Friday, July 23, 2010

Rapheal's women

My BEAUTIFUL little sister wrote me this after I told her about Guiltless. We've been best buddies since birth, and though our life journeys have taken us to opposite ends of the globe, she is one very mature 18 year old. fun fact: one day when we were oh, probably 11 and 14, we named our stomachs. Her always flat stomach has been always something i have been jealous of. So this was a poignant read for me, take it away summer! -elizabeth

By Summer Jarrard

The more I see, the more I realize that beauty is not solid. Beauty is not a stand-still frame. Beauty is how you move with it. Beauty is something that pours out from within, a swirling sparkling magic pooling from our essence. It is our soul coinciding perfectly with our body. I have seen woman, who in a stand-still frame, are nothing extraordinary. But the way they laugh, talk, smile, radiates a light. And just the same, I have seen women with tight bellies, tight thighs, tight everything, and the same goes to their eyes, their lips, their beauty is nothing that carries beyond a second. Our minds get caught up within the stand-still frames we see of beauty. But we are not photographs walking around. We are real, moving people, with a loudness to match.

Our city park is packed with the strong and the wild. The International Climbers Festival is here, which brings the burliest of the burly. Buffed out arms, legs that show strings of muscle when they move, smiles on weathered faces. The women. Oh, the women. With their arms that speak of mountains, their stomachs that tightly hold in PowerBars, their legs that stand attention when walking.

I haven't exercised in a few months. I have been traveling and lost all sense of moving my body beyond the daily needs of having no car. I have stopped fooling myself into believing that afternoon walks suffice, and this morning I went for a run. And I ran in my sports bra and short shorts. And I celebrated having a belly. I celebrated my legs somewhat shaking in their boots. I celebrated being the type of woman Raphael would of liked. I ran past climbers getting ready to greet the day and I greeted them too. Who cares if they don't know that the belly is a result of too many chapatiis and Guatemalan burritos.

I look around our world and wonder, Where are the bellies? Look at the magazines, look at the commericals, where are the soft warm women bellies? Then I look in the mirror, I look at my sister, I look at my mom, I look at my friends. There they are. One of the most wonderful parts of being a woman is the belly. Soft and pliable. Warm and inviting. Shaking with laughter. The way it curves, and smiles, and dances with me.

Sisters of the world, show your bellies. We are meant to be fluid. Let the men have their flat stomachs, their strong arms to hold us. We hold our strength in different ways.

And I tip my cap to these burly woman too. Good for you, to show your strength, to push your limits. But I am happy with my softness, my corners to hold you in. My belly smiles with delight too.

Thank you Summer for sharing these words! You are beautiful!

Do You match our current vision of "beauty" or are you one of Rapheal's women?


  1. Summer, not to get all mushy on you, but your post made me cry. Thanks for the beautiful, TRUE and rarely spoken words you shared.

  2. have grown up- this was quite profound, and also brought tears to my eyes...beautiful!


  3. Could you have spoken to my soul any more?! I got to the end and all I could think was MORE SUMMER! PLEASE!!! haha. Thank you to the ends of the earth for this post....It has given me wings on my heels and new love for my curves and giggles in my tummy. Thank you. How proud I am to have had a life in which my circle crashed into yours in this little how town. I am a lucky woman indeed.