AUGUST 20, 2009 3:40PM

Beautiful Belly: In Praise of the Pooch

Rate: 45 Flag

I have always had a pooch; a little pocket of flesh just above my nethers. I have been a buck twenty five I have been well over two hundred pounds and the pooch just gets bigger or smaller, it never completely goes away. As a young kid in dance class, I would sit self-consciously with a protective arm around my little-kid belly. It hurts my heart now to think of it; that I was self-hating even then. My family gave me what they thought was a playful nickname, “ballerina belly.” How does family always know just where to stick the knife?

 When I was a teenager and I read all these fashion mags I definitely got the idea that there was something wrong with my pooch. I would stand in front of the mirror pincering the flesh in a grip of self-loathing. I willed the flesh to melt away. I desperately wanted those perfectly smooth bellies all the models and actresses seemed to have. I wanted washboard abs. So many diets were tried and sit-ups done in the name of achieving this un-achievable end. My body was simply not built to be flat-bellied. I have finally come to accept that and I’m ok with it most of the time. But, some days I still feel like that little girl with her arm around her belly trying to hide.

 So this picture in Glamour makes me wildly happy. Lizze Miller GlamourLook at this woman. She is GORgeous. And happy. And confident. And there is that pooch in all its glory. I happen to think it actually makes her sexier. It makes her real. So many of the magazine images I was fed as a teenager were false idols; women photoshopped within an inch of their lives. They were never achievable because they were never real. Here is a real woman and her real pooch. God I love her. She’s actually making me question my sexuality because I just want to lick her. Yummm.

 Glamour has reportedly been “inundated with emails” in praise of this model. Here’s to hoping it will lead to more real women gracing the pages of magazines. We don’t need Photoshop to be beautiful, thanks.

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YES! Wooohooo!

I have what Sess likes to call a "deer belly" just the right combo of muscle and softness, with just enough curve. I've had since forever and have no plans to change it.

That photo is absolutely awesome!

I want to lick her too. Immediately, if not sooner.
She is both beautiful and human and thus more beautiful. And lickable. Damn.
She is so beautiful. Praise be to Glamour; never thought I'd say that.
Well, let's just say some women wear their pooches better than others.
Wonderful photo of a real beautiful woman. Great post.
Very cool pic!!! I remember when my ex told me "You're getting one of those flaps of fat on your stomach" -- and it was not said in a loving way. I can live with it now...there is so much other stuff to worry about!
I came here expecting dog stomachs! I am terribly disappointed.
Lady M- I like "deer belly" :-) Thanks Duane, Owl, Ash, Jeanette, Steve, fireyes, cruelwench (if someone said that to me- now at least- I'd say "what of it?"), sorry mumbletypeg- next time dog stomachs, looks like you're going to have to get in line cap'n
Imperfections like "pooches" are so much sexier than perfection. At least to me.

gorgeous in deed.... and perfect to rest the noggin on while reading!
Juli, I'm sorry you've felt like that. I spent my youth peering hard at my flaws, looking for them, trying like crazy to achieve a level of perfection that's unattainable. I think all women have that sense of self loathing about our bodies. (I think men are beginning to feel it too) It may be innate or cultural, but nomatter we are all very critical particularly about our own skin.
YAY! Just YAY! This makes me so happy. I keep looking at that pooch and thinking "Really? It's not a flaw?" Wow, it's a miracle... Thanks for posting this! Rated P for pooch.
Having come from a family where looks mattered (5 older sisters handing my flaws to me on silver platters my whole life and my mother handing me her anti-wrinkle cream this past Mother's Day and pointing out PRECISELY where I needed to apply it, I am NOT fricken kidding), this is a magnificent picture from Glamour. Thanks for showing it to us!
I'm showing this to my wife. I've been telling her ever since I've known her this exact same thing.
And now, it comes out that the "new" thing for men is a "Ralph Cramden" belly rather than a 6-pack.
Is narcicissm dead?
Rated, Thanks.
Anne Lamott once wrote about her pooch that is slept right next to her, like a little pet.
she's lovely and so is what you wrote. thank you.
Juli, this was just great. And it hurts my heart to think of you so young as unknowingly sweet, hiding yourself, feeling anything other than exuberance at being alive in the moment of your class. Oh, what we do to our girls. Self-hatred is taught, it is not inborn. I'm happy to see this small step towards letting them love themselves.
Wow... beautiful pic and great catch, JJ. I'm actually shocked that Glamour had the guts to publish it, especially after that debacle with Self and Kelly Clarkson. Could their explanation of why they photoshopped her have been any more lame???
I am so glad I stopped to read this post. I remember my pediatrician when I was little telling my mom "Your daughter will never be petit." Well, no surprise, my mom is 5'11! But the way he said it had me holding in my belly and slouching as much as I could to try to meet his expectations of the better sized child. I think it took me until my 30's to get over it. I love that woman in the photo, whoever she is, for allowing all of us to feel a little more ok about ourselves today!
Wonderful! Her legs and thighs aren't small either, yet she's still beautiful. Thanks for making all of us feel just a little bit better about our own bodies.
We heard a bit from a song on a country station yesterday, just a little bit: "She's rockin' a beer belly, she's rockin' her muffin top". Have to listen to that again, all of it, it wasn't critical, more like affectionate. . .
~rocco and rusty
(rocco has the pooch)
I saw this pic in Glamour too.

