20 Oct Love and defend your body
Why is pregnancy such a catalyst for the exploration and realisation of our relationship with our own and other people’s bodies?
During the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I have become beyond grateful for the part of myself that has created the strong and protective opinion that I hold about my body and all the things it can do.
In just the last few weeks I have received some lovely complements from friends, family and strangers about my changing pregnant shape and growing Pearl. Thank you for every one of those compliments. But I’ve also received the following comments and can you believe it, the rude remarks all came from my family members.
But thanks to me and me alone, the only effect that these comments had was to lower my opinion of the person speaking.
“Jesus Christ, look at the size of you.”
“I’ve never seen you looking so fat.”
“I bet you can’t wait to get back in your own clothes. “
“I bet you can’t wait to get your figure back.”
Despite being raised by an insensitive family with a unhealthy opinion on the aesthetic appearance of people at different stages and life cycles, I somehow managed to turn out differently. Instead of taking these comments on board I could turn around with absolute ease and conviction and say…
“I love my pregnant body and I am in no rush to see it go.”
But it left me wondering, if I’m having to deflect these sort of comments, what are other women having to put up with and how is it making them feel?
It fills me with utter despair that some people think it’s acceptable to verbalise such disparaging comments that I would suggest, are merely an attempt to project their own poor body beliefs on to others.
Positive Pregnant Body
There have been many experiences, life events and practices over the last 10 years that have stopped me wishing I could change the way I look. Pregnancy has just been the moment of realisation that the wishing for change really has stopped.
I believe that pregnancy has the potential to allow a women total body liberation. Because yes you realise that you are capable of something so much more important and miraculous than conforming to looking a certain way that is pleasing to other people. But there is also a deeper level to it.
The body that you thought you knew and had some sort of control over, suddenly has a life of it’s own. It feels like a gorgeous and beautiful alien has taken control of your ship, in your loss of control your body starts to do things that you never knew possible, to change in epic ways without you taking any action. Your body has a plan, it knows where it’s going, you’re just along for the ride.
And this is what I now understand to be my body’s innate wisdom.
Now I’m responsible for guiding a baby girl all the way into womanhood and beyond and it really has made me think about how I would like her to view herself, her body and the relationships she has with herself and others.
My wish for her is that she grows up believing that she is amazing, a little miracle and that her body is something to be treasured. Firstly by herself and secondly by those she chooses to entrust and share it with. I want her to know that her body is capable of more than she could ever imagine. And that she is well entitled to put two fingers up to anyone who tries to make her, or another woman feel any other way.
Collectively as women we all play a part in making each other feel comfortable and at ease with every part of our bodies in every age related cycle that we go through.
And perhaps even more importantly, allowing those that are growing up after us to follow in our self empowered footsteps.
So it’s not just Pearl that I wish this for, it’s a wish for every woman who has ever had a moment of doubt that her changing, ageing and growing body is anything but beautiful.
You are not the sum of other people’s opinions, your looks, or your popularity. You too started as a tiny miracle with infinite possibilities; the most significant one is to just love being you.