I have been a size 14 for as long as I can remember. I wear clothes that I feel comfortable in and that flatter my shape. I exercise sporadically and never say no to a delicious meal. I enjoy healthy food, but I don’t consciously watch what I eat for the purpose of weight loss. My body has grown one beautiful boy and is 14 weeks into growing our second child.
I thought that I held a relatively healthy view of my body, until today.
My three-year-old niece came over for a play today, and naturally she’s very curious as to where the mysterious baby is that we told her about weeks ago. I explained to her that, just like our first child, the baby is growing inside my tummy. As an inquisitive toddler, her instinct was to lift up my top to check for the supposed baby. Much to my shock, I flinched and held down my top so that she wouldn’t expose my bare, scarred, stretched, saggy skin to… her. Just her.
The only person in my house at the time was a three-year-old girl, innocently questioning the whereabouts of my baby, and my instinct was to hide my body from her.
I felt ashamed, and I’m still not sure if it’s because of my reaction or because I haven’t made any effort to sculpt my body into a shape considered traditionally beautiful in accordance with the current standards of our Instagram-obsessed society.
So here it is, a love letter to my flaws, because each and every one of them represents a significant moment in time that I should embrace rather than hide.
To my dear imperfections,
I must first begin with an apology. I am so sorry that I have hidden you away for so long, rarely letting you see the light of day. You must be feeling awfully claustrophobic tucked away in those wintry clothes that I tend to keep in regular rotation, long after the seasons have changed.
My big, chunky, solid thighs. You’ve really had a rough go of it for as long as I can remember. If we are being honest, I’ve probably refrained from introducing you to the outside world since puberty struck and decided that any excess weight was best stored around those strong quads and hamstrings. I’ve never looked at another woman and thought to myself, “She shouldn’t be wearing those shorts”, so I’m really unsure why I’ve decided that shorts are not permitted in my wardrobe. I promise to correct this error immediately and ensure you have the summer you deserve, in the sun.