It’s been a year, since I wrote “Tiger Stripes are Bull.” I received a little bit of flack for this post. I received quite a bit of encouragement, in attempts to boost my confidence. When this article popped up onto my TimeHop, I decided it needed to be readdressed. Painted in a different light.
I read an article recently on one of my favorite Blogs, Scary Mommy. If you don’t know Scary Mommy – it’s raunchy satire and candid honesty about the “joys” of motherhood. Lola, the author, wrote recently about her views on the postpartum journey. What really peaked my need to re-write my own stance, is the comments I read, following the article. The boxing match went back and forth with comments such as these:
- “Quite frankly I think #1 is insulting. I’ve never hated my body and especially after birth. I’m not super model either and I have wibbly wobbly bits. Being a new mother is hard enough without slapping a dose of “don’t look at yourself naked for 6 months” on top of it.” – Keely
- “There is a world of difference between my body after my first child and my body after my second child. I am six weeks postpartum, and the sight of my stomach this time around almost makes me want to cry. And I was always one to embrace my post baby, stretch marked, c-section scarred belly, but this is something completely different ha ha.” – Caitlin
- “Your NOT the same after you birthed life from your body. It’s an awesome thing your body can do….” – Misty
So, she’s a bit, uh, frank, in her article. Some call it exaggeration. Some call it spot-on. The thing is – not every person will relate – because guess what, we are different people, with different experiences. We each need to find our own support group, that we can connect with. I find Scary Mommy to be a type of therapy. I love the outspokenness. The cursing. The bawdiness. IT’S HILARIOUS. Most of all, I love that someone is thinking out loud, as if they pulled the thoughts right from my own mind (swear words and all). I could almost puke, when I read a post about “embracing your body” for how it created life. I just don’t get it – because my personal perspective couldn’t be farther skewed from this. And I don’t mean that YOU should loathe your body after pregnancy, but I am saying do not tell ME that I shouldn’t.
Women need to unite on all sides of this body image war. Find the support system that you can best identify with. I need to hear others say the same things as I am thinking. It makes me feel human. Less alone. It’s completely therapeutic for me, knowing that I am not the only mother out there with negativity racing throughout their minds. And, if you are team “belly-lover” then find your own damn support system….elsewhere. It’s not your place to come shaking your finger at me, telling me I’m wrong in MY opinions of MY body. If you are my friend, then it’s your place to listen quietly (if you disagree), vent with me (if you agree), or drink a glass of wine with me (well, this is for either side).
So, how do I feel about my body now, 14 months postpartum, and no future pregnancies intended? I still look in the mirror with extreme judgement. I still absolutely hate the sugar-coated, bullshit term of “tiger stripes.” But, I do feel differently. I believe the memory of my pre-pregnancy body continues to fade over time. I have found comfort in support groups that I can relate to, knowing that many feel and/or look like I do. I feel best when I am exercising and eating for health, not for a number on the scale (although, this is a constant and continuous battle). I still dream of winning the lottery and having a massive, surgical overhaul. Someday….(sigh). But for now, I will continue to laugh with my friends who support me as I am, and don’t challenge me on the issue.