Friday, October 26, 2007

body image

We all know how, once you have a baby – the focus is on baby, and therefore, how necessary is it really to be pretty again? I mean, your baby is the prettiest thing in the room, and getting all the attention, so why bother with a burp cloth? If she pukes on your shoulder, no one will care because they’re all oohing and ahhing over the little beauty queen, anyway! Yeah, just kidding – that is not an okay place to be. But the opposite is to allow yourself to use your baby as an accessory, and dress her to the nines, use fashionable burp rags, and pack your $150 diaper bag with high end diaper cream, and designer pacifiers. It is a hard walk, being a new mom. And being a stay-at-home-mom doesn’t exactly give you all the same motivation to get back (or just get) into shape like you have when you plan to go back to work. What do I do? I vainly attempt to take a shower every day, and apply mascara and lip-gloss. But the hardest is the clothes. Honestly, the muffin top disaster that is created by jeans worn too low on a post baby belly, squishing in the bum, but allowing the belly all the room in the world to flow freely, is equal in laughability with a new mom’s only other option – the mom jean, worn well about the belly button, with the zipper making your belly look like it has the same crack your backside has. And the way clothing is made to fit today is truly only attractive on a size 6 or below, when the average American woman is a size 12, what is a frumpy new mom to do? I get stuck in silly hooded sweatshirts, with the pocket just big enough to hide my belly, and short sleeves to emphasize the thinnest part of my body – my forearms. I have 2 pairs of jeans that look decent enough the second time I wear them after they come out of the dryer (ie stretch them out of muffin-top phase). But this is ridiculous. I should be allowed to be proud that I have embraced every single thing that my woman body was created to be for me – not constantly worrying about what I should or shouldn’t eat to fit into that adorable little dress at Target of all places. And this isn’t even about being healthy – because there are plenty of very healthy woman bigger than a size 6, and plenty of less than healthy ones below, yet the fight continues in our heads for appropriate body image. Loving that woman of a body, with larger then Target brand bra boobs, and stretch marked skin that should be a symbol of the power my body holds, and the blessing of my child should be easy, simple. But it isn’t for a simple reason. We women judge ourselves against one another instead of embracing our similarities, our power, our individual beauty. I look at other moms pushing strollers, and ask myself why don’t I look like that yet? Or, how long did it take her get there? Yet, as easy as it is to type these thoughts about body image, they aren’t easy to believe. Because, all woman want to be the one pushing the stroller being looked at with those questioning eyes. All women want to be that anomaly of smaller than pre-pregnancy 2 weeks after giving birth. Even – especially me. But, do we even want it more than we want the Reese’s peanut butter cups we bought for “trick-or-treaters” 2 weeks early?


Julie Kae Sigars said...

Hey Liz, this is so cool.
For fun you might want to check out this site. progressive mommies.
love,Julie Kae

Molly said...

This really is awesome. You're a fabulous writer! Now I really truly believe that we should open a "journalling" store and invite writers/speakers from all over to share with our patrons. You'll be the first on the schedule. :) Seriously, very nice to see your thoughts. I hope to see you again very soon. Almost finished with your books. They all were great fun to read.