriends and I had a sleepover, and at about 3 a.m., after we'd exhausted the topics of cute guys and the new 2005 SATs, the talk turned to our 16-year-old bodies: thighs, bellies, hair, boobs, booties. Did we like them? Did Jess wish she had Nomi's legs, did Maggie covet Natasha's complexion? Did we hate changing in the school locker rooms, did we plotz at the thought of being seen in our bikinis?

Sprawled out on sleeping bags, munching on mini-marshmallows and Cheez Doodles, we were somewhat surprised to find out that we all shared a similar sentiment: We felt fine about our bodies. Sure, Natasha confided, she wished her boobs were "more symmetrical," and Maggie that she had "less hairy upper-inner thighs," but in a hierarchy of things that obsessed us, these issues fell fairly low on the list. We looked, we all agreed, "good enough" for the locker rooms. And at the beach? Well, chicken legs, love handles, flat chests . . . they were just what we'd been dealt.

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