Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and criticize everything you see?
Do you talk about your forehead being too big or your lips too small?
Those are just examples but most women have issues with one or more of their body parts.
I do. I am overweight. I’m jiggly in way too many areas. Things have fallen and they no longer even try to get up. My hair is half box Red/half natural gray, (the gray started at 25). I have a stomach covered in stretch marks. Not to mention the three scars from my gall bladder surgery. And those are only some of the things visible.
Why do we do that? Why is our idea of what is beautiful so messed up? Do we have to look a certain way to be sexy?
About a year ago, give or take, I reached the decision that despite what my internal message to myself might be, I would stop putting myself down and start acknowledging my beauty. After all, I’m the only me there ever will be. And I will embrace the sexy that I have within me.
My stretch marks are my badges of honor from forming two precious lives within me, nurturing and letting them grow.
My gall bladder scars are a daily reminder to watch what I put in my mouth. As a result, I try to cook healthier which is opening up more family time around the table as opposed to eating out or grabbing a snack.
Although I’m not sure that I am ready to stop coloring my hair, my grays are a legacy from my mother who also went gray at an early age and colored her hair. And it is a somber reminder to act my age at times. Not often but sometimes.
And yes, I’m overweight and that’s a health concern. I have started to workout. But I don’t do it to make myself more pleasing to someone. To be honest, if you don’t like me as I am now, then I can guarantee you that I won’t like you when and if I ever meet your approval. I do it because I want to breathe better, live longer and play harder with my children.
I was recently involved in a conversation about being sexy and others perception of us and how we allow that to affect us. In the process of the conversation I made a comment that I thought was pretty profound. It is as much applicable to ourselves as to others view of us.
Continuing to ignore the beauty of YOU can eventually spill over into areas you would rather it not. In Part 4 of this series, I will discuss what happens when that happens and how it affects your children, daughters especially.
I don’t know if anyone has read about the killing spree that took place at UCSB or the manifesto left behind by the disturbed young man responsible, but it has made me think about my babies and how they perceive themselves and others.
The killer seemingly blamed everyone but himself. He blamed his mother for not marrying into a wealthy family after his parents divorce. He blamed the girls attending college with him because they wouldn’t date him. He blamed couples on campus for having what he envied-a relationship. He video taped himself saying that he would “make them pay”. He later used his car, a knife and three guns to terrorize a campus, consequently killing six souls, injuring more and taking his own life.
Horrible though this is, the thoughts that it leaves behind with me are about my own children. I think about how their father and I are raising them.
My son: Are we raising him to respect women? Will he continue to see them as princesses or as objects? Will he appreciate all that we did for him even though we aren’t rich and he doesn’t get everything he wants? Will he be confident enough in himself to deal with rejection? Will he find acceptable outlets for his anger, that don’t include violence to women or anyone for that matter? Will he accept responsibility for his actions?
My daughter: Will she be confident enough to stand up for herself? Will she know that she is beautiful whether she fits into others view of what beauty is? Will she stand firm under pressure? Will she know that she is more than her bra size? Will she appreciate all that we did for her even though we aren’t rich and she doesn’t get everything she wants? Will she ask for help when she needs it? Will she accept responsibility for her actions?
I love my children very much. I hope they live prosperous lives and know at all times that they are always the center of my universe. But I know that they are not perfect, because well, lets face it, who is. Just like myself and everyone else, they will always be a work in progress. But while daddy and I are guardians of their lives, I hope and pray that we provide them with the tools they need to answer “yes” to all of the above.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the families that lost children in this horrific incident.
#yesallwomen and #notallmen