Susan's Blog

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Skin Deep

Ned told me about this website, The Shape of A Mother. Amazing! This is because we are often discussing our bodies and joking about them, and what time and use have done to them. Most of us probably have an ambivalent attitude towards our bods, kind of love/hate. I think that’s where I am, anyway. I think that being able to work out like I did at age fifteen has affected my outlook positively, however. While most women seem to hate their stretch marks, and take the fashion magazine view of them, as a thing to hide, I kind of like the way they shimmer in certain lights. I now see them as stripes I have earned, from carrying my boys for 40 weeks. You look at the Shape of A Mother website and you see that so many of us hate our bodies. It is horrifying that this is so. Why are we so self-conscious? Why does everyone scrutinize and judge everyone, particularly women?

The other day while walking on the beach, in my bikini, my father said to me, “Don’t you hate seeing those fat women, or even not so fat women, in bikinis?”

I thought, “Oh my God, he is giving me a message!” I took a deep breath and recovered quickly; it did not matter if my father thought I was fat and shouldn’t be in a bikini. I did not agree with him, even if that were what he was trying to say. My therapist would be proud, and I said, honestly, “No! I love seeing women in bikinis! I think it’s great if a woman feels like showing off her skin. I always feel happier in a bikini. I don’t know why; maybe because Ned likes it so much.” He must have loved that!

But it’s true, and not only with women. I love looking at everyone on the beach: old, young, dark, light, fat, thin. The endless stream of epidermis is fascinating to me.

I also love the new trend of pregnant women wearing bikinis and tight clothing and showing off their huge bellies. Why the hell not? Your body is your body; it is you. You’d better start loving it because it’s the only one you’ve got!

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