I've been thinking a lot about body issues lately, and why women and girls have such a hard time with body image. (Just so you know, if you're looking for a writing tie-in with this post, there isn't one. Sorry.)
I've read a few things about ways to help girls develop a healthy body image. One woman talked about how she doesn't tell little girls how pretty or cute they are, she tries to focus on other things. How smart, kind, they are, etc. Her point being that by telling them they're cute right away, it makes their looks overly important. I get what she meant, but the truth is, boys get that, too. When my son was little he got a lot of "oh, look how cute you are!" And now he gets "oh, what a handsome little man you are!"
And we've all heard a lot about how it's because of the images girls see of thin, flawless women on magazines and book covers, in movies, ect. But again, boys see that, too, don't they? Tan, buff, shirtless guys with rippling muscles? So why do these things affect us more than them? (Not to say they don't bother boys, too, but I swear basically any woman can tell you all the things she hates about her body and guys just don't seem to think about it as much.)
Having had four kids, I definitely miss the body I had at twenty. (Not that I appreciated it at twenty, of course.) And I see other moms who are thin and gorgeous and I totally get jealous. (Even though I know those moms aren't happy with their looks, either. My sister-in-law looks like Angelina Jolie, for real, and she still gets jealous of other moms. It's nuts.)
I also know a few moms who have had their breasts done. They all say it was the best purchase they've ever made. So clearly, it was the right decision for them. I just want to say why it's not the right decision for me.
All of these women say that they got them done, not for anyone else, but for themselves, for their own confidence. While I know that a nice new rack would probably improve my confidence, too, I don't like that about myself. I don't want that to be where I find my confidence.
And I don't want to send the message to my girls that the way you look is important enough to spend tons of money on or to face the risks that go with any surgery.
I don't want their confidence to be determined by their cup size.
All this got me wondering, do they get it from us? Their mothers? I'm sure my oldest daughter has heard me whine to my husband about how fat I look in a particular outfit. But I can assure you my son has never heard his father make such complaints about his looks. I can't even imagine my husband leaning back, looking in the mirror whining, "Do I look pregnant in this?"
So, I have made a decision from here on out my daughters will not hear me complain about my weight. They will not hear me talk about it. Period. This doesn't mean my weight will never bother me again, just that I will keep that to myself.
If I want them to find confidence in who they are, I need to show them I'm confident in who I am. No matter how wobbly my belly, or flat my chest.