I don’t want my son to find a Barbie doll pretty. I want him to understand, even at three, that she is not an accurate representation of a woman’s body. This is ridiculous, I know, but it’s not stopping from getting all excited about this teachable moment we’re having.
There are a lot of people like me. Women who know things. Women who have seen things. Women with diseases in their livers. There are a lot of women with scars on their arms and words that carry themselves like sparrows. There are women who were too big for this town, who had their backs bent carrying things like religion and a history that originated somewhere in the crook of a branch that extended over a stream. All of you women with lines on your brow, with cracks between your fingers… it’s been a long winter. All of you, you are beautiful and so am I.
I have a bucket list. I keep it written in a little journal and I get it out and stare at it once in a while. Some of the items on there are big, lofty experiences that I hope to have one day. However, many of the things on that list are simple, personal experiences I want to achieve. This week, I got to cross one off the list: feeling comfortable in a bathing suit.
I know that I can expect my body to change after giving birth — it’s kind of obvious to me that growing a human, gaining 30-60lbs, and then pushing a human out of my body will do that. But I want to know the nitty-gritty: how does your body REALLY change?
I did not grow up often hearing that I was smart (although I was) or that I was pretty (I had my good days). In fact, I did not know my worth at all until I thought I could find it in boys. BIG MISTAKE. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common one. There was no way I wanted my daughter to follow that same path, so from a very early age I built her foundation of worth with a continuous flow of positive words — none of which focused solely on her obvious beauty.