I very rarely post pictures of myself on social media sites. The other day, I posted this one of myself showing my friends on Instagram what spring soccer looks like in Alberta. It's been a very cold start to the season. Before sharing the picture with others, I mentally came up with a list of my flaws. This is what I found wrong....
1) My eyebrows don't start where they should. If I lined up a pencil with the corner of my eye with where my eyebrow should start, it doesn't match up.
2) My left eye is droopy.
3) My nose is too big.
4) I have a double chin.
5) My cheekbones are not defined.
6) My eyelashes aren't long enough.
7) My face is too round.
8) Some minor plastic surgery would go a long way.
As I dissected my picture, I was thinking about what my girls would think if they heard me saying all of these negative things about myself. How would they perceive themselves? What would stop them from looking in the mirror and pointing out all of their flaws? How would they feel about their mom if they heard the words "fat, too big, not good enough, should lose weight, plastic surgery, flaws?"
We live in a world filled with high cheekbones, size 0 figures, fake boobs, fake eyelashes, photo-shopped images; perfection. We live in a world where perfect is what is acceptable. We are teaching our young children that what we see on newsstands and on TV is how they should be; without flaws.
Recently, I came across a news segment that was talking about the 'dad bod.'
Dad-Body (Urban Dictionary)
1. A body resembling a man who lives a sedentary lifestyle, flabby, usually comes with a keg gut. Sometimes can see penis, most of the time cannot. Body resembles his personality; dull, lifeless, and very conservative.
2. Once in shape, but clearly has lost most athletic properties. Best suited for sitting at a desk chair, possibly doing ones taxes.
Ok, so, women want a man with a dad bod. We want a man who looks like a dad, not fit, but not heavily overweight. We want a man who has some flab, no six pack and who wears shirts and ripped jeans. We want a man who is not perfect. A man who will go to work Monday-Friday, come home and drink a few beers while chowing down on a large pizza. Women find this sexy. This is the new in. This is what women want, the man who isn't perfect.
Where does this leave us women? I have a mom bod. I REALLY have a mom bod. Why am I upset that this body housed two children and now I have stretch marks and a dangling tummy? Why am I not happy with my imperfections? Why are men not telling me that they think my non-existent six pack is sexy and beautiful? Why is society not telling me that the mom bod is the way to go and that men love a woman with a little extra? Why is society not telling me that the biggest turn on is a woman who works Monday-Friday, comes home, cracks open a beer and indulges in a 14" pizza and cheesy bread? What if we can't see our vagina? Is that ok? Is that sexy? The dangling man tummy, which by the way, did not house a child, the world considers this perfection?
I have to be honest, I enjoy the dad bod. I have always loved a man with a bit of a tummy, I'm not really a six pack kind of girl, but there is a fine line between dad bod and an overweight man who doesn't believe in self-care. :)
Just a side note....James thinks that I am beautiful and wonderful and perfect. BUT....I need to hear it from men all around the globe. ;) I want men to shout to all of us women "I LOVE YOUR MOM BOD!"
When will society celebrate women's imperfections? When will society tell young girls that they are to be celebrated, that they are beautiful just they way they are, that we need to celebrate our perfect imperfections? Our views are twisted and unhealthy. Our views are encouraging young girls to step on the scale, to criticize and to judge ourselves and others. We are stuck in the world of social media, where we only post the best pictures at the best angles and feel the need to look like the celebrities. We need to stick our lips in a small bottle, suck in air, so we end up with nice plump lips. I mean, come on, who doesn't want to look like a Kardashian? Seriously.
As I think about my two girls and how I want them to view themselves, I need to change how I view myself. Reality is not a magazine. Reality is not on TV. Reality is not Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. Social media has allowed us to alter our own photos, so that we can look our best. So that we can look like a celebrity. What is this teaching our children?
I am changing my views. I am changing my way of thinking so that my children grow up to be confident, beautiful, strong and productive members of society. I am going to encourage them to love themselves, to love their bodies and to feel confident when they walk out of this house everyday. It will be echoed in their ears that they can conquer this world because they learnt the tools and strategies from James and I, they heard their mom say that she loves herself. They heard their mom say that beauty comes in all different forms, colours, shapes, religions and sizes.
Let's celebrate us. Let's celebrate the mom bod! Let's celebrate our beauty. Let's celebrate with a six pack (of beer) and a pizza. Come on world, get on board.