Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 29: Bellies

My belly can be the bane of my existence.  I have an inkling that this is true for lots of other females.  I get swept up in endless comparisons, laying judgement to my shape and making myself miserable.  I cannot remember a time when I was happy with my belly area (I don't count being pregnant, I LOVED the shape of my pregnant bellyness).

I have an idea of what it "should" look like, this mid-section of mine, and yet I haven't been willing to do the work.  I suppose you could say I am committed to my misery.  Otherwise, I'd get 'er done and eliminate my ugly-zone.  It's because of this that I rarely vocalize my dissatisfaction.  Because I am accountable for it.

I've seen some posts on other blogs lately whose goal is to expose some realness to combat the f*cked up ideas of what a female body should look like.  As a female, I can attest to feeling bummed out about my shape after seeing an ad (or movie or other kind of media) that glorifies a certain body type.  Ever notice that only the thin, perfectly gorgeous girl gets the guy in movies?  Lumpy, saggy breasted women are left to be silly sick kicks, hilarious grumpy hags or disenchanted, overwhelmed, long-married martyrs with lots of kids who are snarky about their lives.  Naturally I'm drawn to the girl whose got it going on, and I'd like to think my brain isn't so soft that I can't be happy unless I have HER body.  But who are we kidding?  Being bombarded with such images hundreds of times a day, thousands of days in a row is bound to wear on a gal.  It's only a matter of time before my brain naturally goes: "Hey, why don't we look like that?  There must be something inherently wrong/bad about us!  Fix it, or else we won't have any friends!  No one will ever love us!"  etc.

So I wanted to take on my own blog posting that shows off all kinds of realness.  I can say, confidently, that I'm not alone in my feelings of body disgust.  When I send out a request for women in my life to send me a picture of their belly, some were horrified.  Many refused, despite my promise to leave out names.  Most of the photos I did get came with threats that I had better not post their names and that they really hated their picture. I think this speaks pretty blatantly to the fact that women mostly feel like their bodies aren't lovable unless they look a certain way.  They (I) feel that until they look this certain way, they have no business being proud of their body or showing it off or speaking about it as if it were already perfect.

My mantra is that I am already perfect.  I don't always buy into this mantra, but I know it's true.  There is nothing that is "wrong" with me.  All of my disturbances, upsets, sadness, anger and fear comes from a belief that I am somehow lacking.  If I stay present to "I am perfect" there is nothing that I cannot do or say.  Thank about it.  You are perfect too.

My fears had me convinced to not identify myself in the line up, but because I am perfect I am going to.  That's me, second row, far left.  That's a woman who's had one baby, one surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, one D&C, who doesn't exercise (except running after a toddler), who loves to bake for her family and her friends and has a incessant sweet tooth.

Soak up the realness!  (Thanks to the brave ones who contributed and to my Rosie whose belly was used to fill in the last square).


  1. i love this Mel. It made me laugh and cry! I totally identify with your feelings of unhappiness with your tummy area. It is the one part on my body that I hate and I have worked hard to get where I'm at and I am discouraged that its so much work to get the last few LBs off. But I think its time that I take up your mantra as well. Seeing my belly amongst the other real bellies, I feel as though I am not alone! One of my core beliefs in life is all women are beautiful and your this post shows exactly that! Thank you for including me!

  2. Right on sister! 4th row down, far left, that's me, Desiree Mulsow, previously Desiree Schwartz, before my life was made into a fairy tale...if in said fairy tale I'm the one looking into the mirror cursing the youthful beauty hahahaha. Anywho, Mel you made much to good a point to that's me everyone, that's the beautiful perfect belly that brought me one baby, one surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy and fallopian tube. That is the hopefull and very optomistic belly that will carry another happy, healthy baby into this world someday. Those stretchmarks tell my story, that pudge makes my son laugh (he grabs it and says "pudge pudge"...and we both laugh heartily). I agree, its present state is from a lack of physical attention, the responsibility lays firmly on my shoulders...which are beautiful and perfect too. Well done Mel!

  3. *clap clap* Well done Melanee and ladies. Very proud of you for sending in your pictures. I, I was too scared. I love that you, Mel, see that your belly's current state is because of choices you made (or didn't). I too look at old pictures or myself in the mirror and my brain and I have a similar conversation of "HEY! What the hell happened to us and no wonder you don't you ever wear that cute bikini anymore!" I have always said that I'm CLOSE to perfect asnd I'm working on it. In the body department I haven't been. I plan on starting again but not putting so much pressure on myself.