My mother and stepfather purchased 21 gifts for my 21st birthday, items ranging from the very large to the very small - among them, a turquoise string bikini with silver sparkles and shimmer. To a girl who is fond of Speedos because you can jump in and nothing will come off, this tiny thing is one of those "no margin for error" (or hair) suits.
Ball it up, and you can hold it all in your hand without anything falling. This is not a suit for swimming.
It got me to thinking about how I view myself, and how I want others to view me. Cute vs. sexy: how do you define your appearance to others? At some point in my life, convinced in my angst-filled high school years that I was unattractive, seeing others like me in theoretically provocative poses but merely looking ridiculous, I settled on cute. But ... cute isn't the grand end of all I would like to be.
I often wondered how it was that some people seem to be so photogenic, while others take good photos on occasion and many more fail at the attempt altogether with. I think part of it stems from the confidence that a person has in his or her appearance/self. Every now and then, while leaving a movie theater after seeing a film that moved me deeply, or while witnessing a wonderful sunset, I think I am beautiful. "Beautiful" in a way that cannot be given words, it is a state in which one is oneself yet something else at the very same time. When this happens, I can look in the mirror and see myself in a new light: I can look beyond "cute." This is when pictures of me turn out their best.
When I worry too much or am not confident, pictures are liable to seem somehow awkward. This bikini reminds me that if I am to wear it, I cannot think about how my legs seem too muscular for the rest of me, how unfit I am, how my chest isn't large enough for my liking, or how my teeth are uneven. That mindset is, I believe, when my flaws become most apparent for myself and others.
It's really hard not to think about it when your butt is only covered by a few sparkly inches of fabric, though. x_x
I had forgotten that I had renamed Amarant in FFIX, and so a cranky Zidane saying "Hey, Asshat ... can I ask you something?" seemed absurdly funny.