It’s been too long y’all! WordPress reminded me yesterday that it was my four year anniversary. !! *Cheers* !! So I’m here and I will try to keep everything updated (like I’ve never promised that before *hides face in shame*) because there is a lot of stuff I want to write about but never do simply because I’m either too busy or too lazy. Always at either end of the extreme. Gah! Me! Anyway…
So I read this article (link below this paragraph) a week ago or so and I keep coming back to it. Apparently it’s been out a while so you all may have seen/heard/read it already. It kinda made me angry and sad at the same time so I’m just going to say what I have to say about it.
Beauty After Baby: The Honest Truth <—– Original Article
I appreciate this woman’s honesty. This is how she feels and I’m sure a lot of new mothers sighed in agreement. I don’t know her life, her environment or her upbringing. Everybody wants to feel good about themsleves and should be allowed to express their desire to do so, so they can work through their feelings. Her blog post could very well have been therapy for her to really go through what she’s feeling.
Now to my personal feelings towards this. I’ve never had a baby. I’m saying this now, so if you want to be totally ignorant and disregard everything that I say after this because there’s ‘no way I could possibly understand’ then go ahead, that’s not my concern. Like this new mother, I am simply expressing myself so I can work through my own feelings.
My main problem with this was her constant ascertion of the word beauty when it had to do with the physical. Yes, go ahead and laugh at my naivety. But I am left thinking that had she or several of the women who commented had a different view of what beauty really is before they got pregnant they wouldn’t be left feeling so dissatisfied with their bodies now ”’after baby”’.
I don’t know maybe it’s because unlike so many people around me I have had several body issues of my own throughout my life. I have been on the receiving end of body shame in more than one way growing up, unbeknownst to many. A lot of those issues still give me problems up to today. It just takes more for me to put myself together according to the standard of beauty than others (when I care to) and I’m always having to constantly watch what I eat and be aware of my environment to keep things in check.
But that’s another post, the point is I’ve had a lot of practice in accepting my body the way it is. If I didn’t learn very early on in my life to appreciate what my body can do instead of just how it looks, I would not have been able to see any beauty in it.
And I know she said, that she believes women should be empowered beyond superficial beauty but until you actually have to live outside the standards of that ‘superficial’ beauty for a long period of time, you won’t really know if your resolve to love yourself anyway and find the deeper beauty in you will hold strong and true, and I think that is what this new mother is experiencing now.
And this is really what I’m not hearing from her at the end of her heart-opening post. So you don’t feel pretty because of the way you look and feel? That’s what it all came down to. Put your fear of sounding superficial aside and hear this. Did you consider AT ALL the work that your body is doing for you despite the way it looks? Do you think a bird who loses a few feathers is more concerned about it affecting it’s ability to fly balanced or the visual ruining of it’s precious plumage?
Now I don’t want to make her or any other mother feel bad. I honestly think mothers, especially the good ones who go over mountains for their families and give love like it’s as natural as breath should be told they are the most awesome, spectacular beings on earth for the rest of their lives, daily, by their loved ones.
But I read this woman’s article and the first thing that honestly came to my mind was, this is so sad. You don’t think you’re pretty because you just had a baby and your body doesn’t look or feel the same as it was before? And excuse me for stating it so simply because it is anything but simple what a woman’s body goes through to make a child. Many women’s bodies never recover from the stress. It is a taxing process.
However I am STILL left thinking, what the hell does being pretty have to do with childbirth? I mean think about it. Let it really sink in and the ridiculous non-association will soon hit home for you. Some will take longer than others to get it but… *shrug* …we’re moving on.
After birth, if that ever happens for me, I will be treating myself like an Olympic gold medalist returning home and my body will be getting the five star treatment. Not everybody can afford a top of the line spa but the key is to take care of your body, inside and out. Just work on making it feel good, that’s how you heal.
I could agree on the sexiness level plummeting (though that could be easily solved as well with some help from the significant other ;P) but I draw the line there. This woman, and all the others who threw their thumbs up, must have an… interesting idea of what being beautiful is to look at their awesome bodies and call it, ‘not pretty’. A woman actually said that she hated her body after birth in the comments. She HATED it! Say what?
Forget the stretch mark badge of honour, tiger who earned it’s strips and all that cute imagery for post-childbirth body deformation, and just think about it this way for a second. If your body was a person and you were talking about it like this, how do you think it would feel? Especially after it physically went through so much to assist you in birthing your little miracle. Hmmm?
If I were these women’s bodies I would feel like crap to know that’s what they thought of me after everything I went through for them. Not pretty. Okay. Body just did a beyond spectacular job for you. Body deserves to be pampered and just given a damn break but instead body (their body) has to be beat up with words like, “why aren’t you bouncing back fast enough?” “Why do you sag here now?” “I can’t wait till you’re tight again and I’m going to hide you in shame, even from my loving husband who probably knows how to take care of you in the most intimate way no matter your shape, until you look better.” “Hide body, I’m so embarrassed by you.” “Nobody wants to see you, not even me.” “You’re not pretty anymore.” “Why don’t you look the way you used to.”
