“What happened, Mom? You look little sad.”, asked my 5-year-old daughter getting ready to venture into a beautiful pool.
Her brown hair shining like gold sands. Mesmerized by her beautiful eyes, I just smiled. I hugged her and asked her to join her father.
But, the question stuck with me. Was I sad? And if yes, then for what? We had been in a beautiful resort which was nothing less than a heaven. The pool was within feet of the gorgeous beach. Instead of enjoying the beautiful resort and vacation, I was lost. I was missing something but what was it. I couldn’t put a finger on it. I quickly changed into my dress to head down to the beach.
It didn’t dawn on me till my husband reminded me about our honeymoon.
The only thing that I remembered was how carefree and happy I was at that time. He couldn’t stop talking about how awesome I looked. And, I couldn’t agree with him more. But with each moment he spent talking about how great I was, my heart sank. I couldn’t deny what I wasn’t ready to accept. I wasn’t ready to accept that I hate everything about myself today. I hate my body, my face, pretty much everything.
When I was growing up, I had a perfect figure. My friends would tell me how beautiful I looked. My figure was a constant reason for my friends’ envy. As I had my daughter, I put on weight. People started expressing concerns about me putting on weight; concerns about my favorite short dresses; concerns about my favorite bathing suits. Tired of listening to people giving their opinions about my body, I decided that it was easier to stay covered up. Even in the summer.
What do I not like about my body exactly?
Well, there’s no definition but plenty of cellulite. My thighs move even when I’m sitting still. My cankles don’t do my legs any favors, either. While I hate to complain, it’s hard not to notice the flaws when so many friends feel their right to comment your body. For instance, during a party, my friend once remarked about how my “big legs” made a short skirt look even shorter. She was just joking, but what she didn’t know was that I had gone back and forth a hundred times about wearing that skirt in the first place. I felt self-conscious for the entire party after that.
But that day in Goa, when my husband spoke about how he misses my happy self, it hit me that I needed to get over my body issues. Besides paying attention to what people had to say about my body, what kind of harmful example was I setting for my daughter?
What does it tell her if her mother can’t even enjoy life because she isn’t comfortable with her own appearance?
How will she grow up thinking about herself and what she looks like? Why do I care more about what other people might say or feel about the way I look than wearing clothes that will let me have fun or make me feel more confident and happy?
That evening, I wore my favorite red dress and I can’t tell you how relieved I was. I felt so young; so happy; so Me. It felt as if I have found my lost self after 5 long years. My daughter ran up, sat next to me and said, “Mom you look so beautiful.” I so wanted to tell her how her innocent question made me do soul-searching and finding myself back. How my love for her pushed me to get back control of my life. How she made me believe in myself again.
I just smiled and said:“Momma looks beautiful because she is HAPPY! Thanks to her little angel.”
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