Victoria Zackheim, For Keeps
It would be so nice to look in the mirror and not see the hundreds of little (and not so little) things that I would change about myself. I wish I could take into consideration that this body of mine has traveled across the country and back, my body has weathered the storm of birthing two babies, has been through several surgeries, my body has swam in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, has zip lined, rock climbed and snorkled and has published a book and is raising a family. But. But I keep seeing those imperfections on a daily basis despite the fact that this body has been the vehicle to experience a wonderful and exciting life.
I loved Victoria Zackheim's book, For Keeps Women Tell the Truth About Their Bodies, Growing Older, and Acceptance. Twenty seven smart and accomplished women have written essays relating to body image or experiences they have gone through which has shaped who they have become. I find it body image a fascinating topic, the book is brilliant. I For Keeps next to by my bed so I can dip into it now and then for strength and wisdom, learning from women who understand, who know what its like to look down and see a scar or glaring imperfection. This is a book you need to own. Buy it for a friend because it's a meaningful gift. And props to the women who wrote the essays, thank you.
I won't go out of the house without my…
tinted glasses (one must see, after all!) and presentable underwear. (Yes, my mother was one of those moms who warned me that I should never wear holey knickers...just in case I'm hit by a car and my skirt flies over my head. Haven't worn a skirt in years, but the undie thing stuck with me!)
I feel most beautiful when…
I'm fully clothed and engaged in a project that I find stimulating, challenging...and thrilling.
Which essay affected you the most?
I was deeply moved by all of them, but I was most affected by the process of writing my own. I had never revealed such intimacies and it was quite terrifying.
How do you stay focused on what’s important- health, friends, family etc.?
Not very well. That is, I lose my focus quite easily when I'm concentrating on my work. What suffers most, however, is my physical well-being.
Do you think the models in magazine and celebs are partly to blame for women being so hard on themselves physically?
Partly? Oh yes, and the magazines, photographers, and fashion mavens as well. As long as we continue to buy into what 'they' consider beautiful, women will never be able to see themselves, imperfections and all, as beautiful and valuable women.
If you could change something about yourself, what would it be?
Could I be thirty years younger, please? I've got so many projects and time is slipping by! (And while you're doing your magic, I wouldn't mind being 30 lbs. lighter, thanks!)
What are you most proud of?
My children. They have grown into lovely and loving adults, grounded and kind and creative. After my children, I would have to say my books.
When do you feel strongest?
When I try to make something happens...and it does. A book, an event, getting an invitation to appear or read. That big Yes! makes me feel empowered.
What do you hope women get out of reading this book?
A sense of how wonderful they really are. Thin, overweight, plain, beautiful, fair, dark, whatever size, shape, and color, I want each woman to read these very personal essays and think, "She's talking to me, I've been there, and now I'm feeling better about myself."