I have been happy with my figure, once or twice, in the past.
It wasn’t at the time though.
It was always many years later, when I looked back on old photographs of myself and thought, “God, why didn’t I realize what I had then??” Actually, the only time I have felt truly content with my body shape was when I was pregnant. I could finally breathe out after 20 years…
But is any woman ever really happy with her body? I don’t believe so. If you’ve got it, you don’t want to lose it, so you kill yourself to maintain it. If you don’t got it, you kill yourself to get it, or give it all up and slowly die in a quagmire of red wine and chocolate. Either way, a lot of killing/dying. Not pretty.
So why can’t we just be bloody happy with what God gave us?
Since time eternal women have been squeezing themselves into societies idea of what shape they ‘should’ be. Corsets, high-waisted knickers, Spanx; same torture, different centuries. Women have removed ribs, passed out from being laced too tight, miscarried because of their clothing for Gods sake! How has it become acceptable to completely change our natural shape to ‘fit in’?
Look, I’m guilty of owning a tummy tucker or two myself. But why do we keep buying into this shit?!
I realized recently, as I was trying on clothes post baby, that I have inherited a lot of my body insecurities from my mother. At 61, she is constantly critiquing herself on how she looks. Lets be blunt, she’s 61, she ain’t gonna have a washboard stomach any time soon! But she is a beautiful, petite, talented woman in rude health, so why can’t she give herself a break? The thoughts of berating myself for another 30 years…..it’s exhausting!
Now more than ever, I am aware of it. As my girls hurtle towards adulthood, I feel sick with fear that I am instilling the right values in them. Hoping that they will be strong, confident women, yet knowing I can only do so much until the big bad world leaves its scars on them.
My 3 year old is currently caught up in a world of Princesses and castles and happily ever afters. No it’s not reality, and yes it’s a bit twee, but you know what, I’m OK with that! Because God knows I only have a few years before she becomes a ‘tween’ (balk!) and starts to try and live up to societies expectations of her image. The sexualized crop tops/tiny shorts/bikinis/make up kits that are ‘so cute’ make me feel ill. And why do we, as the parents, continuously succumb to the pressure and buy into it??
What ideas are we selling our children?????
If there is one thing I pray I pass on to my girls, it’s to love themselves regardless. Don’t cheapen yourselves with nude selfies or nelfies (and if they’re not called nelfies they should be!) Don’t lay yourselves out on a plate to be ogled by all and sundry. Protect your dignity, maintain your mystery. Don’t take the piss out of Feminism and flaunt yourselves as easy meat just because you can. You are worth more than that. So much more.
And to all the gorgeous young things out there now; legs or cleavage, that was the rule of thumb in my day. And put on a feckin jacket, we live in Ireland!!