Some PR agency thought that I as a woman with children and a blogger (let's be candid, I'm more of a motherblogger than a sweetie mommy blogger), that I would freely endorse helping mothers
"become a more improved version of themselves"through the miracles of a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, breast lift, and liposuction.
I don't even wear makeup. Ever. The last time I used my blowdryer was to speed-dry a painted name banner two years ago, and the time before that was to de-ice my car's lock in 2003.
Through advertising and marketing, girls are taught from a tender young age that they are not good enough without flawless physical beauty. It's disturbing.
As women we are continuously taught to hate almost every aspect of the bodies that carry us through life despite those machines' amazing reliability and beauty of design. When we dislike our physical beings because we don't match impossible standards of appearance, we waste our lives.
During a recent workout, I was so impressed at the weight more experienced members of the class could manage. As I watched us all in the mirror, they reminded me that each effort, every lift, made me stronger. When class ended, the same women passed behind my locker discussing how they hated the classroom's mirrored wall and how they spent most of their time focusing on their bodies' faults. When such strong and beautiful young women obsess over imagined (or minuscule) defects in themselves, it brings everyone down.
For ourselves and for our daughters, I do want moms to become more improved versions of themselves: Please take a week and contemplate what your body does well.
I am glad I can lift my children and other heavy objects. I rejoice in my ability to see and read. My hands move across the keyboard with a speed and accuracy that surprises me. I can laugh until my ribs hurt. I can climb up a hill or a playground slide. Though I can't go as far on one breath, I can still glide under the water for a surprisingly long time. When I smile, people tend to smile back.
This body is more than a casual transport for my brain, and it can do things now that it may not be able to do in 10 years. Today offers me the gift of an able body, and I can revel in that miracle.
What do you like about yourself?
For an engaging documentary on American culture and female body image check out America the Beautiful (also on Netflix live streaming).
***Baby Toolkit is the mostly unsolicited opinion of a geek family. These are not the Joneses that everyone is trying to keep up with. We are Amazon affiliates so a portion of purchases made through our Amazon links defray the costs of the growing empire that is Baby Toolkit. We have no fiscal relationship with the movie America the Beautiful or its partners.
Bravo, Adrienne! I have to say, one reason I love having two boys is that I don't have the same body-image worries. I know boys are subject to them too, but still, I know it would be an even bigger concern of mine if I had daughters.
Dear, dear friend! I love this post and am so thankful you took the time to write it.
Looking fwd to some later moment today to do just what you said: reflect upon what I like about my body. :) But in the immediate moment I will say that I am glad I could lift my very tired toddler until I finally got her down for her nap. I am thankful I could bound around the gym & wield a less-than-skilled but enthusiastic ping pong paddle with my 9-yr-old. And doing so, I could share some good belly laughs with a pre-adolescent who has more than enough moments when she & I are not laughing, though we should! And I am about to go collect my 7-yr-old son from the children's museum, where I will climb up & down flights of stairs in the old historic bldg & enjoy being able to talk to him about the adventures of his day at drama camp. I will miss my spouse's presence in the evening's work, as he is out of town, but I know that I am strong & can probably handle all the challenges that will be put before me tonight! So much to be thankful for with the life I enjoy and the body I have to serve me in it right now! And, I am so happy that you've helped encourage me -- recently and at other stages of life -- to exercise & keep strengthening this body as best as I can! What JOY & stress-relief in the exercise, too!
What a great post. I think it's so sad that they picked mothers as a target. Growing a baby and then nursing him made me just completely in awe of my body. My body created a whole person; you can't do that with Photoshop.
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