This is me – part naked, exposed and posting this before I chicken out – this is in response the BBC article - Are women’s bodies still beautiful after pregnancy? I read and subsequently shared it on Facebook and it led to a really refreshing conversation with a group of my friends – all mothers – about their feelings about their bodies.
Stretch marks, cesarean scars, weight gain, between us we had all felt that something was at fault with our bodies. It made me feel – for want of a better expression. Less alone.
I was stupid while pregnant I ate and ate and ate, young and niave so thought “it’s baby weight – it’ll come off”. I was a size 10 -12 when I fell pregnant yet came out of the hospital a size 16 with added stretch marks and flabby bits. The only time I’ve fit into a 12 since was when I was on antidepressants – I got better then my back and hip problems started and the weight piled back on.
Oftentimes I hate my body – I have no real hang ups on how other people view me, But I really do have issues with how I FEEL and I how I view myself and that feeling is compounded by the heatwave we’re currently experiencing. Spring, Autumn, Winter – hell even in the last few summers I’ve been able to hide behind jeans, jumpers and shirts, I can dress and pretend, but in this heat there is nowhere to so.
It’s uncomfortable to be fat. Clothes don’t fit – summer clothes are designed for waifs and in shorts and vests everything is on show. The fat on my thighs – because WHY DO THEY MAKE WOMENS SHORTS SO SHORT, the stretch marks on my arms, the creases on my back, it’s all there for the world to see - and I feel uncomfortable, so very uncomfortable and exposed.
Some one sent a card into postsecret:
And they hit the nail on the head. While in reality I don’t care what YOU think of me, it only takes one story in media, one television programme about thin being beautiful, one stupid stupid facebook post or hurtful remark in the street to reinforce my feelings about myself. And I shouldn’t feel this bad about being me.
I’m 32, a Mom of one, recently married with a great job. I’ve overcome homelessness, selfishness of others and health issues to be where I am today and here isn’t such a bad place…
…So I’ve been brave and taken this photo. This is me laid bare, I can look at this and see the back fat and the split ends or I can look at this and see history. Every ounce of that weight has been on a journey with me and I need to be grateful for who I am and what I have, and so should all of the other ladies who were talking to me today. I have the greatest of respect for you my friends. You exude confidence and are so much fun to be around from the exterior no one would know of the body issues beneath.
It has taken so much courage for me to take and post this photo ( no really there was nearly tears and I’m home alone) but
you’re WE’RE all beautiful and think we just need to believe that of ourselves.