I haven’t done a blog post in a while. Between speaking, planning our first conference, emails, Facebook, the blog, starting Instagram, other social medias, networking, being a mother to 5, and business owner……takes deep breath…..you get the point.
But something happened recently and I feel inspired to share. At the beginning of the year I blogged about how we share all things surrounding birth, but in 2013 I wanted to add motherhood into the mix. Part of this has been to share about loving ourselves…every ounce of us. Our weaknesses, strengths, forgiving ourselves, celebrating who we are, and that includes our bodies.
We recently did a ‘loving our bodies’, especially post partum, day on Facebook. It was amazing. So many women openly and bravely shared their pp bodies with hundreds of thousands of people. I thought every single picture sent in represented a strong, beautiful woman. Truly, I did.
We also made a Pinterest board titled “Lovin’ Our Bodies” and Meagan, one of my awesome team members, shared this picture with me…
And I cried. Not one post partum body that was shared that day represented ME. Here I was celebrating all other women, but not myself. This picture took my breath away. I felt this picture was a woman so full of joy and self love. It made me reflect on my big beautiful body that has nourished five gorgeous and healthy children.
See, I have not always been this size. My weight is something I’ve constantly struggled with, but this size…no. Two long, hard years of post partum depression just barely behind me though and I have found myself here, learning to love myself in the moment while constantly worrying about my weight. It’s a delicate thing.
I decided to love myself. To love all of me while on my journey of better health. It’s a daily struggle, but I’ve been doing it. I feel if I’m going to tell other women to love themselves for how they are and if I see such beauty in all of you (I so do), then I need to see that in me. It was going well and then I saw this…
Such an unflattering picture. Don’t people know you take pictures from above, not below? In all seriousness, I cried. I don’t mean a few tears. I bawled my f-ing eyes out for an hour straight. Then I cried again later…and again later. I felt shame. So much shame for putting myself out there and letting others see me…all of me. I felt embarrassed. I felt sad that out of all I have and am accomplishing in my life, that none of it seems to matter to me if I’m fat. I know I wouldn’t see that in one of you. I would see all the beauty in you. How you shine. What you have accomplished. I would love you. While I hate myself.
Logically I know this is ridiculous. I’m loving so much of my life and am so damn grateful. But that deep inner self talk is wretched. It has the ability to take hold of all the good I am and twisting it with self doubt until all logic is gone. Instead of seeing a woman who has worked so hard to get to this point or remembering what an awesome talk it was, or seeing that rad necklace, I see a fat face.
So what do I do? What do you do if you are like me…loving everyone else and hating yourself?
I had to think about it for a few days and this is what I decided. Start seeing yourself how others do. Start seeing yourself the way you would if YOU were someone else. If you were talking to a mama who looks like you and has accomplished as much as you have, what would you say to HER?
Would I tell that woman up there in that picture that she is fat? Hell no. I’d tell her how amazing she was for speaking for the first time to a crowd about birth and motherhood. I’d tell her that it was an amazing experience. I’d tell her that her outfit rocked. I’d remind her that family and friends support(ed) her and that many women shared how Birth Without Fear has helped their lives. I’d tell her how amazing she is that she gave life to five children and lives her life for them selflessly. I’d tell her weight comes and goes and that her beauty shines through regardless of the number on the scale. I’d tell her she is amazing and strong and perfect. I’d tell her I love her.
And I’d tell her to take flattering pictures like this. 😉
What would you tell you if you were a friend?
Since sharing this post about 6 weeks ago, my eyes were opened via comments here and Facebook how I am so not alone. Most women struggle with something and their self image is not true to who they really are.
So, I have been learning to love myself and to be honest, I like me. All of me.
I also launched a BWF Self Love project on Instagram. I’ve been happier and peaceful about who I am. Not everyday is free from negative self talk, but I’m getting there. So can you. Join us in sharing your pictures (yes, be IN the pictures) on Facebook and Instagram!
No make up, editing, angles….just me.
This: “If you were talking to a mama who looks like you and has accomplished as much as you have, what would you say to HER?” <<THAT RIGHT THERE gave me a huge lump in my throat.
Thank you for being venerable and reminding me of what really matters.
I would tell her that I really do love her, that she’s beautiful, that her eyes shine in a way that pictures will never capture, that her talk might have changed someone’s life, that weight is one tiny piece of her puzzle, that she DESERVES to be loved by herself.
That her body has not failed her.
You’re f*n rad. Daily mantra.
