So, lately I’ve been thinking about this whole “how to bring up girls to respect their bodies and how to bring up a boy to respect women” thing I have to do.
I want my girls to view themselves as beautiful and not give a flying “F*#%” about what other people think they should look like and be like. I want them to respect their bodies. This is a hard subject for me, because I didn’t respect my own body. I hated what I looked like in the mirror (kind of still do, but for different reasons). I remember thinking that I wanted to be skinny like my girlfriend, when we shopped at 5-7-9, For those who remember that store. I so badly wanted the size 0 she wore, but I had to wear my size 3, I know I wasn’t very big, but when you have tiny girlfriends (smaller than you) you get a sort of a complex. Thus wearing shirts that showed cleavage (like I had any) and baby t’s. Oh, lets not forget short skirts and cut off jeans. Hoochie mama! But why did I feel like I had to wear that in order to get the attention from the boys?
I saw the way my dad reacted towards women who had cleavage and short skirts on. I saw the way my brothers acted towards women like that. THEY ALL DROOLED!
Which now I know that wasn’t a very good example of how women should be viewed. Yes, we are all beautiful creations and God created all of us unique in our own way, but I never knew that. I didn’t know that I was beautiful.
In middle school, I compared myself to a gorgeous blonde friend of mine. Her hair was perfect, not a strand out of place. She had a tiny little body and big boobs and a pretty smile with pretty blue eyes. She was the whole package. She didn’t need to strive for attention, because she got it wherever she went. She would have pool parties at her house, I would go, feel weird in the bikini that my mom bought me from K-Mart, while she wore hers that was probably from Victoria’s Secret…because her mom would totally buy her one from there. She was a blonde bombshell in a $50 swimsuit and i was a funky brunette in a $10 swimsuit. I had some major competition. SO, how did I get the boys attention? So glad you asked!
I remember having the biggest crush on this guy. OF course he liked the blonde bombshell (who didn’t?) but I wanted him to notice me. I wanted him to see me. I wanted him to look at me the way he looked at her…
Now at 13 years old, I wasn’t fully developed, but this blonde B**** was! At least I thought she was! I barely had boobs, I played basketball and ran track, I was in pretty good condition. I remember my triangle bikini top was rather “loose”, so what did I do? Well, I did a cannon ball into the swimming pool and WHOOPS! my top came off. “If I didn’t have his attention before, I sure had it now” I remember thinking. Oh did I ever have his attention. His and the rest of the party! I remember trying to hold my small hands over my small sad excuse for boobs and swim at the same time, to the edge of the pool.
I don’t remember who retrieved my top. I do remember clearly though from that day, not being invited over ever again.
I also remember this same blonde bombshell telling me, “My mom says you only hang out with me because we have more money than your family and you use us”. WOW. Knowing what I know now, how hard my dad worked to get us out of a horrible neighborhood and into a city that was safe enough for me to walk to school. How much he provided for us that meant more than what brand of clothing I had on or what kind of car my parents drove. This little blonde b**** is lucky that I was so naive and clueless, or else she would have a mouth full of broken teeth!
And so the story goes, “beauty is only skin-deep”. Wish I knew the meaning of that then.
So how do I teach my son to respect women? How do I teach my daughters to respect their bodies?
All together now-
I am 30 years old. I don’t have the best body in the world. I am on my good days a size 6 and on my bad days a size 8.
My boobs are saggy (thanks to my beautiful children who were breastfed) my skin is loose (having twins really did a number on me) and my butt is well, not so bouncy and tight like it use to be.
How do I find the beauty in me?
Through my children. I need to learn and accept the fact that my body is my body. There is not one body out there that is like mine. I can either take care of it the best I can OR let it get worse over time.
I need to take care of myself. I need to dress appropriately. No, I do not need to show cleavage. No I don’t need my butt hanging out of my shorts. I need to dress modestly, but I also need to have some sort of sex appeal.
I think it all comes down how my husband views me.
Yesterday, my son and I were snuggling. My husband leaned down and kissed me and ask my son, “doesn’t mommy look pretty?” rather than me saying what I said next, “Seriously? I feel fat, I look disgusting, I have cutt of yoga pants on with holes throughout them, I have a sports bra on and a gross t-shirt” I should have said, “oh, thank you!”
Why is it so hard for me to accept that my husband thinks I’m beautiful?
This world is amazing.
-Show thankfulness instead of doubt.
-Accept that I AM beautiful.
-Smile more often
-Laugh without covering up my teeth.
-Wear clothes that make me feel pretty, not slutty.
-be modest, but do not dress like a nun.
-Compliment women on how beautiful they are on the inside, “I love your heart” “You’re so sweet” etc…
-Show my son that beauty is only skin deep.
-Show my daughters that beauty is only skin deep. (they may have a pretty face, but deep inside they can be ugly)
My husband and I need to lead by example. We cannot just say things, we have to do those things.
Until next time…