It’s official. I have a wattle a.k.a. a turkey neck. I don’t like it. It’s the first, and pretty much the only, thing I see when I look in the mirror.
But here’s the thing, my wattle tells a story – if only to me. It is testament to the pounds I’ve gained and lost over the years. It speaks to my fair (Scottish) skin and the sun damage that happens in the Antipodes, where I’ve lived for so much of my life. It carries a family heirloom and connects me to my Mother and my grandmother before her, with whom I share the same neckline. It also speaks of the years I’ve lived thus far and signals to me that my body is changing.
I could do something about it surgically but then I’d be erasing something of my story or at least giving it a different ending.
Crêpey necks have been a thing of derision for generations – the Victorians elected to restrain them with lace and jewelled chokers. I think the main reason they are so reviled is because they are an obvious sign of ageing. And society, for generations, has seen that as a negative thing.
But what if we lived in a different world? What if ageing women were seen to become more beautiful with every passing year? What if we were considered to be at our most beautiful at midlife and beyond? What if a wattle was considered the height of feminine beauty? What if Richard Fish’s character in the television series ‘Ally McBeal’ was not the only one with a fetish for the “turkey wattle”?
If I lived in that world, every time I looked in the mirror I’d smile at how fortunate I was to be beholding a bodily feature of such beauty!
So I’m trying it out. I’m choosing to believe that my wattle is the very last thing I’d want to change about myself and I’m ensuring I take every opportunity to show it off!
Imagine what a revolution there would be if we took this approach to the other parts of our bodies we tend to hide as we age – laugh lines, wrinkled skin, age spots, upper arms, crinkly décolletage, pot tummies, spider veins, greying hair, expanding rear ends …
How would we dress and present ourselves differently if we chose to believe that we are beautiful, just as we are?
Is there a part of your body you’d like to make peace with? Take a first step and out yourself by sharing it in the comments below.