Continued from Part 1 (yesterday’s post)
Ok- this is embarrassing- but it was ridiculous how attractive I thought I’d look in skinny jeans. Those skinny jeans models and celebrities look so good in skinny jeans! When I saw the jeans on the hanger, in my mind I saw those women, wearing their skinny jeans like they do. In the dressing room, as I was pulling on said skinny jeans, I looked super awesome from the knees down. I was thinking “Hotblooded, check it and see! These skinny jeans are going to make me look skinny!” But as I kept pulling, tugging, yanking upward it became evident that my postpartum body is in no mood for skinny jeans. The tops of my legs looked like water balloons packed neatly into a nylon stocking. The Foreigner song in my head scratched abruptly off and I got angry. Skinny jeans? What is this concept anyways? Only skinny people look good in them. Back to the curvy fit boot cut. Only two sizes bigger than I was three years ago.
There’s a little culture shock from the blessed body acceptance during pregnancy where no matter how much weight you put on, it’s beautiful. Endearing. Sexy. My butt was three times its normal size with my last pregnancy and I regularly heard how beautiful I looked. Size did not matter. Being big symbolized and embodied life, renewal, and miracles. But now, postpartum, I feel a pressure to get skinny fast. (And, by the way, how long can I keep saying that I’m postpartum as an excuse? I’m 24 months postpartum doesn’t seem acceptable.)
Every time I look in the mirror, I hear my thoughts echoing ridiculous cultural expectations: “I could stand to lose that back fat. It should only be a few more months before I can wear my old jeans.” When I hear myself judging, I have to stop myself: “What the hell? Have I learned nothing from the monumental experience of birthing a child? Am I really going back to the mindset I learned in adolescence that women need to be thin like Barbie? Bah.” That mindset did some major damage to me, not to mention the millions of other girls who struggle with body image.
Today I will pull on my yoga pants and t-shirt and wear them proudly. I have two gorgeous kids and an amazing husband who thinks I’m beautiful. I’m a great mom. I’m gorgeous. (We all need to say this to ourselves.) Gorgeous! Gorgeous! Muffin top- gorgeous! Cellulite- gorgeous! Big ass- gorgeous! Double chin-gorgeous! If I am overweight 48 months postpartum, guess what I will be: GORGEOUS!
It is so important for me to love this body of mine: my soul’s only home for this lovely life I have. It’s been said before, because it’s true: we must teach our kids to know that women love and respect their own bodies. Because as my boys see me respecting my body as it changes, they will grow and become short, tall, big, or small- and hopefully see they must love and respect their own.