Last night my 20 year old sister, a college student, texted me to ask if she could get my thoughts on 'body image' for her Gender & Women's Studies class. It was 10:30pm and I had to wake up early for a spin class so I was not in the mood. I liked the idea and loved the topic so after some tossing and turning and continued time this morning on the subject I put together a mini essay or sorts of the subject. She had only asked for a couple thoughts but I could not help but brain dump. So here is what I wrote her.
Thoughts on my body image May 2015
This is a really timely discussion for me. 16 months ago I gave birth to a baby. Pregnancy, birth and postpartum life does a lot of different things to your body and really changes how you perceive your body not only in terms of what it is capable of but what you see in the mirror.
I was raised with a strong sense of self worth and to believe that social constructs of beauty were not accurate representations of all women. I was never encouraged or really desired to play with beauty products and not until I turned 30 did I begin to wear makeup regularly. So after going through the metamorphosis of pregnancy I was surprised to have a degree of body image insecurity. To start I was completely uncomfortable with the fact that during my pregnancy my body was going to be under such close watch by folks who likely had never even thought twice about my body. The fact that coworkers and strangers would begin to comment on the changes they were seeing in my figure made me uncomfortable. Why did something so personal (carrying a baby) have to be something so public?
I have been active my entire life & kept active throughout my entire pregnancy, I did a 2.5 mile hill run two weeks before my due date that very likely induced my pregnancy. I have maintained a healthy weight for my smaller frame for my 32 years. Yet, once I turned 32 last month I started to feel like my body was different. Especially my midsection. It bothers me that I am even letting ideas of being unhappy with my body pop into my head. I am still as active as I was pre and during pregnancy and I still get the pleasure of eating and drinking what I want when I want. So really I don't have much to complain about, I just wish some of my jeans fit me as good, or better, than they did pre pregnancy body.
In conclusion I love my body and I love the idea of promoting healthy, realistic and #bodypositive attitudes for people everywhere- especially women and young girls. More to come on body and beauty because a recent conversation with some work wives sparked a bit of debate on self care/personal care and beauty trends.