Thing About Beauty Is….
I’M BACK! My hiatus will be fully explained later this week, but for now………
Do you feel beautiful? Who makes you feel beautiful? Does it come from within? Does it come from the validation of others? What IS beauty?
If you read this blog regularly and/or follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you know I struggle deeply with my own self image, particularly since I have gained 25 pounds in the past 18ish months. Burlesque has helped immensely, but insecurities about my body are ever-present. Changing how I feel about myself isn’t going to happen overnight. I work every second of every day to be more positive……and then this happened.
“Mommy, I love your floppy boobies and your big, soft tummy.”
If Sawyer had said this to me last year, or even last week, it would have sent me into a huge tailspin of “I HAVE to lose weight! I’m so fat and gross!!!” But this time, THIS TIME, I just smiled and hugged him and thought “What a sweet thing to say.
Something clicked in my brain over the past few weeks that I’ve been unable to see through the last 4.5 years of motherhood. To our children, we, their parents, are the absolute epitome of the “ideal” body, of beauty. They see us and want to be like us- both in our mannerisms, hobbies, and our looks. Sawyer wants to dance like Mommy, be tall and play music like Daddy. He admires us, as all kids do. Sawyer likes to smoosh my chub together and snuggle on my tummy, he feels safe, loved, and comforted. The stretch marks and extra fluff aren’t gross or unappealing to him- they are an integral part of the person he loves most in this world. ME.
A positive body image isn’t just important for me to have for my own personal sanity- it’s important for my son. He needs to see a healthy, curvy mom who loves her body. Who doesn’t say “I’m so fat.” She says, “I am strong, beautiful, and a little bit fluffy.” Whether you have daughters, sons, or both, we need to realize that they absorb EVERYTHING. When we say that we feel gross, fat, ugly, etc…. they internalize that and think that’s what they are supposed to feel about themselves. Remember that scene in “Mean Girls” when they all look in the mirror and say something they hate about their bodies? That is what we are teaching our kids to do by shaming ourselves. Every time you want to say something negative about yourself, say three things you love instead. I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive for health or self improvement, but those things are best accomplished when they come from a place of self love and respect.
And that’s the thing about beauty…. Beauty and attraction are very different things. Attraction purely comes from aesthetics and personal taste. Celebrities, people on the street, we find them “attractive.” Their physical appearance, for whatever reason, is appealing to us on a visual level.
Beauty, truly finding someone absolutely beautiful— that comes from LOVE. Think for a moment about how much our children love us. Really think about it. That love colors their vision- it’s not “love blinders” it’s the opposite. Their love for us is what makes them able to see our REAL BEAUTY. And is there anything more beautiful than that?