I am a recovering anorexic bulimic who has focused on the number the scale has read for way too long. I see myself as a pudgy, fat cheeked girl with huge calves and flubbery arms. No matter how low the number on the scale got, the vision of a chunky girl was always in my head. One day I was told that I was too skinny though… too skinny? Me? No way. Here I was complaining about my thighs touching and a friend pointed out that my ribs protruded from my sides. I didn’t believe them. Sometimes I still don’t, but I had to stop caring if my thighs touched and if my ankles had extra meat on them. My son wasn’t going to love me less for being big, my husband wasn’t going to love me less for not being a super model, my friends weren’t going to love me less for gaining weight, and if they did…. F*** Them.
While you may have a few extra pounds, you are the most beautiful person I have ever met. Your smile is radiant, your hair is luscious and long, you are busty and gorgeous! Just, because you don’t fit into a zero doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful. I can assure you that you being an average size woman resonates more with your audience than if you were a pin thin mini.
I wish i could take that pain away from you Mrs. BWF. You are beyond stunning on the inside and out. You have showed so many women to trust their bodies and to accept who they are and what they are capable of. I know you have it in you to believe in yourself too.
I got to meet you this past weekend and it was such an honor. You are an amazing, amazing woman. You have helped so many including myself to feel secure and welcome in a sometimes harsh community. I think as women who turned into mothers it is somewhat normal to have self doubt and body issues… Well I know I do at least. When I looked into your eyes last weekend I saw someone very genuine and loving. It was powerful. You are a beautiful, powerful woman January and you are helping to change lives. Thank you opening up yourself in this post. I hope it was healing for you <3
January, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL and inspiring from the inside out. You have a sweet soul and that is what matters in this life. This is only our temporary home and you have inspired, uplifted and encouraged thousands of mothers and that is what people see.
Thank you so much for writing this. Every thing I am thinking and have thought for so long just been too afraid to say. There are days when I love my body and who I am but the majority of days I look at myself as disgusting and I ask how I could ever allow myself to look like this. Fact is, I’m not fat, I am 4′ 10″ and weigh about 118lbs. However, I was never this size before. I always used to weigh under 100lbs. BUT I also DIDN’T have 3 amazing, smart, funny, BEAUTIFUL kids. I try to remind myself that they made me more beautiful than I have ever been. Again thank you for reminding me to love myself! Because if I saw myself in the street or were a friend to her, and knew all she had accomplished I would love her and be jealous of her!
You are gorgeous! Truly gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing your strength, vulnerability and beauty. Your post is so powerful and generous. An awesome read that all of us who read it will benefit from as we consider our own sense of self and inner sense of security no matter what! Thank you for all you do in highlighting really important issues in life and helping to create a new enriching meme around birth and mothering/fathering.
This reminded me of the new Dove advertisment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iswiKQbtwXQ
We usually see ourselves uglier than other people see us. How is it possible that we don’t love ourselves for what we are? I mean… we are all perfect the way we are just because we are. Thin, fat, tall, short, with that, without that… who cares? We are all different, but we are who we are and we HAVE TO LOVE ourselves!
Thank you, this is truly a beautiful article. It made me cry. Next time I look in the mirror I will try to see me the way my husband sees me… the way my mother and sister sees me… and mostly, how my beautiful babies see me.
Thanks Emily. I was having a hard time envisioning how other’s view me and then you mentioned your babies. That hit home. I’m a single mama and I don’t really know what others see in me but I do know that my babies love me.. and all of me. They don’t care how much weight I’ve put on, or what clothes I am wearing or if I brushed my hair or anything. They love me for me. And that’s how I want to love myself. Thank you for pointing that out.
how my babies see me.. so so true!!
🙂 Well written dear! I am a plus size woman pregnant for the first time… and all I could do was nod, smile, and chuckle as everything you blogged is in my head too. My husband linked me to this Dove video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk) hoping I hadn’t seen it before. I hadn’t… and now I watch it almost every day. We are our worst critics… Time to stop listening to ourselves and start listening to others and start believing them. That Dove ad made me realize that no one sees me the same way I do. I am beautiful. I am worthy. I am loveable and loved. And you are too!
I am speechless and in tears. So much of that post resonated in me as I was staring at words that describe how I have felt and treated myself for so many years.
