While flipping through a magazine yesterday, I came across an advert for plastic surgery. There are many such adverts nowadays selling lunchtime facelifts to a full out surgical facelift. It seems that every other page is dedicated to “doing” something to ourselves. Let me see, I can whiten my teeth, augment my bustline, lift my butt, tuck my tummy, suck out my fat and now the latest- freeze my fat cells to death!! Yay!
I must admit that I WAS looking through this magazine as I waited for my color to “take” in my hair- but seriously, this is all I do to myself (and all I can afford to do) So sue me already.
But what struck me this time around was an advert from a very well known and very good plastic surgeon. It was for a “mommy makeover”. It was specifically targeted to new mothers who were unhappy with their bodies and their looks after childbirth. Here is a list of the procedures they can do
Laser hair removal
If i were a new mother, I would certainly begin to look at myself differently. If I saw an advert like this, it would undermine my confidence to think that there was something wrong with the way my body looked after giving birth.
Honestly, as a young mother, I was far too BUSY to worry about my looks. I was thankful to get a shower in everyday and go to the bathroom by myself. I was happy if my clothes fit and my hair was brushed.I usually wore the food my children were eating and had spit up on my shoulders for years.
What kind of message are we sending out to new mothers in particular and women in general? Not one of those adverts was directed towards men but were almost all from male surgeons.
While most women enjoy the trip to the hairdressers and love to get their nails done, it is more from a standpoint (my opinion) of getting out and away from everyday life and feeling pampered. Not taking weeks and months to recover from surgery that ultimately changes what you look like. What are you supposed to look like as a new mother, older woman, grandmother, sister, daughter, friend if you don’t look like yourself?
My body and my face tell my story. I breast fed three children. That’s why I now wear underwire bras (ok, harnesses). Anyone hear about the miracle swimsuit? Dont get one, it’s nice to be able to breathe at the beach. Yes my butt’s a little lower and has a jiggle, but it’s a nice jiggle and its usually in time to whatever music I have playing. My tummy does hang over my jeans a bit but I have the muscle strength to hold it in whenever necessary. And you know, all jeans come with some stretch anyway.
My eyes crinkle when I smile but I smile a lot and that keeps my cheeks from falling in. I’ve grown my hair to hide this. But if you look closely, you will “see” my story. You will know I have children that I would die for, a husband I could cheerfully shoot somedays but is always by my side. A mother who cherishes me and brothers who will forever think I’m 4 years old. You will “see” my sorrows and my joys, my fears and my triumphs. You will “see” my losses and my gains in every wrinkle,crease,fold and sag. You will know I have lived my life experiencing all of what it has offered me.
So, lets start now by CELEBRATING the birth of that baby and helping that new mother by cooking for her, cleaning her house, taking the baby for a walk, anything, so she can take a breath and do her Pilates exercises for heaven’s sakes. Allow her the time to take care of herself so she wont need to inject,suck,lift or whiten.
And tell her how absolutely beautiful she is just the way she is right here, right now.And what an amazing thing she has just done- given birth to another human being.