I did it, LauraJ... sent some pictures to be posted at The Shape of a Mother
. It is a wonderful blog and her goals are laudable. It was disheartening to read though; so many of the pictures there were from people who were beautifully slender and still fretting about how they looked. So, rather than just sigh and wish that someone my size would post pictures so I could feel better, I sent pictures in. Maybe I can inspire another larger woman to do that to.
I have to wonder why those slender women felt so poorly about themselves. Is it that they were so perfect before the baby that the least imperfection seems to skyrocket impossibly high on the parabolic curve? Are only those who know, at least subconsciously, that their bodies once conformed to our culture's notion of physical perfection brave enough to put their bodies on display (even on such a supportive site as this)?
I also have to wonder why so many slender women posted and so few larger women. Are the slender women less comfortable with their bodies? Common sense would seem to say no. Are they looking for reassurance that their bodies are still beautiful? That makes me so sad. I can see their beauty easily. I doubt they would say the same.
I will fully admit that I have a hard time listening to/reading about slim women fretting over their baby pooch. I would venture to say that many heavier women do. This is, perhaps, a result of too many sideways glances from too many catty yet "perfect" skinny girls followed by whispered comments. If you are a slender woman, please do not be offended by my comments; I do realize that any change in one's body can be disheartening no matter your size. It just reminds me of another story... I was facing potential thyroid surgery (I didn't wind up having a thyroid problem) and was discussing specialists with another member of the chorus I sang in. She had nothing but praise for her surgeon and said something along the lines of, "and my range is still just as large as it was... oh, but you're an alto so it doesn't matter."
Because my voice was lower than hers, she discounted the importance of keeping my singing voice intact. Likewise, I often feel discounted by slender women saying, in essence "well, you were big anyway; it can't be as hard for you." If anything, it's more demoralizing. The voices of self-doubt and self-recrimination shriek more loudly than ever. Most of us larger women start with a much lower threshhold of self-esteem, leaving us far lower yet after gaining yet more weight.
At any rate, I feel for these poor girls, that they can't appreciate their nearly flat bellies, their elegantly slim arms, their impossibly long and slender legs, even as part of me wishes they could know, just for a day or two, what being heavy is like. I feel for the heavy women who don't dare post their pictures, the ones that dread the mirror even as their psyche draws them to it to pick at their flaws.
But, mostly, I feel tired. And that the fight against my body's shape is futile.
Oh, and I hate that fucking weight routine. (You'll understand that comment if she posts my pictures and comments on the site.)
Update: You can go and read my "story" and see the pictures. They're posted now.