I had WAAAAAAYYY too many arguments with the boyfriend about mine. I refused to do sit-ups because 1.) I don't like doing sit-ups and have other things I want to do with my time and 2.) they don't do much good.

It's not a health issue, it's not some hideous deformity. It's just a friggin' flap. Get over it.
It is called the "mount of Venus." It is probably the most beautiful, sexiest, of all gynoid physical characteristics.

JUstJuli: I just posted the same article...unaware of your posting...THANK YOU...I am reassured of the company I am keeping in OS...and to all who posted here...we are all striving to go through life with EYES WIDE OPEN and HEARTS OF ACCEPTANCE OVERFLOWING! I am in AWE that I have found a group so nurturing! LIFE IS GOOD!
Sorry for the delay in finding this. I think this is one of the most positive moves a "fashion" magazine could make. Now imagine if they would have the courage to put women like this on the cover, instead of burying her on p. 194 in a 3 x 3.....
Maybe they should create a magazine called Poochie Poochie.
Great photo, great commentary. Far from ugly, the "pooch" looks , may I say, Normal. Finally! I remember Thoth talking about it in one of his posts a while back and I was surprised that a man would see the Pooch as not just okay, but erotic and beautiful. You just confirmed his claim with photograhic evidence.
Yes!!! I also have always had a little belly. I always hated it, but I'm starting to make friends with it. That is a goregous pic and I'm so happy that it was in Glamour. Yay!!!
Well this has definitely made my day! Thanks!!!
I saw this photo and loved it too and all the hoopla about it
I guess I never noticed...the 'pooch' isn't where the action's at!
Looks as sexy as a breast. A big step forward. Maybe we'll see other "imperfections" now too. Nice post, Julie.
It's good that a mag will go there, incrementally. It's a drop in the 16yr old, photoshopped anorexic bucket.
>> Is narcicissm dead?

Ummm. No. Just changed stripes. (Self absorption is defined by what one does, not the expression of it.) And that belly is *not* attractive. The rest of her is, though.
The belly is a woman's sexiest asset. The desire to flatten it like a formica cabinet top is misguided. Licking...yes indeed.
I just got to this post. I've also always had a little belly no matter how thin I was.

But here's the news flash - women are supposed to have a rounded belly! It's designed that way by nature. We need extra fat (more than men) for childbearing (in case food is scarce), and that's a key place that nature locates it. Women with perfectly flat stomachs naturally are by far the exception, not the rule.

Go to any art gallery and look at paintings from 100 or more years ago. I'm not talking Rubens (his women are huge), I'm talking paintings of what were/are ordinary sized women (beautiful ones!). They all have lovely rounded bellies sticking out, even when their arms and legs are slender. And note that their breasts are mostly small too -- smaller than their bellies.

We've been brainwashed by the media that women with highly unusual bodies (either naturally or due to plastic surgery including breast implants to round out a very very thin body) are not just the ideal of female beauty but should somehow be the norm. But they're not, and never have been. Seeing what the ideal of female beauty has been for most of human history is enlightening.
damn, yes- that IS hot. So much hotter than washboard anything.