'Mother Teresa didn't walk around complaining about her thighs.
She had shit to do.'
I just shared this quote on Facebook. I don't know how Mother Teresa would feel about this, maybe she would laugh. (As an aside I read her book, 'NO Greater Love,' it was like one big literary hug. I highly recommend it.)
I am plagued by the way we interact with women's bodies. And actually I'd love to hear some men chime in about all this mess. They probably feel like that quote, 'who cares if I have a beer gut, I've got shit to do.'
I saw this blog post; the heading picture was of the Ms. America finalists from 1945. The entire article was encouragement that none of the contestants had thigh gap. All I could think was,
'Have we gone and lost our minds?'
These women are finalists in a beauty contest. I can guarantee you that I would not fit into one of those swimsuits.
And we are relieved because they don't have 'thigh gap?'
I did notice that they were not particularly toned. Crossfit was probably not a thing in 1945.
We have placed such a standard onto women that you have to be not only thin, and completely toned and fit.
Thigh gap and buff arms.
Have you any idea how hard that is?
I, for one, have noticed that the stronger I got that some parts of me got a bit bigger. Like my thighs, for example.
I've gotten a bit aggravated through my life. I am short and muscular and prone to gaining weight. My love of exercise has kept me from getting heavy. But my love of bread has kept me from getting too thin.
There is no way I look like any model or actress. Or beauty contestant for that matter.
(Not too mention I would rather be caught dead than prance around in a bathing suit so someone could literally judge my bum. Not because I'm embarrassed of my bum, but because that's just completely demeaning. Just for the record I have friends who've competed in beauty contests, I'm their friend because they're awesome, not because they have a nice bum.)
So somewhere in my life I decided to screw it all and just get as strong as possible. Run as much as I could. Hike as much I wanted.
And my body met those challenges. Gladly and willingly, without much injury.
My Aunt put together an album of all the family photos that we have. There is one particular picture of six of my female ancestors, one of them has my face, and they are all thick strong farm women. And I thought,
'Oh, that's my DNA, well then, I am doing great.'
I was still trying to force my body into what the idea of a good female body is.
Think about it,
"She has a great body."
You immediately thought about looks. Didn't you? I know I do.
Not health. Not strength. Not the ability to grow and make healthy babies. Or the ability to feed those babies.
Is this the part where I post a picture of my stretch marks? Because I am not going to do that. Culturally we see stretch marks as ugly, most of us have them, if not from puberty we have them from making babies. They're a reality, and I don't think mine are that pretty. They just are. As my husband said,
"You had two babies, it's unrealistic to think that your body wouldn't go through changes."
So I can't comfortably wear a bikini anymore? So, I would like to point out that bikinis are completely impractical, how many of us have had them fall off or shift in embarrassing ways? Having to wear a one piece is a bit of relief actually.
Can someone tell me a good solid reason why I need a tan stomach?
I don't wear bikinis, I have shit to do...actually children to run after.
Because I have a good body. Healthy. Strong. Capable of large amounts of manual labor. Makes healthy babies. Feeds them just fine.
Actually it's a great body.
I would love to hear how all of you love your great body. Attach this hashtag at the bottom and we can spread the love!