If I were their body, I would bounce OUT… if their body were a person of course. Seriously. These mommas don’t care about me. I mean what more do you want? One of the most trialing things a human body can go through is pregnancy. And unless you can afford the most expensive diets, nips and hidden tucks (and round the clock sitters while I get all this done) to be walking out with the thinnest post-pregnancy body before most women come out of the hospital, all you mommas out there need to stop beating yourself up over how you look. It’s temporary.
Which brings me to my next point.
I honestly feel that people, society, media, every ass with a mouth should leave mothers the hell alone with this ‘lose the baby weight NOW or you’re not pretty, not to mention lazy’ crap which this woman and apparently several (too many) others are evidently being influenced by.
I mean at the time this article was posted this woman said she gave birth what, two months ago? Are you serious? Most women are lucky to be out of the hospital the first two months after their child is born. Thank God you AND your baby had no complications and got to go home within days.
But this bombardment in the media and society with all these women who ‘bounce back so quickly’ is distorting women’s feelings about themselves during this time. Your body is still working towards recovery, now is not the time to be concerned with priming and toning it. Now is the time to take care of it. It is absolutely realistic to still have baby weight after just two months. Nothing is wrong with that.
And you know what this pressure to ‘bounce back’ to your old body essentially does to women. It robs them of one of the simplest and happiest gestures of just being nice to yourself. Half the reason women don’t feel good about their bodies after birth is because of this pressure, the next half of course being postpartum depression which is a different but very real and very serious issue.
I am not trying to take away your right to, how did she put it? Wanting to feel good about yourself and not being made to feel bad if you don’t automatically embrace your body as it is, until further notice. You do have that right. Though here’s a suggestion that might actually make you feel better. Half the reason why you are still trying to feel good about yourself has to do with you just giving yourself and your body a hard time. Just relax damnit and Be Nice To Yourself!
You’re embarrassed to get naked in front of your husband? Did you ask him if he gives a rat’s ass about how your body looks now after ONLY 8 weeks after birth. I mean, eight weeks?! I’m still confounded by that! Have the fast pregnancy weight loss stories in the media really distorted where a woman’s body should be at this time so badly?
If you had said a year or two or something. ?? I know a lot of women who took years to get back to their pre-baby weight but they did eventually. And who’s opinion really matters here anyway. Everybody’s or just yours, or just a few people? Does your husband make you feel embarrassed maybe? I don’t know, I’m trying not to blame everything on the media but I’m also trying to understand the logic behind this. Did you try to talk to him about how you’re feeling? The man might surprise you with his insightful-ness.
Even in the comments below the article I heard everybody agreeing, ‘focus on your beautiful baby boy’ and yes, do that, of course. But focus on your husband some to yeah, please. Especially if he’s good and supportive and doesn’t see your perceived ‘non-pretty’ which apparently you can only find in “A little bit of concealer, mascara and lip gloss!” :/
Wow, no! If that makes you feel better then go for it but I really wish you could see the strength and beauty in your body as well, the way it is now. Your plumage isn’t what it used to be but heck it hasn’t impeded your flight. Your body still works so give it the credit due and please don’t deny your husband intimacy with you because you think you’re not pretty anymore.
I don’t know what else to say because on the one hand I read this article and thought to myself, this woman just brought a freaking life into this world and she dislikes her body for all the awesome work it did for her, don’t make her feel any worse, now come on.
But then on the other hand I’m thinking, her baby will think she is awesome no matter what size she is or how long she takes to get back to her original weight and size and her husband if he loves the hell out of her will think she is HOT DAMN SEXY even if her body doesn’t look the way it used too, she just needs to give him the chance to jump her bones and she’ll see. And she needs to know that!
Post pregnancy mothers need to know that. That beauty IS powerful but it’s the deep internal beauty that feels like a sparkle lighting up your insides that is truly powerful. That makes you feel like a goddess despite how you look and will stop you from hating yourself for not meeting the common physical standard of beauty.
And FRANKLY, the only standard there should be for beauty after pregnancy is happy and healthy. Forget anything else because lot’s of women don’t even get that. For you and your baby to walk away unscathed from the process is a blessing. Go snap off your girdles for a moment and kick off those high heels and let your feet loose and just take care of your beautiful body.
Thank it for the work it’s done by making sure it’s healthy so it can get what it needs to restore itself and stop calling it names and make it feel loved instead. Enjoy the incredible husband you have and the miracle you both brought into the world. Let your body work out in more joyful ways. Laugh a lot, take a walk and dance. Your beautiful body is still strong. Don’t look in the mirror if it helps focus your mind for now on what you need to do for your body but just let the rest go.
If you really want to get back to your old size, with persistence your body will get you there in time, just stop the negativity for now and the fretting.
But remember, like I always say, critics (points at self) may lie so take note or don’t take note just decide for yourself what you want to believe. Whatever you do decide I hope it’s something that will make you feel full of light and happiness. *BIG Smile*
- Written by Travesaou
Copyright © 2010 Critics May Lie All Rights Reserved
NB: So normally I credit any photos I use but I have no idea where I got any of these I used here. Internet dropped while I was writing this so just to have it ready whenever Mr.Net decided to come back I used some photos I already had on file. I’m sure I probably saw them once on Facebook or something and liked them but I know not where they originated. But if you have an ideas please direct me to such site. :)