Friday, January 03, 2014

Feel free, bum, to look big in this.

I realise, since Chickies, how capricious my self-image is.

Before I was pregnant, I thought I hovered on the edge of just about ok in terms of my weight. Looking back on photos of myself pre-gestation I CANNOT BELIEVE what good shape I was in. I can say with no fear of exaggeration that I was toned.  This, by all accounts, should have made me happy. But instead I had no idea it was the case.

Now.... there is limp muscle tone, prune-like tummy and little or no handling of face or hair before an expedition of any kind. But - though it's a cliche - I don't give two figs. I'm a bit of a mess. But the way I look has moved to the periphery of my circle of vision. So, though I look worse, I feel better about the way I look.

My parents came to visit less than a week after the twins were born. We are probably a more-reserved-than-average family. But I didn't think twice about wandering around the flat with no top on. I am not sure if my Dad has been faced with this this since I was ten. But it didn't seem to matter. Babies fed well versus society's idea of propriety? No contest.

The thing is, little girls and perhaps little boys too are taught that the presentation of themselves is all important. We all cultivate the way we look - including the social face we put on - with great care. Our self-image becomes an idol: a thing we worship that is utterly devoid of real value. And all too often, when we should be focusing on someone else, we're hung up on ourselves and how we come across.

Having children is not the only way to shock oneself into a healthier sense of perspective. But it is one way.

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