One of the side effects of being pregnant is a heightened sense of whether one feels she is still attractive. Thanks to the media, we women are swamped with what “the world” views as beautiful, which actually is looking too skinny and too fake. But, no matter how many times women remind themselves of the truth, the worldly comments outweigh it by a long shot.
It has been brought to my attention that Marilyn Monroe, who was the model of a perfect body back in the day, would be viewed as a bit chubby and not well toned compared to the models that are out there today. When I looked into it, I realized how true it is. The world today focuses on trim and toned body, perfect abs, flat tummy, perfectly tanned skin, and absolutely no flab on the body. And after you give birth, don’t you want to get your body back and become as sexy as ever?
On top of all the hormones that affect pregnant women’s emotions, there is the added stress that they will not be as sexy as before. How many fear the comments about losing the baby weight, trimming down the tummy, and becoming a skinny, perfect model?
There is nothing wrong with being healthy and in shape, but that is not my point tonight. My point is, simply, that people, especially other women, judge each other severely and think that they’re doing a favor. Instead, the comments or questions about weight, healthiness, or toned body only cements the insecurities we already carry.
I recently came across a situation where I was asked about what I was doing to prevent certain body changes that comes with pregnancy. At first, I didn’t know what to say, but later, after replaying the situation in my mind, I realized that I felt insulted and a bit hurt. Why should there be concern about changes that happen to practically everyone who becomes pregnant? Is pregnancy such an inconvenience to a woman’s body? Am I that petty to be worried about these changes that may stick around for the rest of my life, when my body is being utilized to grow, protect, nourish, and feed a human being? Is it that big of a deal?
Frankly, it shouldn’t be. But, with our brains being saturated with what “everyone” believes the perfect body is, we, as women, struggle with what is truth and what isn’t. Pregnancy already comes with its own set of worries, concerns, and stresses, so why add to it by being concerned with the consequences of the most beautiful and yet most humbling responsibility of bringing into the world another human? A cute human, even!
This is something I struggle with often. The way I view myself is full of insecurities, and it takes a lot of work to get that negativity out. It becomes harder when I’m asked about what I’m doing to keep my body attractive, or to make it more so. I’m already doing so much work right now to make sure my baby is healthy and taken care of, and that is the most important thing. I don’t expect that I will bounce back after giving birth. I am pretty sure I’m going to struggle with the weight gain, or the flab from the weight gain, and I want to be able to work on it. But I should see my changing body as a badge of honor, as they say. That I have borne a human being, whose sole provider is his momma (me!), that should be my focus, not looking at my body and thinking, selfishly, that my little boy is ruining what I look like.
On a side note, a little cushion comes with the job of being comforting to the wee ones, right? And as for those stretch marks? Is it that big of a deal?