wrinkles are a sign of a life well lived, right?

August 13, 2008

somewhere along the way i got stretch marks.  they’re not really noticeable, but they’re there.  i look in the mirror and i see wrinkles and too many freckles; the result of years spent outside without enough sunblock. i wonder why my hair is so limp and mousy, why my skin sags, and why the circles under my eyes are so dark.  my body jiggles a little more than i’d like in places that it ought not to.  my good hair days are few and far between, and there are definitely more “ugly duckling” days than ever.  i guess it’s just part of getting older.   

i really don’t spend too much time actually trying to fix my appearance these days because all my attention is focused on my baby, but i do notice my flaws and wish that they would disappear.  i don’t have time to put on foundation or mascara; somedays i consider myself successful if i manage to shower.  when i’m feeling incredibly indulgent and blessed with a few extra minutes of “me time” i might even shave my legs or deep condition my hair!  whoohoo!  i hate to say that i’ve “let myself go” but i know to some extent i have.

when i found out i was pregnant with a daughter i started thinking about the external beauty pressure she will face in her life, and what i can do as a mother to help her grow up with confidence and self-esteem.  i don’t want her to feel that her worth is tied to the size of her thighs, or her complexion, or the shape of her nose.  however, if she is cursed with a total schnozz (which is highly likely considering the shape of the noses in our families) we’ll just pay for rhinoplasty instead of college.  no biggie.  

the other day i was in target, and as i passed by the rack of clearance bathing suits i overheard a skinny twit of a woman say to her daughter, “ugh! all they have left at the end of the season are extra large, and if you’re that big you shouldn’t be wearing a bikini!” she turned around to see me standing there, clapped her hand over her mouth, and gasped, “oh!” as if she were clearly aware that she had committed a major social faux pas by publicly outing herself as size-ist, or fat-ist, or a bitch, or a bad mother who is dooming her daughter to a lifetime of “not good enough” and “not thin enough” and disordered eating and distorted body image.  she smiled at me, as if she hoped to find an ally to chime in with similar pro-skinny sentiments.  i paused momentarily and considered keeping my mouth shut, but then i felt the fury rise and i couldn’t stay silent. 

“well, that’s certainly a good lesson to teach your daughter,” sarcasm, sarcasm, judgment, sarcasm.  

she sneered with indignant outrage and replied, “yeah, it sure is” before she turned on her heel (high heeled sandals, by the way.  at target.  on a thursday afternoon) and stomped away.  

i felt triumphant.  i was helping to dispel the belief that if you’re not skinny/pretty/stylish you aren’t worthy.  i was helping her daughter realize that her mother’s narrow minded beliefs are not true, and if she happens to be a size 2 or a size 12 or a size 22, it doesn’t matter because it’s what’s on the inside that counts.  yet, i was being a hypocrite.  i’m not saying that i agree with the woman, not at all!  if you are an extra large and you find a bikini that looks good and makes you feel like a hot, sexy, woman, wear that suit with pride and show the world what you’ve got.  there is no rule that says only skinny chicks can and should wear two-piece suits.  lord knows there are some skinny chicks who should really cover up more than they do.  but i realized that i judged this woman for being size-ist, yet i also worry about my weight and appearance.  i really want my daughter to love herself for her intelligence, and her sense of humor, and her athleticism, and on and on and on…not for what size jeans she’s wearing.  but what kind of example am i setting if i am constantly fretting about my appearance?

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One Response to “wrinkles are a sign of a life well lived, right?”

  1. jkmastera Says:

    Well, for one – THANK YOU for finally posting again!!! And two, you are so beautiful and you don’t even know it – that’s one of the reasons I like you so much. When you were over the other day, you hadn’t showered (I think that’s what you said), and you looked gorgeous. And three, GOOD FOR YOU for telling that stupid ass mom what you said – she needed to hear it. And seriously? High-heeled sandals in Target? Mmmmmmkay…..


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