Under the summer sun with a handful of cherries, a close friend and I were talking about body confidence. We talked about how we’re pretty sure no one fully accepts their physical appearance 100% of the time. I know there have always been areas of my body I wish I could change, but nothing was too distressing until after I had my son. Your body undergoes tremendous changes for 9 months, but after you have the baby there is so much pressure to look exactly like you did before. That is absolutely ridiculous! Is the way my body looks really the most important thing taken away from having a baby? Is the way my body looks really the most important thing about me?
I struggle a lot of the time with fully accepting my post baby body. I wish I didn’t, but I do. I remember when I was pregnant how gentle I was with myself. I wasn’t concerned with any of the changes occurring because I knew their purpose. Now, it’s like I have forgotten the purpose and can do nothing, but compare myself to others. I may not always fully accept my body, but when I remind myself of what it has done, I am so proud. I think that’s what it should be about. We should love our bodies not for how they look, but for what they are capable of.
That being said, I want to live in a world where women’s bodies are not sexualized. A couple of days ago, I posted a picture in a bikini on Instagram which I quickly took down due to inappropriate comments. There was nothing sexual about the picture so I have no idea why it was received that way. I find this really upsetting. This kind of behavior is what teaches women to be afraid of their bodies. No one should be afraid of their body. They are natural and beautiful. They are not inherently sexual. They are a shell for our true selves–our soul. They are the means by which we are able to experience this life. If I feel like being proud of the life my body has grown and fed, I should feel safe doing so. If I feel like concealing my body, I should feel safe doing so.
If anyone has suggestions for the best ways to handle situations like this or tips on how you have learned to accept your body, please leave a comment below!