I got pregnant with my first son at the heaviest point in my life at that time. Although overjoyed to be pregnant, my weight was always on my mind. It affected how I felt about myself. Although I knew I was beautiful and glowed with this life growing inside me, there were many times I was just plain mad at myself for being so big and looking the way I did. After I had him the weight initially came off but over the next few years, the stress, the busy life, etc. it all came back and before I knew it I was the same weight I was when I was 9 months pregnant with him. Only problem was I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I wanted to have more children and wanted to lose weight before getting pregnant again. Because of my busy life and my twisted inner talk, I failed miserably at losing any of the weight. In my head the talk of, “why lose the weight when you know you are going to gain it all back when you are pregnant and then have to lose it all over again,” somehow was twisted to make sense to me enough to give me an excuse to not try as hard as I knew I could and should.
This led to me being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Sitting there looking at the doctor telling me I had this, knowing in my heart of hearts it was because I was so overweight, and knowing that even this would not motivate me to lose the weight I wanted and needed to lose in time to have another child (I wanted my children only so far apart for many reasons and that time frame was quickly closing in) was crushing. I was embarrassed and felt shameful. How could I have let myself go this far? To the point where I now had a syndrome that prevented me from having more beautiful children?
As love and miracles would have it, shortly after being diagnosed with PCOS I found out I was pregnant with my second son. Again as over joyed as I was to have the miracle of being pregnant again, knowing that I was again at the heaviest point in my life sucked a lot of the “proud of my pregnant body” out of it for me. At many times, as hard as it is to admit, I was embarrassed because of my weight while pregnant.
“I felt sad that out of all I have and am accomplishing in my life, that none of it seems to matter to me if I’m fat.” This line hit me hard because as much as I don’t want to admit it, for me for many years this has been my truth. I have accomplished so many things and my weight has taken some or most of the joy out of those things at many times.
Fast forward to now. My first son is 5 years old and my second son is 5 months old and I am back down to below my pre-pregnancy weight with my first son (yeah!) but I have to say, it is still sometimes hard to look in the mirror. My inner talk is finally starting to turn around but it has been so negative and self-defeating for so long it is like it is an instinctual reaction in me to speak to myself that way. Weight and how you see yourself does affect so many aspects of your life.
I have had to make myself a priority in a life where you make everyone else one. I have had to make time for myself, focus on what I have accomplished, focus on all the good that I am other than my weight. I have learned to try to start defining myself physically and in other ways that do not revolve around my weight. I have had to stare at myself naked in the mirror, learning to love my faults, until I see a beautiful woman before me. I have had to learn to let go. I need to be in pictures with my children no matter what I look like because these are their memories, their pictures they are going to want when they get older. They simply see me as Mom and love me and think I am beautiful for just that. And you know what? I am.
<3 to you
I have only recently started reading through this site and it has inspired me 100% to Birth Without Fear in the future. I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know, how uneducated I really was, I thought with 2 kids I knew everything at this point! Very humbling to read all the different stories and embrace the feelings that the narrators felt. Very inspirational to dream of what a water birth would be like… For my first two births I did everything my OB and nurses told me to do.. I begged for the epidural because I had convinced myself that there was no way I’d ever be able to do without one. I can’t stop thinking of my next birth plan! I do not give one hoot what your weight is, you are an inspiration to me and to my family. I didn’t know what you looked like until this blog and I knew you were a wonderful person! Only a brave woman will admit the internal demons she battles, keep your smile shining, you are a very loved and appreciated woman. Thank you for all that you do!!
<3 So excited for your open mind! You're beautiful! Keep calm and mom on 🙂
Thank you so much for being vulnerable and sharing with us again. This really hit home with me. Thank you so, so much. You are beautiful and totally awesome and inspiring. Now I just need to learn to repeat that to myself.
Don’t know you but if I did I would wrap my arms around you and hug away!! I seriously could have written this! Why do we do this to ourselves? Life is hard enough without the daily struggle of self hatred. You are beautiful and created to perfectly and wonderfully. DO NOT forget that.
Being thin or fit doesn’t make one beautiful. Having compassion, love, kindness, gentle spirit, quick to lend a hand, and guiding and helping make you beautiful. Listening to the heartfelt tears of thousands of mothers and comforting them makes YOU beautiful. You are beautiful no matter what body you live it. Your beauty resides inside your soul and resonates from it!
Thank you for this post!! That picture is me!!!!! I’ve got 2 girls and had PND and wow your story is just so familiar so thank you =)
Truly you are a beautiful woman!
I am so right there with you. I can scream body-positive sentiments at the top of my lungs until the cows come home — unless it’s my body I’m talking about, in which case I’ve realized that I still to this day have one of the nastiest, meanest, cruelest sense of negative self image I’ve ever experienced.
