yesterday was swimsuit shopping day. not for me. i have remained about the same size since last season, but ziona has grown. this time tho, it wasn’t only about finding one to fit her physically, but to fit her needs as a girl with a part or two that don’t belong.
in previous years she hadn’t seemed to notice that her ‘spare parts’ made a ‘bump down there’, in her words. so this year we were after a suit that had a wrap to hide the facts. and tho we didn’t exactly find one we settled on a danskin dance skirt of sheer black material that won’t weigh her down when she gets wet but will afford her a veil of sorts.
i had hoped that certain aspects of her autism that have shielded her from the normal kid need for acceptance would keep her from having an issue about her ‘bump’ down there. and as it turns out, and i should have known, it isn’t about what others see…it’s about what she sees!
i should’ve known because this is a child who must have bubbles in her bath so that she doesn’t have to see the penis. who won’t take showers for the same reason. this is a child who ‘tucks’ while getting on her panties, one who is traumatised by the occasions when she wakes up with a ‘stiffie’.
for her body image has little to do with societal pressures about size or beauty. she is altogether unimpressed by these. in fact, when i read her a recent news story about a transgender woman fighting to be allowed in the miss universe contest, i had to explain, first what a beauty contest is! the subject of such thing had never come up. her reaction to the story was “why would anyone want to be in a beauty contest?” a question for which i had no answer.
she doesn’t feel the need to wear dresses altho she’ll insist on a bra if the armholes on a shirt are a bit too revealing. she isn’t into all sorts of jewelry, altho she has a couple of rings and necklaces for special occasions, and she can’t understand make-up at all! i blame myself for this last one as i never wear it, and consider the practice of painting one’s face an imposition placed upon women, when in my opinion there are way more men that could use a little something.
her body image only fails her in one area…the one ‘down there’. it is the constant reminder to her that life played a cruel trick on her, giving her the wrong ‘parts’.
tho she doesn’t always think about this, for example during the day while playing her xbox 360 or watching an old godzilla movie, or playing with her cousin or chatting with her counselor, at the times when she is naked, she feels vulnerable, cheated. and on rare occasions, tho more frequently of late, she worries that her body will turn ‘boy’ on her, overnight.
i have promised her, and she has begged me to make sure that we stop her body from doing what would be to her, unthinkable. she trusts me to do just that. i will make sure that she gets puberty blockers and cross-hormones on the appropriate schedule.
but for now,the concerns are few…just an extra bit of fabric on a swimsuit.