On Beauty and Hypocrisy

guest blog post by Lindsay of This Woman’s Work Blog.

*This isn’t just a letter to myself.  But a letter to every mother. *

Dear Lindsay,

You are a firm believer in treating others how you would want to be treated.  You stand firm on practicing tolerance, acceptance, and non-judgement.  You try to see the best in people, and nothing breaks your heart more than seeing others beat themselves down when they have so much to offer the world.

So, why?  Why do you pick yourself apart?  Why do you look in the mirror and describe yourself in ways you wouldn’t describe your worst enemy?  Why do you shut your husband out when he tells you that you are beautiful?

That bump on your nose is ugly, and just look at what pregnancy has done to your hips.  Your boobs will never be where they used to be, and you never seem to have a “good hair day.”  The bags under your eyes age you and long gone are the days of your cute little belly button.   The pounds just don’t come off the way they used to, and you will never be the size you were in college ever again.

You hypocrite.  You say you want your daughters to love who they are, just as they are.  You say you never want to hear them speak negatively about themselves.  You say you want them to truly feel beautiful, just as they are.  Who do you think they will learn from?  Lula is starting to mimic the people around her.  Watch your words.  Watch your actions.

Stop complaining about your weight.

She is listening.

Stop picking yourself apart in the mirror.

She is watching.

You say you strive to find beauty in the world around you.  Start by finding it in yourself.

You say your hips are too wide.  You carried two humans for nine months…and they needed room to grow.  Is there no beauty in that? You say your boobs will never be where they used to be.  You are nursing your baby, feeding her, bonding with her.  She is building trust in you everytime she cries and you offer her your breast in comfort.  Is there no beauty in that? You never have a good hair day…well you spend your days putting your girls first.  Changing their diapers, feeding them, playing with them, the way your hair looks is last on your mind.  Is there no beauty in that? You say you have bags under your eyes.  You are up all night and sacrificing your sleep to nurse your little one, or you rock a sick toddler back to sleep.  Is there no beauty in that? Your cute belly button is gone…well your belly grew round and stretched as your precious babies grew inside you.  Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

Create your own definition of beauty.  For you.  For your daughters.  The world has turned into a very un-family place and motherhood is written off as a death sentence.  True beauty is in the life-giving scars, the selfless messy-buns, and the milk-stained shirts that are all a part of motherhood.

Mourn the loss of who you were, and then step into the light of who you have now become.  Stop comparing yourself to who you were.  Start embracing the incredible changes that are happening to not just your body, but to your life.  You have always taken great pride in any job you have had.  Motherhood is a damn hard job.  The hardest.  Take some pride in what you have done, and what you will continue to do for the rest of your life.

You are a beautiful woman, Lindsay.  Inside and out.  Don’t let yourself tell you otherwise.

Thank you Lindsay for letting us share your words.

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