Remember that time in your life when you were most carefree? Most content in your body and intensely, hornily desperate to use it? Well, mine was around about then. My weekends and evenings were spent huddled in whispering, weed-smoking, cider-swilling groups, competing with each other to contrive more imaginative ways we could get touched up by our equally-horny peers. I miss those times. More than that, I miss this one boy I used to know.
Looks good on you! I used to touch myself in bed while thinking of him pushing me roughly up against a wall.
His hands rummaging greedily up my skirt, and his lips on my nipples. One afternoon in winter, having left us for a few months, this boy came back to visit. It was a big deal. That morning, it snowed. So we did what any four girls and a dude we all fancied would do in that situation: With my family out of the way, and a good few bottles of cheap alcopops in our stomachs, we stripped to the waist in the garden and hurled chunks of snow at each other until our lips were blue and we were laughing so hard none of us noticed that our nipples were like stone and at least two of us were on the verge of hypothermia.
But I kept my top well and truly on. In fact, at the time I was so worried about what I looked like topless that I was wearing an extra-chunky jumper to try and hide any bits that I thought might turn him off. I am disgusted and will leave immediately. And my girlfriends teased me for being shy, and he hugged me to him as we collapsed in the snow together, and later that evening he got off with my best mate. Looking back now at that afternoon, and checking out the pictures of me when I was that age, I am utterly devastated at how cruel I was to myself.
In fact, if you stripped away the ridiculous dress sense and penchant for scowling, I looked decidedly average. Just a girl in a chunky jumper, with hips and thighs and boobs and an unnecessary paranoia about what other people would think of her body.
Looking at old photos, I realise that although my body changes pretty slowly over time, with each year I grow more hateful, more bitter, and more judgmental about the body I have, the face I have. The person I am on the outside. To recognise that the voice in my own head gives me far more criticism than any stranger ever could.
I want to regret less. And let myself enjoy those things without poring over them critically at a later date. And happy ones, at that.