Thank you for sharing this today. You are beautiful inside and out.
This is a subject is very Close to my heart. I also struggle with weight I have since I could remember and I’ve always had found it hard to lose weight, even harder to love myself my whole self not just me as a person, my actual person itself… my body. People don’t understand the struggles that we go through day today and how unfair it seems to be That a smaller person to eat however they would like and don’t get that. But if I look at a cake and gain 10 pounds. I absolutely love what you said About how would we talk to ourselves if we were someone else. I never put it that way and that makes total sense. I’m always telling my friends how beautiful they are and how it doesn’t matter how much they weigh, i tell my daughter and she said she just feels self-conscious cause everybody expects a woman to be size two.
Truly a beautiful blog, I will try to remember what you said as I try to accept myself. I often toyed the idea for excepting my body for what it is and eating healthy still. One day, hopefully soon appearances, skin color, or anything won’t matter… The only thing that will matter will be our souls.
January, YOU are gorgeous and so inspiring! I felt like that was taken from my head.
“…I felt sad that out of all I have and am accomplishing in my life, that none of it seems to matter to me if I’m fat. I know I wouldn’t see that in one of you. I would see all the beauty in you. How you shine. What you have accomplished. I would love you. While I hate myself.” That’s me everyday, I hate my self, while lifting everyone up on an alter.
It’s a constant struggle, but your encouragement is so empowering I’m going to do my damnedest to give this a shot… To try to really love me and not just small parts of me, all of me.
Thank you for your amazing honesty that has brought light to so many places in my life.
My sister was worried about coming to a birth circle meeting with me because she was worried that people would mistake her weight as being pregnant. Well she came anyway because she’s the most awesome and supportive sister ever..she was a rock during my labor and she loves my daughter more than oxygen.
So what if her weight isn’t perfect? You know what…I have agoraphobia, anxiety, and OCD tendancies. I struggle with the weight on my mind. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
You. Are. Awesome!!!! Thank you for putting words to the feelings I thought I struggled with alone. I thought I was the only person who felt this way. My life is forever altered for the better because of what you do. No amount of weight can possibly have any influence on the amazing things you do for every person who sees ur posts. Thank you for hearing this great calling.
You need to go and buy a new mirror , you are beautiful.
Thank you so much for this! You are beautiful. We are all beautiful. Something we all need to do is take time out each day and think about what really matters, focus on the parts we love about ourselves and work on loving the parts we don’t like about ourselves. Motherhood is a journey, and with that is the journey of loving ourselves. Loving our new identity as ‘mamma’, loving our new bodies, embracing every single stretchmark and thinking of it as our babies beautiful drawings. Embrace yourselves and your new lives as Mamma. We all have something in common..
We are all strong, beautiful women. And we must remember that.
I dont know if you have seen this but it spoke volumes to me. We see beauty and strength in so many but have the hardest time seeing it in our self. Thank you for inspiring me to look inward and see my beauty, my accomplishments, my strengths, my weaknesses for what they are-MINE. I now own them and am honest with my self and see the beauty in me. How can I teach my children to do so if I cant do it to my self. I lead by example and and have extra strength because of all the stories and inspiration I find. BWF is a big part of that.
i would remind her that thin wasn’t always “in” and that in most cultures, the goddess of fertility is big, strong, and beautiful; she looks like you! You are a goddess.
Thank you for this! I desperately needed to read this. I’m struggling with weight gain and PPD right now. It is hard to see the beauty in me yet I know I’m doing great things and am doing well considering I have 4 children. I hear from a lot of people, “I don’t know how you do it.” I need to turn that statement into something that loves me and affirms me. Thank you for leading us in Birth without Fear and showing us the beauty/real aspect of motherhood.
That “unflattering” picture… I looked at it before scrolling down. I didn’t see anything unflattering. I saw someone stronger than me, who could stand up and talk about something she believed in. I saw someone with passion and love in her eyes.
I love this post. So much.
If I looked at someone exactly like me.. I would just hug her and tell her how amazing she’s done, how hard she’s worked, how much love she has bubbling out of her for her family and friends, how no matter how weak she sees herself as, she has a backbone of steel and she should never, ever forget it. And, above all, that no matter what the face in the mirror mutters in disgust, or the child trailing fingers over still-pink stretch marks invokes, she is a beautiful creature, an amazing testament to motherhood and personhood.
