Every once in a while I like to read a good magazine. The definition of *good* is different for everyone. When I say good, I mean something that is:
totally a waste of time.
Magazines can be fun.
It takes no brain power to process gossip or the latest “style”. When I’m really bored, like on an airplane*, I’ll read the really trashy kinds, like “The Enquirer” so I can laugh at all the stories inside and giggle at the horendous outfits people are caught wearing.
Today I was procrastinating the mountainous piles of laundry and started flipping through
an “In Style” magazine. At first it was fun, and then I started getting annoyed seeing page after page of fourteen year old models dressed in women’s clothing. I found myself feeling defensive thinking, “These girls haven’t given birth five times!” and
“Of course she doesn’t have wrinkles, she is a teenager!”
Magazines can be torture.
Every model is in shape with perfect skin, eyes, makeup, and hair. How are we as women ever supposed to compare?” I thought. More flashes of beautiful outfits, trendy bags, and to die for sunglasses flew off the pages. My newly adopted son has been plenty of reason to wear my sweats every chance I get. I have had a hard time getting dressed AND doing my hair. The combinations seems insurmountable to me lately. You would think I actually gave birth if you saw me the past few weeks. I have been up at night and mentally working the details of bringing another child into our home and balancing all the kids emotions. The LOVE him and fight over him every day but they all want to make sure they have their spot still…that they haven’t been somehow pushed out of line. I can see how adopting children in between your own kids ages could be really tough. They have all had to chip in and be a little more patient. I am doing great if I get a shower AND put deodorant on..
I am tired. I am happy and I am tired.
Every time I see someone that has heard about Handsome, they are filled with excitement for us and our new little guy. They ask if I am happy and I can’t even begin to share with them the wave of emotions that are sloshing inside of me.
Happy? yes. Easy? no.
It usually takes about four months for me to start dressing normal and gaining back my energy after giving birth. I hope this doesn’t take that long, it’s been a month and I am starting to feel like I have a handle on it, starting. I think I am more susseptable to getting frustrated after I have a baby and haven’t recovered yet. Most of the time I am comfortable in my skin. I love to exercise and be outdoors. I think this is a healthy way to stay in shape and feel good.
I have seen some girls in my life that are totally controlled by body image issues everyday. I feel sorry for them…it is not a happy place to be for too long!
I was ready to put down the magazine after folding down a few of the pages that were now on my mental “want list”. I was feeling less of myself, conquered…defeated somehow. “I will never look like those people in the magazine”. I thought…
As I so boldly shared with you last week, I am 35. I am half way to 70. I am no spring chick….I am a mother hen. I probably cluck like one too…”Kids do your homework and your jobs….take out the trash and pick up your room!!”
As I was shutting the page, my little three year old “Bug” looked over at me and said,
“oooo gross! That girl is fake!!”
and she was right.
That chick had definitely been airbrushed into submissive perfection. Nobody looked like her in real life and here I was getting down on myself for my lack of air brushed skin, and my sparse eye lashes.
It took my three year old daughter to wake me up to reality.
I realized the subconscious mental notes I had been taking:
Get my eyelashes done
a manicure and pedicure
a spray tan
my hair done
eat less food
exercise every day for a year…or at least until Rooz’s wedding…
no pressure at all
and while these things aren’t necessarily bad, I don’t want to be a slave to them.
At least not all of them at the same time, after all what am I trying to become? A plastic fake mommy barbie? Ouch…the words hurt. I guess I am just trying to measure up
Measure up to societies expectations of “beautiful”.
And you know what?
The more I try to be perfect” the less I feel good about myself. I am always happier when I focus on other people and lifting them up. I say we all need to ignore the signals from the Internet, TV, radio, magazines, movies…and everywhere else we look. I say if we worry about things that are really important, we will be happier people. I’m not saying don’t exercise, eat right, or take care of ourselves…I’m saying that if we balance our focus, we will be more beautiful.
I wish it was as easy to do it as it is to say it!
I’m calling all mothers, girls, women, grandma’s…enough is enough. We need to focus on our true beauty *myself included*. Maybe we need to cluck a little less…and help others a little more. Maybe we need to accept ourselves for being human and not an avatar and just maybe we need to look for the good qualities we have instead of what we lack.
I recently read this post over atSingle Dad Laughing, and after today’s events I thought of it again. Take a look, it is worth the read!
*this post makes me laugh because I wrote it at 3 a.m. last night. I couldn’t sleep and as I read it this morning I giggle at my rambling brain! And, for some reason my spacing is all messed up…oh well, I have reached my time limit!*