Guess who I’m in love with today?
And I owe it all to my son!
Ok, let me explain. Like many women, I have always struggled with my self-image regarding my body. When I was a youngster, due to the teasing of my classmates I thought my skinny frame and big booty were unattractive. I was always wearing baggy clothes and covering my donka-donk with sweatshirts. Even later, when my body got me more attention from grown men—which I relished because they made me feel attractive—I never fully believed that I was attractive, let alone beautiful.
Fast forward past puberty into current adulthood. I have now had four children, and my body has naturally expanded and contracted over the last few years—which is completely natural, of course. Still, I haven’t accepted it. I had never felt beautiful in this body; never quite comfortable in the skin that I am in. When I look in the mirror, I do not see a beautiful woman. I see saggy arms that jiggle, thunder thighs that rub together like they’re dating each other, rolls of fat on my back, and boobs that aren’t perky anymore—but rather deflated from breastfeeding three babies for a year each. It can be a little demoralizing.
I see these gray hairs that appear like phantoms from nowhere. I see the acne scaring from all the picking I did as a teen. It was like looking in myself, every day, in one of those magnifying mirrors that let you see every pimple and blemish. That made it harder for me to see any attractiveness in me. Yeah, I can accept that that I don’t have to have a Coke bottle shape (a bottle, not a two-liter), and I can accept that I can put on the Spanx to smooth it all out—but at some point, I needed to accept a look, without thinking that I look like an alien from a Marvel movie. They aren’t attractive, after all—let alone beautiful.
And then, it happened.
I was back home in California for the celebration of my stepdad’s retirement, and the photographer captured a special moment of me and my youngest son, Josiah. When I looked at the pictures for my own review, I came across a photo that instantly (and finally) made me fall in love with my body. It was the way my son, my adoring and wonderful son, was hugging my curves; that hugging finally made see: those ain’t back rolls, that’s a shelf for thickness; you call ’em thunder thighs ’cause there’s lightning when I walk; and man, what that ghetto booty do, Ma? Thanks to this photo–and my son–I could finally see myself differently.
What did I see, you ask?
A number of things. Part of it is just the love in Josiah’s eyes as he’s holding me. Part of me was finally just appreciating and understanding all this body has done—including to get Josiah here and get him nourished early on. Another part of it was me actually seeing myself in his eyes—not as a thirst trap for older men, not as a four-time pregnancy warrior—but as the one who nurtures him and cares for him, no matter what blemishes are there, flaws and all.
But I can see it now, and it is as clear as the nose on my face—or the thick in my thigh. This picture, the picture that allowed me to really see myself as I am; and to see my body for what it is—the vessel that God has given me to bear and love my children. I saw myself fearfully and wonderfully made. For the first time, I could see myself as attractive and beautiful. This is now my screensaver on my phone, and I’m going to get it printed and framed for my wall.
I am finally in love with my body. I finally feel attractive and beautiful.
Moms, Have you fallen in love with your body yet? did your kids have anything to do with it? Share your stories with me in the comments. Don’t forget sharing is caring so share this with your Mommy Friends.