A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

My Ugly Belly Bulge

This past weekend I was getting dressed for Easter Sunday brunch. When I put on my dress I realized I had forgotten my shaper, which is really just high-as-hell underwear to cover up that little bugle I have that sticks out over regular underwear or pants. I stood in the mirror scolding this belly bulge and myself for forgetting the most important piece of my wardrobe; the one that covers up my true body shape.

My mom offered to lend me one of hers, but it was really long and stuck out the bottom of the dress 80s style. Remember when we would wear skirts with biker shorts underneath? No? Just me? I put my underwear back on and went back to the mirror to hate on myself some more. Whenever I do this I have these faint feelings of guilt, I’m a hypocrite for telling women to love themselves when I clearly don’t even love myself.

For some reason this time the message came bursting into my consciousness. I slouched over and laughed. “What the hell am I doing?” Who at this brunch is going to notice and, more importantly, who is going to care?

This body right here. I was born with this body. It has looked many different ways since I was born, but it’s the same one that I slipped out of my mother with. I ran around the streets of Racine, WI playing tag with my friends with this body. I walked to school with my friends with this body. I had sleepovers with this body. I blushed and giggled at high school crushes with this body. I stomped around at raves in Amsterdam with this body. I got a master’s degree with this body. I did therapy with children with this body. I ran races with this body. I met my husband with this body. I had sex with this body. I grew to humans with this body. I birthed 2 boys with this body. I breastfed one of them through the pregnancy of the other with this body. I still breastfeed both of them with this body.

How can I dare insult this body? How can I dare feel shame about this body?

We live in a culture that hates women. We have internalized this hatred and treat ourselves with so much disgust. We need to open our eyes to where this all comes from. It comes from a culture where anything over size 6 is plus-sized. Where women’s bodies are broken up into tiny pieces and judged based on how well it sells products. A culture where aging, birth, pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormones and variations of normal are looked upon with disdain. Billions of dollars are poured into an industry to make women look anything but what they really look like. We are born into this world and groomed by it. Brainwashed to hate ourselves so that we spend all of our energy focusing on how to change ourselves instead of realizing our true beauty and power.

What would happen if we all realized our true beauty and power?