I’m 6 months pregnant with my first and whenever that noise in my head starts telling me that I’m not fit enough or toned enough or whatever, I think about my own mom. My mom is gorgeous and curvy and perfectly imperfect. And as a child (and even today as an adult!) I MUCH preferred snuggling into the soft, squishy, motherly curves of my sweet momma. Thank God she wasn’t skin and bones! haha I hope that every time my daughter snuggles into my squishy bits, I can remember that I am bringing her the kind of love and comfort that only a mommy can bring. That I housed her in my body for nine months and fed her from my breasts. That I make her daddy happy, both because of who I am on the inside and what I look like on the outside.
From what I know about you, I can guarantee you that your family feels this way about you. And as your readers, we feel blessed to have this sacred space to come to when we need encouragement, support, and a reminder that just by being who we are we are MORE than good enough.
This is such an eternal struggle as a woman and a person. We are so much kinder to others when we don’t even offer ourselves half of that kindness. I seriously encourage anyone to seek out Brene Brown. She is researcher of shame and vulnerability. Sounds kind of crazy but she puts into words things we all feel and struggle with but cant exactly describe. She has a wonderful talk on TED about shame and the power of vulnerability. She was also on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and clips of that are on Oprah’s website. I encourage everyone and anyone to check out what she has to say. Especially the wonderful strong mamas on this site. Bravo to you for sharing your vulnerability. And bravo to all of the women who share their stories on this website. It takes a great deal of strength! This is an amazing community of supportive women.
Thank you!!!!plus size doula here who struggles daily with those same issues. Thank you!!!!I can’t say it enough.
Oh!! Such an inspiring post! Would you care if I told you I hate all the “perfect mothers out there who used cloth diapers, go completely organic, made their own bread and yogurt, breastfeed and home school” for being so perfect and have perfect children.. and that I hate myself for not being a “good mother”, I try and I try and always fail on “my idea of what a good mother is”. I am not saying that I do not struggle with appearance (I had to through away all my pre pregnancy clothing after the birth of my first because my waist did not returned to the same size), it is just so embedded within the culture than even us, grown mature adults struggle with it ( I cannot imagine the pressure of being a teenager). But both things are related… I am sure a lot of thin women will see you and think, how does that woman do to keep her home, children and having such a meaningful blog??? Learn how to feel compassion for yourself and your body, you have no reason to hate your body… after all it has sustained the life of 5 children… and although culture constantly tell us we are a failure because we do not have it all, we are not. We have made a conscious choice of what matter to us the most, therefore we need to learn how to cope with all the other things left behind.
I had children years ago. I am 64. I had 4 children including twins. Tell me about hating your body. When I was growing up a size 12 was really cute and perky. Now if one goes to the store and tries on an extra large sweater, it is a size 4. We are letting the media and the culture tell us what size a woman ought to be. Even if we feel good and are healthy, if don’t have professional makeup, hair extensions, wear shapewear and are several sizes smaller than what our normal weight would be, we are crones and ugly. There is something so destructive in this. I know it is destroying me.
I love how open and raw this is; How true and how so many of us can relate. I love you January, you are beautiful in body and soul. You also accomplish more in one day than most women do all week.
To challenge us to step outside of ourselves and look at us through another’s eyes leaves me wondering: how am I perceived? Am I only seen as a devoted mother and wife? Do people see more to me than my family? Until recently I’ve never cared (or maybe I did and just didn’t want to admit it). I find myself wanting to embrace ME. To be a whole person more and your strong words have only enforced that more. Thank you for being there, for being an amazing support, for being a role model, and simply for being RAD! 😉
The whole time reading this I was glued constantly thinking “ME TOO!!!” Every single word is exactly how I feel about my post partum x3 body. My husband constantly tells me how he wishes so much I could see myself through his eyes. And recently I really have been trying too, but is really still a big struggle. I also struggle horribly with Bipolar Disorder and it makes the whole situation so much worse. You have totally and utterly inspired me to love myself, and I absolutely love you!!! Thank you so much for these amazing words. I feel like I’m not so alone anymore.
love this and love you.
You are such an inspiration! I´m doing a course in which we had to think of someone who had inspired us and helped our way somehow. I thought of you. I don´t know you, but reading your blog and knowing there is so many women out there like me, gives a true sense of support and love. Of fellowship. Knowing you have 5 (!) children when i struggle to raise one alone is amazing! You stand up for what you believe in, speak in crowds and put yourself out there, all of this is very inspiring. It shows a high level of consciousness to raise above your selfhate and see it from another point of view. As someone said, it´s only our temporary temple. You don´t have to hate it to want to change it, but love yourself during. You are so much more! Thank you!
