Friday, April 5, 2013

ASK GAY: body image

Well let me tell you, there's nothing like loudly announcing that you don't have writer's block to bring on a mad case of writer's block.
I couldn't write about even my favorite color right now if you paid me.
Which would be a toughy even if you were paying me
because I've been in the habit of claiming blue and green as my favorites ever since I was little. 
And truth be told, I'm not sure that holds true anymore but I always revert back to autopilot whenever anyone asks me.
And by anyone, I obviously mean my kids since adults no longer have the common courtesy to ask such relevant getting-to-know you questions such as...What is your favorite color?

I could attack an ASK GAY question but here's the thing, is has to do with body image and having a hot body and what not after having a baby.
Brilliant question because most of us wouldn't mind looking h.o.t. hot.

But amongst things I wanted to start getting real about, one of those things is body image.
And well, holy smokes, I guess right now is as good as time as any to talk about some of these things.
I was thinking about shredding the body. And i'm not talking about Jillian Michaels shred.
I'm talking about pregnancy on the female body.
As always, for those us you without kids yet, consider this birth control.
Pregnancy tears your body apart.
My booty looks like it got attacked by some cat claws, leaving little white scratch marks everywhere.
 Don't be fooled. Ain't no cat touched my booty.
These are known as stretch marks.
Boobs shrink and sag. Nipples shrivel.
In spite of me wondering if I had gone 24 1/2 years without noticing a particular body part,
alas I was wrong. I grew a new body part at 24 1/2 years old.
I distinctly remember yelling out of the shower to my sister,
When she came within non-yelling ear shot, I was all,
"So, do you have booty flaps?"
She was a bit perplexed by the question and after further discussion settled on the answer,
"Well, I'd have to think about that."
While I still don't know her answer, let me offer you mine.
NO I don't have booty flaps.
YES I do have hemorrhoids.
Extra inflamed while pregnant.
I didn't even know what they were until that day.
You all, I know this is disgusting,
I know this is TMI
but by golly, this is the truth.
This is pregnancy at it's finest.
The aftermath of pregnancy ain't always pretty
and there is almost always an aftermath.
Even if you cross every crossable body part that there isn't,
aftermath is a brewin.

And I started thinking about us girls, us women, who already struggle with body image as is.
How UNFAIR to give us pregnancy too,
I mean for real!

And then a thought hit me. 
That maybe us women need this process.
Like, we need our body to be ripped apart, our pretenses to be shattered, years of image formation to be destroyed. 
That we need to break our old image of  our body.
That us women, who put so much emphasis- whether conscious or subconscious- on looks and outward appearance, 
need to have that body image destroyed in a hope to rebuild it.
That maybe we can shift our focus and re-stack our priorities,
redefine "pretty".
Let the new, mature self overtake our teenage definition of body image,
set up a sturdier foundation that allows us to see beauty in more 
than just a completely physical lens.

Sometimes I think I've come so far in this arena.
I'm over the fact that I don't have boobs,
I accept that I'm a mere two inches short of being officially Amazon
even though I still look it in heels.
I'm over the saggy booty, the stretch marks, the saggy boobs....
oh wait, I don't have those.
But I'm gonna hypothesize that I'd be so grateful to have any boobs that I might even take saggy ones.

Point being, just when I thought my BODY IMAGE is actually pretty good,
I gained weight.
It may only be in the 5-10 pound range,
I may still be a thin girl,
but all of a sudden I'm not feeling all
"good in my own skin" or however the saying goes.

So what's the deal, do I have good body image ONLY when I'm super thin?
That's what things are kind of appearing to me these days 
and that's a pretty sobering realization.
Especially since I'll be preaching about loving yourself no matter what and every other cliche.
And if I only am ok with how I look when at my optimal weight, then do I really have good body image?
This is something I'm trying to get into check right now.
Not just the 5-10 pounds. The loving myself, thinking I'm beautiful, blah blah blah, even when I've put on a few.

So I don't know what to tell you, or all of us, about body image.
Because I guess I'm struggling with it more than I admitted or thought I was.
I think pregnancy is a perfect opportunity to redefine beauty, to let go of some of our juvenile ideals.
I know that's when I let go of some vain pretenses I had.
It's amazing to see what our body is capable of and to simply appreciate it in it's miraculous form.
There's nothing like a little baby to put life into perspective and change our focus.

That being said, I already did my bootcamp.
Times 4.
And I learned a lot and my body image has shot up from pre-baby.
But I'm not about to do that whole pregnancy thing again just to get over a 5-10 pound weight gain so I best pull my crap together and learn how to love myself asap even when I have a few extra LBs strapped to my booty!

Those are my body image thoughts!
And now I get to tack on a little picture on here and call this an ASK GAY question.

What are your thoughts on pregnancy being a boot camp for rebuilding body image???
I really like thinking of it that way.
Is it just because I'm the originator of that idea???!!
I got thick skin, don't be afraid to hurt my feelings!
But more importantly, share your thoughts on body image.



  1. booty flaps . . . i love how honest you are. thanks for putting yourself out there.

  2. I love this post - thanks for writing it. I have always struggled with body image, and it definitely improved post-2 babies, because I just started realizing that some things are just out of my control - like what pregnancy does to my body. The more important thing is that I'm eating healthy and being active, which makes me feel good. But it's sooooo hard not to worry about any extra poundage - recently some of my pants felt a bit more snug and I nearly went into a tailspin. And I find that it doesn't matter that people tell you that you're skinny...the good feelings have to come from the inside. I think women will always struggle with this.
    By the way, your kiddos are so cute and I don't know how you handle four of them! I've got two crazy boys and could not imagine adding another!! Great blog ;)

  3. This is only my first pregnancy and we are just a few weeks away from seeing the after affects but I am TERRIFIED. I'm completely dreading the mirror, the scale, and my closet after baby boy makes his debut. I have no doubt that I can eventually get back on the healthy "decent looking" train but I'm not good at waiting for results. I am sort of not looking forward to what my body has to show me next. Thank goodness I'll have something (or someone) else to focus on for a bit.

  4. love this gay! well put, and btw you could gain 30lbs and still look amaze! thanks for sharing and making me laugh too!

  5. oops that was Annie not Jon :)

  6. haha!!! oh heavens, it's hard to be a woman, but sooooo wonderful too!!! and you, my friend, are a beautiful, successful woman!!!


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