Thursday, June 13, 2013
Wearing the right glasses
My children do not think I am too tall, or too big, or too fat, or too ugly. They do not look at me and see a number on the scales. They don't look at my tired eyes, or the wrinkles that are starting to appear where the skin used to be tight and fresh. They don't examine the pimples on my face or the scars and blemishes on my skin.
No, I'm the one who does that.
My son does not poke my stretched, saggy, soft, pock-marked belly and feel disgust. He delights in the ripples it makes and the giggles that erupt from my mouth.
My daughter does not look at my skin and think it is too dry, or too pale. She traces the freckles on my arm absentmindedly as we watch television, and I am hers.
To my children, I am lovely. I am familiar. This body of mine is beautiful and comforting to them, because it represents the person they love. This body encases the mother they adore. This body grew them and nurtured them for nine months. It cares for them every day, and holds them when they are sad or scared. This body is their safety. To my children I am home.
So why on earth am I so critical of it?
I need to smash the Hollywood-esque lenses that I have been examining myself through, and put on a new pair of glasses, so I can see myself as they see do.
I do not want to be the person who teaches my daughter, that she isn't beautiful. The world is going to tell her that enough, and it will be wrong. I do not want to be the person, who shows my son that a woman must behave in a certain way, look a certain way, work to look a certain way, in order to be deserving of his love and respect.
Yes, I am overweight. Yes I need to do something about it. I want to do something about it. But if I don't, I still have value. My worth is not determined by my weight. My value does not depend on how I look. No matter what society, or culture dictates, I am lovely. To my children, I am beautiful.
I need to like myself, respect myself, and love myself, the way they do.