Thank you all for your wonderful comments. For sharing about yourself and giving support and love.
Thank you so much for this blog. I read it and you hit home with me. My husband came across your blog, and knowing how I feel about myself, brought it to my attention. I have a nine month old baby boy, and am suffering from PPD. I am in the “I hate my body, I hate that I had to have a c-section (after 28 hrs of labor and an hour of pushing), I hate everything” stage. I am trying to deal with it. I am lucky to have a supportive family, but, none of them have gone through what I have….and they don’t quite understand how I feel. So thank-you from the bottom of my heart for speaking out to moms and bringing us together!
Mrs. BWF, I met you that day~ I hugged you at least 3 times and cried because I couldn’t quite convey how grateful I am for what you do on a daily basis by sharing not only yourself but other’s stories that bring light and empowerment to so many hearts. Never once did any thought go through my head that you looked anything but happy and beautiful and FUN~ I wished I could have gone to lunch with you and chatted like old girlfriends, because you ARE AMAZING. I understand how hard it is to see yourself when you don’t feel like thats you. I have learned to laugh when people ask me when I’m due because I still have a belly 15 months later and when I eat bread, it expands to about 24 weeks pregnant. I’ve accepted myself and have toyed with the idea of just letting strangers think I’m actually with child 🙂 We love you and all that you do!!!
I felt this post so deeply. I’m in the midst of a very deep struggle with loving myself, all of myself. To love me the way I should be loved, and am loved, and will always be Loved no matter what I do or what I look like. Thank you for your openness. Thank you for your vulnerability. We are on this journey, and we are together in it, even if we don’t even know each other. I pray for each of us to come to the place where we can see the beauty that we ARE, and the life that we overflow with. And that we will come to a place where we don’t care what the world around us or the magazines or the snitty comments say…because we KNOW who we are, and we embrace and enjoy and all of it.
WOW!!! This hit so close to home. Thank you for putting in to words a lot of what I feel everyday. You are an amazing woman and it is so rewarding to read your website and facebook page. Thank you for being brave and putting yourself out there. you are incredibly beautiful, obviously on the inside and out. x
Tears in my eyes <3
Your amazing after an unplanned c I felt deflated and unsure if I want to ever go through this again your Facebook page has changed every thing ill still try for a vbac next time but I know I’m bit a failure if I can’t, and then to read this article I cried a little totally relate with loving every one else while hating your self. Stay strong your amazing
What a wonderful post. I’m crying as I type this.
I’ve struggled with how I feel about myself my whole life. It’s strange how the hardest thing to do is just love yourself.
Thank you for this post. This has given me some hope that maybe I can accept who I am and feel good about it. Thank you.
I would tell myself that I rock and that I’m gorgeous!
To you: you are a beautiful woman. I love you for who you are and what you’ve done for all of us.
Oh, I so relate. I am a mother with a rather unflattering physical disability… it’s hard to feel beautiful. People stare at me all the time and it’s not because of my pretty blue eyes. 🙂 A couple years ago, i made a video showing how I care for my then-infant son using only my feet. In the intro to the video I showed the camera every inch of my short, twisted arms and explained my diagnosis. CNN was calling for stories like mine, and against everything in me screaming for me to stop, to keep my flaws hidden, I clicked “upload” and two days later, that incriminating video was headline news on CNN. Two years later I am a published author and public speaker. Vulnerability, and admitting to myself that I will never be perfect, paved the way for me to find fulfillment and purpose even in my flaws. The many people who have responded to my story say that they are like me; they are ashamed and afraid and scared that they might not be enough. But as one of us steps into the light, we all come to realize that we are not alone. The world isn’t full of supermodels and supermoms. THEY are the strange ones (if they even exist). WE, the imperfect and weak, are Mona Lisa’s lop-sided grin. We are beautiful, powerful in the midst of, and because of, who we are. That includes the “not-so-pretty” bits.
Dear woman, you are so wonderful and everything that you do makes you even more magical. The photo of you that you don’t like, I’ll tell you what I see – I see strong and happy women, and I love you for it, for everything that you do and everything you keep doing every day. Maybe the best evidence on how we see ourselves is this commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaOjMXyJGk. To all wonderful women out there, please watch and remember it next time you look yourself in the mirror. Love to all!