Ive been reading a lot of new blogs lately. I read one, click a link, read another, click a link.. so on and so on, you get the picture. I really, truly adore reading what other women write. But Ive noticed a trend in most of them lately. It seems that many of these women, who I see as powerful, strong, mothers, are writing about body image. Or, maybe more importantly, lack of body image. Some about encouraging it despite their shortcoming, some about hating themselves, some about new bathing suits and summer fashions, but all about bodies.
I will be frank, I have shit body image. I have the lowest self esteem. Its crippling, it has held me back for most of my life. I always thought I was the ugly one. No really, no woe is me, I did. I hated who I saw. The girls I surrounded myself with my entire life were pretty, and maybe that only added fuel to the fire. I dreamt that I was the ugly duckling awaiting my journey into beautiful swan-dom. Some days I wake up and still wonder about that journey.
I guess the one thing that kept my sanity in tact was that I was physically fit. I was never out of shape, I was never ‘fat’ or ‘letting myself go’. That is… until I got pregnant. I was the ‘Im going to eat that and that because Im eating for two’ pregnant girl. I was the ‘gain fifty pound plus baby’ pregnant girl.
Im still working that fifty off.
Now, granted, having a baby is going to wreck havoc on your body, I understand this now, and knew it going in. But I wasn’t prepared for my body after a baby. I had no idea about the looseness my skin would acquire (in my stomach, jerks, Im fit as a fiddle elsewhere). No one told me about the width of my hips changing. That I would go from a perky B to a HUGE DD and stay there… awkwardly. And my butt? Yeah, it definately grew.
But, I have a beautiful little girl. And that the point right? Er… right.
She is marvelous. She is beautiful and smart and wonderful. But she destroyed my body.
So my question is really… how do you love and embrace your every new curve and stretch mark, when society is telling you… thats discusting. Thats wrong. Thats not how you should look…?
And better yet, how do you maintain that self-love and pass it on, teach it to your little girl, who will no doubt grow up in this cruel mind set?
I dont know the answer. I dont know how you find out the answer.
I mean, sure, you love yourself. You learn to. You teach your babies through yourself. You lead by example.
But… how do you get from here… to example?