Is it a sex blog? A mommy blog? A bitch & moan blog? Um, . . . yeah. This is my place to be totally honest. In my real life, I feel like I'm always lying to somebody about something. Here, I am totally honest. Brutally so. However, no matter what bad things I say about my kids, I adore them and would never ever really, say, sell them on Ebay. The husband, often referred to as Spousehole, is another story. Oh yeah - if you are under 18 (or if you are my husband), please leave now.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Body Image Challenge

A friend posted recently about body image issues. He challenged his (mostly female) readership to the following:

I think we should all stand in front of a mirror and look at ourselves, make a list of what we like about who we are, body, mind, spirit. Focus on that, not the extra pounds, or the grey pubic hair, or the sagging breasts or growing stomach. Post something body positive, post something that will allow your admirers to fully appreciate you.

Gee, why not ask me to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, bring peace to Iraq, and make George W. Bush intelligent? Because saying something nice about myself is just as nigh-on-impossible.

Note: I don't have gray pubic hair, but I have all the other things on which he says not to focus. It's kind of like telling someone to not think about pink elephants - all you can think about is pink elephants! Also, it is very, very hard to find things to like about myself when I live with someone who constantly criticizes and belittles everything about me. If the person who is supposed to love me above all others thinks I am fat, ugly, and downright repulsive, what's to like?

Okay, what do I like about my body? Hmmmm. I kind of like that it is soft, not so hard and angular as when I was in my teens (78 pounds at 16 y.o. and 5'2") and early 20s (up to 105 pounds by 21 - much, much healthier). I want to lose weight and be more fit, but I don't want to go back to being a sack of skin with bones sticking out. That wasn't cool either.

I like that my breasts are sensitive and responsive. That's one of the reasons I probably would never get implants or even a breast lift to relieve the sagging - I would be scared of losing that sensation. Friends who've had breast surgery (augmentation, reduction, lift) have all experienced at least some loss of sensation.

I like my feet. I think they look pretty darn good for 40 year old feet. I've seen younger women with much nastier looking feet. I think part of the reason my feet are in good condition is that I haven't worn high-heels regularly for many, many years. Even when I was still practicing law, I ran around the office in (tasteful) slippers or flats and only put on the heels when I was meeting with a client, going to a deposition, or in court.

I've come to embrace my stretch marks. I had a few stretch marks on my upper thighs and butt before I had kids, but my abdominal stretch marks are from carrying my babies. I wouldn't trade my little monkeys for anything in the world, so I embrace the stretch marks created by nurturing them in my body for 8 months each. Same deal with the c-section scars. Without the c-sections I wouldn't have my babies (heck without the first one, I wouldn't have me either), so they are a reminder of something wonderful.

That's really all I can find right now that I like. I tried Ed, I really did.


Z said...

You know, I like my stretch marks too. I don't mind any lines on my face, either. I feel like I've earned all of them, and I'm just fine with that.

David said...

It's the imperfections and variety of shapes and sizes that make the human figure interesting. Sexy is all about being proud of what you have.

Anonymous said...

I took a moment to imagine looking at you just the same way you did. You know, for you to stand there unclothed and me to look at everything from the things you like to those you don't like as much.

What would I think of the stretch marks and c-section scars? They identify you as a mother. I cannot identify with the emotional relevance the way you do, and that is natural. I would see the body you have, how it is soft, with the curves of a woman. Oh heck, I'll admit, I looked at your pictures and I admit, I see much to admire in your body, from a man's perspective.

I think I am going to borrow this idea for a post.

Angie said...

I would give credit to a person who has tried hard to come in good shape rather than the ones who are in one but can’t realize its significance. I would personally like to salute such individuals.

I Smile 2 Much said...

good for you. i really dont like some of those identifying *mommy marks you mentioned - i'd rather just ignore them and pretend they're really not there on me but now after reading this - it makes me realize i can totally be all happy*okay with 'em. i really dont think 2 much about 'em but i loved reading this post. its so true about just being good with what we have. my thing has always been this: there's always gonna be women who look a LOT better than me and there will be some who might look worse. so heck. who cares. just work with what i got & be alright. i think U rock. and yah your boobs are amazing. thats a given. ; )

Amorous Rocker said...

The person you live with whom is supposed to love and support you, is an idiot. He is ugly and I don't even know what he looks like. His personality sounds ugly from everything you've ever written about him. You're beautiful and kind.

I have heard that about getting surgery done too, you lose some of the sensitivity. I have contemplated getting a reduction many times but I don't think I'd ever do it. I get annoyed with how big mine are at times but... I can deal with it.

That is a wondwerful way to look at stretch marks. Good for you! =) Hope you're having a great weekend.

Naughty Girl said...

I think you did a great job of tackling his challenge! My breasts intimidate me to no end (they are on the smaller size...despite what the pictures look like, they sort of hang down, and the pink tip is just so...big) but I think I'll have to steal your idea of focusing on how they feel rather than how they look.

Thanks for the inspiration!

SlipOfAGirl said...

Part one of my response is at my blog, dear :)

Lady in red said...

I have been trying to focus on the good bits for a while now as I have discovered since I divorced SF that men find my body far sexier than I would expect. To my mind there is just too much of it. I even asked my dr about a tummy tuck.......she told me that I have irrepairable muscle damage from carrying my big babies. No amount of dieting or excercise will improve this. The NHS won't fund his I can't afford it so I am stuck with it.

When I first began corresponding with Romeo I told him that I used to be obsessed with my body in that I detest it, but I have grown to accept that I ahve a beautiful body. All the lumps and bumps are beautiful in their own right as they tell the story of my multiple pregnancies and the ravages of my cancer treatment.
He was quite happy with that. I too was skinny as a teenager and prefer being overweight to being skinny. but I would like to be a little slimmer than I am now.

wisdomstuff said...

You know, I could stand in front of the mirror and see what I like, which actually is quite a bit but those things I really don't like would always get the best of me. I have to honestly say I don't think I would be able to just accept them or like them for that matter. It would be nice not to be so critical.

Z Mascota said...

there are a lot more things i like about my body than i used to...i LIKE hard angular stuff sticking out like weapons! LOL..i DON'T like my stretch marks esp since they are more pronounced now that i am thinner...and therein lies the rub. The liking of my body is entirely conditional. Only as long as it's thin enough and working properly.

beautifulwomenproject said...

I think what you wrote was amazing. This experiment could have gone either in a negative direction or positive - and you recognized that everything about you is a reflection of your entire life - you are the sum of your life's experiences. You are a woman worthy of being a part of The Beautiful Women Project and our book Beautiful Women. Check it out:

Sheen V said...

If you'll allow me, I'll look at you all day and tell you how beautiful you are! Of course, we might just have to both be nekkid!