I can remember standing with my chubby, little tween nose pushed up against the glass of the gym studio, watching. Watching as my leotard clad mom, skipped her way through an aerobics class, step class, gym class. It was the 90’s and aerobics was what you did. It was what my friends and I did after school, mostly wearing cycling shorts and oversized t-shirts with cartoon characters embroided on them. It was what my Mom and her friends did, wearing lycra leotards and flesh coloured leggings, early in the morning after the school run.
My mom has always been beautiful. Long, fiery red hair, ameezing body, elegantly dressed, eclectic jewellery. My friends used to ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ over her wardrobe and her jewellery, hanging like exotic treasures on her dressing table. She was the mom who my guy friends at college (you know who you are) would ask, “Hey, how’s your hot mom?” I never used to aspire to look like my mom because, as the cliché of a chubby, awkward, never been kissed teenager, it just seemed so damn impossible. It felt as if I would never be able to shed my cartoon boy t-shirts and don a figure hugging leotard.
As I grew up I slowly started to realise what glossy magazines had been shouting at me for years. Pardon the triteness: Be comfortable with who you are. Heck, be thrilled with who you are (letting go of my dream of being Winona Ryder in ‘Reality Bites’ was a hard but worthwhile exercise). Beyond the leotard and perfectly toned ass (sorry mama, it’s true), my mom knew that lesson. Infact, she and that lesson has been pals for years. It’s where the hotness stemmed from.
And now, I look at my mom at 60, still with an ass to make men stare and women glare (sorry mama, it’s really true) and whole heartedly aspire to it all, the fiery red hair, the stare worthy ass and the getting a little older with absolute elegance and grace.
PS. More on my Mama here.