A Mother’s Figure
OH DEAR GOD!
Please excuse me if you think my honest and barbaric feelings make me a shallow evil horrible woman, but I still don’t know my (future) children, and the perspective of suffering this transformation really upsets me, worries me, and almost makes me think it twice. I hope this is not received as an insult to any of the brave mothers who have posted their photos, or to any other mothers reading this. I am absolutely sure that every one of them rejoices in their current lives as mothers and would never give up their children in exchange for their pre-pregnancy bodies. I am sure that physical beauty is a ridiculous thought compared to the joy of motherhood. I REALLY HOPE those will be my feelings if I am able to conceive and become a mother. Right now, I just can’t feel that.
I am not gorgeous. In fact I never thought I was even pretty. I still don’t think I am. I do realize some guys (to my surprise, guys I like) find me attractive, and I’m sure a few women that know me are rolling their eyes as they read this. I swear: I am not ungrateful for my natural beauty…
However, as far as I can remember I have always been embarrassed of my body. It has never been good enough for me to feel comfortable showing it. At 15, my body was as beautiful as it would ever be, but tiny glimpses of future cellulite made me hide my butt in wraps and shorts unable to walk freely on a bathing suite. At 19, the glimpses were a little more visible, more embarrassing. Now in my early 30s, I live a mostly sedentary life, and although I look fine dressed, and people roll their eyes at me whenever I mention it, I wish I had the same body I had when I was 19.
I was blessed with a beautiful unibrow, a perfectly circular face, a tiny forehead, wide short teeth, and a not so small nose. Not exactly what you would call classic beauty. In fact I have been commented to posses a “strange beauty” and “exotic beauty”, none of which sound very beautiful to me. But, what I’ve always thought I had going, was a good dressed body: Long legs, flat stomach, curvy hips, nice butt, and a mild case of scoliosis which makes it look like I have an interesting curve from back to butt (a fake derriere, if you will).
Thankfully, moon faces elongate a little over time (Jennifer Connelly and mortal me to prove it). I fought the forehead hair with twizzers, and a few months before my wedding I separated the unibrow into two “good looking” eyebrows by Hollywood beauty standards. The brow was perfectly acceptable during my whole youth in Colombia, but my American husband was very thankful to see it go. This is all to say that the non-invasive improvements in the face have helped offset the natural course to a less tight body as I’ve gotten older. Needless to say, I still feel uglier than when I was 19, and although I don’t spend all my energy mourning over this fact, I don’t look forward to a more dramatic blow against my “strange” but finally accepted beauty.
Call me a shallow horrible ungrateful bioch, and tell me I’m crazy… But despite enjoying an enviable inner world and –I hope– and interesting personality with certain depth of thought, after years of self-analysis I have consistently observed something about myself: My life can be hell, I may not have a man by me, work/study/whatever may be awfully hard and miserable to make me cry, I may be lonely without friends or family nearby, but NOTHING makes me more unhappy or takes more energy away than feeling ugly. Whether you agree with it or not.
I am not gorgeous and have never been, but after many years I have come to terms with the few beauty assets I may have, and although you won’t see me walking my butt around pools and beaches, I am comfortable with my present body. My mother’s body is beautiful though far from perfect, and I would be so happy if mine reacted the same way to pregnancy as hers did. However, she was 21 when she had me. I’m not. This really scares me…
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As a footnote, I must say that I appreciate the existence of sites like The Shape of a Mother. As scary as this may be to me, I applaud these women and thank them for giving the world a taste of reality, so needed to challenge years of Barbie standards so embedded in our culture.