Redefining Beauty
Felicia P. Fields on learning to feel beautiful.
Don't Look Down by Felicia P. Fields
There's nothing cute about my legs. They're big. They're thick. They're shapeless and knock-kneed. I lose weight, I gain weight, I do 600 lunges, I sit on the couch all day—it doesn't matter: There's no changing these legs. When I'm in a play, I tell the costume designer to bring that hemline down. And you'll never see me in a miniskirt.

A friend once said, "Felicia, you should be happy you've got two legs to walk on." I know that's true, but it's not so easy to digest. We've all been fed the same ideals. I've had a male companion tell me to my face, "You've got some ugly legs." I've been at a photo shoot where the stylist gave me two wardrobe options and my costars ten.

Over time some women learn to love their flaws. Not me. I still stare at my legs in the mirror and shake my head. But I've learned something just as valuable: Physical beauty isn't the most important thing—about me or to me. I have enough gorgeous friends to know that being pretty guarantees nothing—not confidence, not happiness, not love. I also know that a good man isn't necessarily good-looking. So these days, I concentrate on developing my best asset: my personality (my breasts are a close second). Men may woo-woo my curvaceous cousin on the street, but when we get to the restaurant, the energy gravitates to me. In the end, I may wish I had different calves and thighs, and no knock-knees. But I like who I am as a person. And because I believe that there's much more to me than my looks, other people believe it, too.