Why is the media obsessed with the “perfect” body and skinny women? Like many women, I've struggled with my weight my entire adult life. Since I hit my teens, I've been everything form a size 4 to a size 14 (plus whatever size you become during pregnancy and carrying twins…I don’t think there is a label for that size). I've dealt with an eating disorder. Even before I had kids, I wasn't a bikini model. I’m certainly not now. But you know what? I don’t care. And it’s actually been a really long time since I have cared. About 10 years now. So why are so many people obsessed with the “perfect” body and skinny women?
Women and men alike put a huge focus on what our bodies look like and “should” look like. Fat. Skinny. Tall. Short. Women come in all shapes and sizes and that is okay! Mass media continually purports this idea that women have to be teeny tiny and have the “perfect” body, but shame on us for allowing what the media shows to influence us. Shame on the media for being so outright disrespectful to women and society for letting them. Poor Kate Middleton has been the hot topic of ignorant and bitchy people everywhere. First of all, she looked damn good for just having given birth! Second, who cares?! She just gave birth to the equivalent of a bowling ball. Thank you Kate for being willing to show your beautiful postpartum body! And thank you Kristen Bell for being adorable and hilarious and a hero to women everywhere for her breast pump tweet at the CMAs in June. Her new post-baby curves looked great!
I would like for my daughters to grow up in a world that isn't going to demean them for not being a size 2 every day of their life, especially the days and months and years after they have created life.
A little over 10 years ago, I gave birth to my first child. I've had 3 more children since, including twins. After that first pregnancy, I realized my body was never going to be the same. At first, I struggled with the idea that I might not ever wear a bikini in public again. My body had taken on a new shape. Wider hips. Bigger ass. Saggy skin—my skin seemed to take on a whole new life of its own around my abdomen. And boobs! I was well-endowed before I had kids, and with each pregnancy (regardless of the weight of the rest of me) the boobs kept getting bigger.
Women are told over and over again that being skinny is the most important thing. It’s not the most important thing. Not even close. I choose happy as being the most important thing in life.
My new postpartum body was anything but the “perfect” body that I thought I needed to have, and that mainstream media suggested I should have. I wanted my skinny jeans back. And then there was the “ah-ha” moment when I realized that I had the perfect body to have given birth to 4 children with. The boobs that were each bigger than a nursing baby’s head? They were here to stay. The zebra-striped stretch marks on my stomach? They were only there because I grew babies! Those scars are a part of me and a part of my body, and I earned those f*ucking stripes by carrying and birthing my four children. I’m happy. I have a wonderful family. Who the f*ck cares if my body is or isn't “perfect” by anyone else’s standards? I've chosen not to let the media define what I should look like. That also makes me happy.
Oh, and a body that can grow little miracle?! Now that IS the perfect body.
Side note: my perfect body is different from your perfect body and everyone else's. Not everyone's perfect body birthed a baby. My perfect body just happened to have done that. Women earn their stripes in all sorts of ways. The point is, the mainstream media shouldn't influence what and how we look, postpartum or otherwise.