In one of my sociology classes in undergrad I had this super hippie professor who often liked to rant about women’s rights. He (yes, he) was the one who first introduced me to this beauty, “Venus of Willendorf” or “Woman of Willendorf.” She has remained prominent in my memory ever since I laid eyes on her. This was an image of fertility… of beauty. Obviously, her figure is exaggerated but there is no doubt that the creator was in awe of a woman’s voluptuousness… her “bootyliciousness” if you will. Yes, even prehistoric artists knew to appreciate curves.
Last week, I posted about finally fitting into a pair of my pre-pregnancy jeans. One commentor, Ashly, encouraged me to see that I am beautiful no matter what my size is. She confessed that she doesn’t feel represented by the media’s current portrayal of feminine beauty. It’s true. The average American woman is a size 14. I’m pretty sure the average size of hollywood starlets is about 14 sizes less than that. I hear about them getting special wraps to get rid of their postpartum weight. It’s so hard not to feel like I need to “bounce-back” after having a baby.
A few years ago, there was a huge story about a plus-sized model being photographed for Glamour magazine. Do you remember that? Here’s the image:
Take it in.
I don’t think anyone could argue that this woman, Lizzi Miller, isn’t absolutely stunning. This is another image that has been cemented into my brain. I look at her and I want to be her. She looks so comfortable in the body that God gave her. Hm.
You know what? I don’t know what my body will end-up looking like now that I’ve had a baby but I’m not going to go moping around because it’s not the size and shape it once was. Lizzi Miller does have a beautiful body but what’s so attractive is her confidence. I love being a Mama. Honestly, I even kind of like my Jelly Belly. It’s soft. What I don’t like is worrying about what other people are thinking… “Man, have you seen Jaclyn? She really let herself go after she had a baby…” Silly, I know, but if I’m honest, I don’t want to be the subject of gossip. Maybe it’s time to let that go and to embrace my body the way it is. I eat healthy, I exercise… let the chips fall where they may.
The same commentor, Ashly, has also seen me with my baby boy. She said that I have a “glow” about me now that I am a mom. I don’t ever want to lose that glow. For me, worrying about my body is a slippery slope that could quickly end in being robbed of my joy. To that I say, No thank you, sir. I will keep my Jelly Belly and wear it with pride before I give that up.
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