Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Ms Bronte


Courtesy of 19th Century Lit

What could they be attracted to, I wondered? I was tall and gangly, a plank rather than an hourglass. That I looked smart, not pretty, was something that had been beaten into my head early on. Precocious was the word everyone always used. As well as being that girl who was all but oblivious to the male gaze, I was also that starry-eyed specimen you sometimes found on trains, flipping through the scrappy pages of thin, second hand copies of Fran├žoise Sagan and Anais Nin. Yes, I was the girl who once answered ‘become a French Poet’ when her father asked her what she wanted to do once she graduated high school.

I look at my beaming, innocent face in photos from those years and want to slap it. Braininess was something I’d been told—without anyone actually ever telling me—that I had to live up to. I certainly wouldn’t have looks going for me. None that I could see. Gamine was not yet a word I thought applied. All I knew was that I still looked like a boy from certain angles. That these non-attributes should one day becomes the objects of anyone’s desire was, to me, unthinkable. Even when I started finally getting hips, I was still decided: one could either be well-endowed with boobs or with books, and I thought I knew which way God was prodding me.

Who knew my Bronte-obsessed bookishness could end up being what one boyfriend would later assure me was ‘sexy as fuck’?


Courtesy of Green Card, pt. 1

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