Beanie Baby has a really interesting post about parenting special needs kids. Go, read, comment. Scroll down and read her other post on eugenics. It is snark heaven. I loved it.
Over at i obsess, there’s a great post about a mother’s body. She also links to Shape of a Mother, which is an amazing site. It’s made me cry and think and get very envious of these women who are celebrating themselves in a way I’m unable to.
I’ve seen this site linked on a lot of blogs I read regularly. I’ve liked reading the stories these women have shared. I’ve looked at their pictures. And I think “They look amazing compared to me.”
I’ve always had body image issues. I’ve hated the way I look since I was aware that I have a body. Since 1st or 2nd grade, I’ve been teased about my butt. My mother was always trying to get me to tuck my butt in – what? How the hell do you do that? All these years later, I have no idea. She even took me to a doctor about it. He told her I had some sort of spinal curvature – not scoliosis, because it didn’t go side-to-side, but rather in and out. My mother, figuring she knew more than anyone who attended medical school, didn’t believe the guy. Her answer to this was to put me in dance classes.
I have never been a graceful person. I don’t posess any athletic ability what. so. ever. So why my mother thought ballet and tap lessons were a good idea is beyond me. But she and the ballet teacher were determined that I was going to do this. And of course, one of the first things I had to learn was the splits. I can’t do the splits. Even when I was a flexible little 7 year-old, I couldn’t do the splits. My mother and the ballet teacher had other thoughts. I vividly remember them shoving me by the shoulders as I attempted, yet again, to get my butt to touch the floor. Both of them, hands pushing hard on me and the entire fucking class in a circle around me, laughing, while I cried and begged them to stop. It was mortifying.
I used to go up a grade for reading and English and there was this boy in that grade who would tease me mercilessly. Anthony Salvidio. I’ll never forget him. He was hardly a svelte creature himself, but he felt that it was his duty to torment me at every opportunity. He never called me Julia, he called me Jellybutt. Once, we had to make up a skit and he decided to write it. His name for my character? Bertha Butt. I just flat out refused to take part. I think it was the only zero I ever got, but I just couldn’t do it. It was hard enough being the only non-Catholic in the school, but you add glasses and a fucked up body to the mix and, well, suffice it to say, I wasn’t the most secure kid, certainly not secure enough to get up in front of the class and make fun of myself.
I grew about 8 inches in a year and in high school, weighed 117 pounds. At 5’8″, this was almost underweight, but of course, I thought I looked awful. And I still had that ass.
And now? Now that I’ve been pregnant 3 times in the last 3 years, now that I’ve given birth to three, soon to be four, children, I absolutely loathe the way I look. I don’t have massive stretch marks from being pregnant, but I have this stomach. I had a c-section with O and even when I’d lost a ton of weight, I still had this saggy, pouchy stomach that hung down a bit. It made me sick. It still does. I haven’t gained any weight with this preganancy, or with the Boo’s, but I did gain something like 70 lbs with O – most of which I never really lost. Well, I lost it, but I gained a lot of it back over the years. I don’t even want to talk about my boobs or the cellulite on my legs or my flabby arms. I’ll make myself puke.
TCBIM thinks I look great. He’s always telling me that he loves how I look, but I can’t seem to get past this. I’m so insecure about how I look that it’s unhealthy. I constantly worry that he’s going to get disgusted with my body. I have to force myself to let him look at me. He’s a lot younger than I am and I know it’s kind of stupid and vain, but I worry (incessantly) that he’s going to wake up one morning and wonder what the fuck he’s doing with this fat, flabby old hag. I’ve never told him any of this.
It’s so shallow of me, but if I ever won the lottery, the first thing I’d do is hire a personal trainer, lose weight and then get plastic surgery. Get the boobs up where they belong, get the tummy tightened, get rid of the cellulite and flab. I wouldn’t care what people though of me for doing it.
I really admire the women who can proudly display their bodies on that site. I am beyond envious at the comfort level they have about themselves. I don’t know how they got that and I wish I could be that way, but I can’t. People can tell me I look good and I never believe them. I don’t see it. I don’t look good. I look awful and I hate it and I wish I knew how to make these feelings stop. It kills me inside a little, every day, every time I have to look at myself in the mirror, every time I have to go try on clothes, every time I meet new people. I wonder what they’re thinking, I wonder what they’re saying and I wonder why I ever leave the house at all.