“You are looking good” means you are looking thin. I want to be good, I want to be fine, but often being thin is just out of reach. At the Frankfurt Book Fair, for my first day of meetings, I wore a black skirt I had bought at Zara’s. I could barely button it. Perhaps you’re thinking I’ve grown too big for it, but when I bought it a year ago in New York, I couldn’t actually put it on at all. But I bought it anyway. I’m an aspirational shopper. My wardrobe is invaded by many clothes that I’ve never been able to wear, but this doesn’t stop me from buying more clothes that are a size too small for that glorious future Kate who will wear these outfits like a swan with her feathers. I can tell you this now, future Kate has a far sleeker wardrobe than present Kate. Before this trip, I tried on a pink dress that frankly, I will never get my body into. My husband was watching this and he said, “Your ribcage is never going to fit.”
What I would give for a smaller ribcage! That’s what we say to ourselves, ignoring the fact that we are entirely beautiful, pink dress or no. We are living in the only body we will ever have. We are dancing in the only body we will ever have, making love, making mistakes, making hay, making books, making houses and bridges, wheels and music in the only body we will ever lilt across the lawn in the light watching the stars come out one by one. We are our own lilies of the valley.
I wish the media would stop tripping on what Hillary wears. You don’t hear criticism of Obama’s suits or ties. I don’t care whether she wears pantsuits or not; I just want her to do a great job for children, for women, for people of color, for the LGBT community, for all Americans. I hope she finds a designer who works with her body and helps her feel every day like she can conquer the world. I hope she dances in the White House ballroom and feels like a princess. She’s forging new territory for all of us women. For many of us, the idea that women could hold the real power in this country has always seemed as far off as the light that comes from stars. Our first woman president, Hillary Rodham Clinton, I see smiling at cameras, the way we did at the beginning of the world, at the first campfires, our surprise at all that heat, and energy and light.