The other day I was skimming through my Google Reader and I read a blog that made my heart hurt. It was a beautiful girl complaining about her weight. Said girl clocks in at a weight that is 20 pounds less than my current. Did this make me feel bad? No. Not for me. But it did make me sad for her. Because I think I am beautiful. Just as I am. Yes, I could use to shed another layer of baby weight, but whether I ever do or not, I am really happy with myself. My self that is 20 pounds heavier than this incredibly beautiful woman who is writing about how the weight she saw on the scale was devastating. Trust me, sister, seeing a few more pounds on the scale is far from devastating. It's life. And not all that important an aspect of it.
This whole thing got me got me to thinking about what real beauty is.
That very same morning, after I read the post, The Quiet Contemplator was in the bathroom with me while I was getting ready. While I was putting on my powder, she said, "You look really pretty, Mommy." I replied, "Thank you, Baby. Makeup can make you pretty on the outside, but what really matters is how pretty you are on the inside." She looked at me quizzically, so I continued to explain to her the sorts of things that make someone pretty on the inside. I told her that being nice to people made you pretty on the inside. And sharing. And giving people compliments. And being polite. And telling people that you love them. I told her that those are the things that make someone truly pretty. I told her that anyone could be pretty on the outside, but that the people who are really special are the ones who are pretty on the inside.
Raising a little girl in today's society is hard. Mother fucking hard. Girls want to grow up twice as fast, be twice as thin and work half as hard to obtain it all. Because they don't know reality. Because they don't interact with real people. They tweet and text and chat. They don't know what real people are like in front of the "screens". They don't voice how they feel or who they are because they live a virtual life. Surrounded by images or perfect people with no emotions.
But I don't want my daughter to grow up like that. I want her to grow up knowing how to have a face-to-face conversation with someone. And how to say, "I love you". And how to give a hug to someone who needs it. And how to be kind to people. And how to see the true beauty in herself, not just what is reflected in the mirror. I want her to grow up being a real person, not a virtual version of herself, a self modeled after unachievable standards.
I started Body by Baby to help other mothers know that what they look like after having children is OK. That the stretch marks and the saggy boobs and the excess skin don't matter. What matters is that you mamas are so beautiful on the inside that you were able to make something as perfect as a child. And that is what real beauty is. Not your weight, or if you have flawless skin, or if you can still fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans. Because we mamas are beautiful on the inside. And that is pretty, no matter what we weigh.