Both times I’ve been pregnant, I’ve found that something about this state makes me extraordinarily comfortable with my appearance. I feel light even as I get heavier and much at peace with my femininity. Last time, it was unsurprising. My hair got thick and glossy. My skin was the clearest it’s ever been. However, even this time around with my hair getting a bit ratty and my skin breaking out more and more, I still feel utterly beautiful, carrying this baby.
But that’s not what I’m supposed to say.
It’s become a cultural dictate that we should view ourselves with a degree of self-deprecation. Physically, certainly. It’s only humble, only wise, only healthy. Only female. One has to wonder who stands to gain from such constant dissatisfaction. What would happen if we stepped away from it? If we decided to take stock of our femininity in whatever form it takes for us? What if we were each to stand stark naked in front of the mirror, really take in what we see and and give thanks for it? What if we were to don our favourite dress and instead of fumbling over the bits of us that have changed over time, we silenced the criticism and embraced awe?
We might feel awkward, ridiculous, even guilty at first. Perhaps over time, we’d start believing what we said. Even better, maybe our children would grow up without quite as many of the hangups that have plagued us. In speaking beauty over ourselves, we speak it over them too. Maybe they’d go out into the world with an inner voice that’s a bit stronger, one more able to handle the media messages, the peer pressure, the myriad of things that teach us that dissatisfaction is normal.
At least they’ll have seen us satisfied.
This post was brought to you by John Lewis.