We as women are set up to fail in the beauty department. Go flip through any womens magazine. Every third page is an ad for a wrinkle cream, a weight loss pill, an acne medicine, a hair shine serum. We are made to believe from a very early age that we are meant to be a size 3 with flawless skin and shiny hair and perfect straight white teeth and perky round breasts and a cute little butt that is THERE but not TOO there. Being a teenage girl can be hell for any girl who buys into those standards and measures herself against them.
Then we become mothers. And shit we thought we had all under control totally unravels. Hips widen. Breasts change. Even our FEET can go up in size. There are stretch marks and veins and softening of flesh in places we had all this time worked SO damn hard to keep tight and firm. Sure, we have this amazing, awesome baby that we would fight to the very death to protect and we are in heaven getting to be a mom. But when we place the baby down to sleep and eye ourselves critiquely in the mirror, what we see often depresses us. We find it hard to see ourselves as beautiful. We worry our husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends will not see us sexually appealling any longer.
Here’s the thing.
Mothers are sexy. More so, in my opinion, than some taut skinny 19 year old girl. Because a 19 year odl girl is just beginning to understand what sexy means. But a mother has taken sexy and formed it into life and birthed a mother fucking human from out of her act of sex and then continued to use her body to care for that miracle life, by snuggling it, by nursing it, by nurturing it. A mother is the grace of a gazelle blended with the raw power of a lion. A mother is soft where she once was hard muscle. Because it requires softening to become a mother. Patience and gentleness and love. Breasts cease being only sexual objects of desire and suddenly serve a greater purpose. The stretch marks are like tattoos that serve as reminders of every kick we felt, every contraction we encountered, every beautiful, wonderful, marvelous moment of that portion of our journey. I know women who have been trying for years to have a child. It is their deepest wish and desire. They would give ANYTHING to have stretch marks dance across their skin. Anything.
Throw the damn “beauty” magazines away. Change the channel when some commercial comes on telling you how being skinnier or less wrinkled will somehow make you better. Teach your daughters what true beauty is all about. Tell them it’s courage. It’s women who face cancer while carrying a baby in their womb. Its women who try so hard to breastfeed and cry while they pump precious drops of milk with a pump into a bottle for fragile newborns in the NICU. Its a single mother who takes her new baby home to their apartment and fills it with so much love that that baby never notices another parent is missing. Its women who birthe babies without any medication. And women who cling to their husbands hand while they undergo and emergency C section. Beauty is courage. Beauty is individuality. Beauty is the woman who sings her baby to sleep while he sways in a swing by her side as she recovers from a C section. Beauty is the woman who carries her baby in a sling while she grocery shops. Beauty is the woman who tandem nurses her newborn and toddler daughter at the same time. Beauty is wide hips perfect for balancing babies and toddlers on while we stand in line at the grocery store. Beauty is soft breasts that were once filled with milk, amazing life-giving milk. Beauty is the soft, pliable flesh of our bellies were life once grew and developed and lived, a reminder how truly awesome we are.
Our potential is limitless. We are amazing. Gorgeous. Sexy. Stunning.
It’s all in how we look at it.
Go ask your children. Children aren’t dumb enough to buy into media hype. They don’t give a rip about what media says is beauty. They know they have the most beautiful mother on earth.