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The Venus Mambo: Loving Our Bodies

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing—until a little too much wine at a trendy restaurant inspires you to say yes to the flourless mocha cake and one indescribably delicious bite later, you realize this is what you’ve been hungering for all your life. That’s how it was the first time I saw Laila Ali (daughter of Muhammed) on Dancing with the Stars. Her big beautiful sensuous exuberant confident dancing made my jaw drop.

I didn’t know women could look like this.

Before Laila, I thought females came in two models: the lucky ones with tight-tummies thin-thighs full hair high-cheek-bones… and the awkward rest of us who just don’t measure up. The first type can go to job interviews, gym classes and grocery stores without anxiety, while the rest of us move apologetically, furtively, wearing long sweaters to cover our thighs, as we try to sport good personalities. We go to “goddess” workshops and affirm to each other that all women are beautiful—goodness, many of our men try to tell us we’re beautiful—but secretly we know better. Beautiful is being 5 foot nine, weighing 119 pounds.

I don’t know how much Laila weighs. But I know that her beauty, power, sensuality and grace are so far beyond the range normally allowed a woman, that she has forever altered how I see the feminine. I get it now. We’re all that beautiful. All shapes, all sizes. If only we’d just drop the anxiety and mambo through our lives. True beauty is the vibe that says we like ourselves and we’re having fun. And that’s what Venus wants us to know

Sensuous, sassy, unapologetic Venus demands that we savor the delights of earthly life—in a body (yours!) with five senses (oh! doesn’t that smell nice, doesn’t that feel silky, doesn’t that taste heavenly, doesn’t that sound divine?). To serve the goddess, walk or dance in pleasure, feeling strong, patient, vibrant and unperturbed. Look: Venus is everywhere—in the blossoming roses, in the breath-taking dogwood blooms, in the elm and oak leaves gossiping in the afternoon breeze. Venus is in you too, just itching to do the mambo.

Astrology says there are at least twelve different ways to express the feminine—indicated by the Venus sign when you were born. And yet, most of us have been brain-washed, limited by our culture’s imagination. There’s such a poverty of feminine images to work with—that when the goddess stares back at us in the morning mirror, we just can’t see her smiling through our eyes. We need the Lailas of the world to wake us up. As one participant in Venus my research project wrote:

I remember a large woman I went to school with … by medical standards she would qualify as obese. Yet she had my envy every time I saw her. She was the sexiest thing that ever walked. She oozed it. She was ALWAYS dressed in the cutest outfit, her hair was always curled and fluffed and she always wore makeup. But this wasn’t what made her so remarkable. It was the way she moved and spoke. She acted as if she was the smartest sexiest woman in the room… and well, guess what. She was. The smartest sexiest woman in the room. Whatever room she walked into, ALL of the men turned to look. She thought she was IT and so she was.

If I had a magic wand to grant one for you right now, it would be that the next time you enter a room, you do so knowing you are IT, a delicious expression of the divine. Venus rules “self esteem,” but that’s such a blah way to describe the practice of accepting your own beauty and worth. Just follow Nature’s cue: Doesn’t that little pink weed, growing through a crack in the sidewalk, blossom as though it were IT? Right now you’re breathing. With the next breath you take, inhale as though you were IT.

And don’t forget your mambo.

© Dana Gerhardt

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