Friday, October 28, 2011

I do love me

Welcome to the I Love Me! Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the I Love Me! Carnival hosted by Amy at Anktangle. This carnival is all about love of self, challenging you to lift yourself up, just for being you.

Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from the other carnival participants.

I am lucky. I was a skinny kid, with parents who modeled good eating habits but didn't make treats off limits, who also valued who I was as a person and rarely made negative comments about my appearance or eating habits, who loves to eat vegetables and always has. I was also mostly oblivious to social pressures. When I finally did notice that I was an odd kid, like from 5th-9th grades when I was mercilessly teased, it never occurred to me to actually try and conform. Much of my internal angst was centered around wondering what was WRONG with the kids who teased me that they couldn't just accept me for the comic book reading, weird clothing wearing, gaming girl I was.
So I came into adulthood pretty happy with my body. I had plenty of emotional stuff to work through, but I never thought there was anything wrong with the shell of me. Even my one major issue with my body isn't something I really get a lot of sympathy for. You have large breasts? Oh you poor thing! Please ignore that they make it just as hard to buy clothes as a poochy belly, or big hips do, it's societally acceptable to have a big rack, therefore, it can't be that bad. Sure it's hard to buy a bra, or a fancy dress, or play pool, but I can't even be that upset with them. It's just genetics, a natural genetic predisposition to gain weight there.
I stopped participating in conversations with other women about body hatred sometime in my early 20's. Partly because I never felt like I was allowed to be a part of of. I'm too thin, and my boobs are too big, and I can't possibly understand what it's like to have a really horrible body like person A over here. I realized after awhile that it was like the conversations about our hair that my friends and I used to have about our. The one with curly hair wanted straight, and the one with straight hair wanted curly. I always wanted long, thick, wavy black hair. But that's not something you can really change.
And neither is your body. Sure, you can gain or lose weight. You can have surgery. You can buy compression garments to make yourself look different. But if you don't actually like what you look like, you won't even if you manage to lose those inches. You will always see the 'flaws' because you are looking for them. So I decided to stop.
Here are the secrets I want to pass along to my daughter. Your body is beautiful. Keep it healthy and strong and it will take you far. Think about the things you can do, not the things you can't. Anyone you date who doesn't like your body, or wants you to change it doesn't deserve to sleep with you. Be happy before you worry about making other people happy. How you feel about yourself directly effects how other people think about you. Treat yourself with respect and ignore anyone who doesn't.
A couple of years ago, I had a chance to have boudoir photos taken for Father's Day, through my mother's group. I was so sad at how many turned down the chance because they were ashamed of their bodies. I've only shown this photo to Walker, and possibly one friend. It's also the only one I kept because the rest of them featured my post pregnancy tummy. But I'm glad I tried it, and I'd be up for doing it again.

You don't have to be my daughter for me to want you to love your body. You are amazing. You are beautiful. Your presence lights up this world. Please love yourself.

Thank you for reading this post from the I Love Me! Carnival. Please take some time to read the contributions from the
other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by the afternoon of October 28th with all the carnival links.)

  • The Art of Being Thoughtful – Becky at Old New Legacy likes that she is mostly thoughtful but wants to become more thoughtful. She shares a story that demonstrates that giving gifts doesn't have to be expensive.
  • I love me (and running)! – Sheryl of Little Snowflakes writes about her new love of running and how it has helped her learn to love herself!
  • For the Love of Moe – Valerie at Momma in Progress shares her thoughts on a body forever changed, but forever loved.
  • Where I Find My Worth – Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares how finding her worth in worldly things always falls short.
  • Oh Yeah, I'm Cool – Tree at Mom Grooves shares her very favorite gift and the thing she most wants to pass on to her daughter.
  • Loving – Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about some of the things she loves about herself - some easily, and some by choice for the sake of healing.
  • caught in a landslide – jaqbuncad of wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! shares a list of reasons why zie loves hir body.
  • I Love Me! - A Rampage of Appreciation! – Terri at Child of the Nature Isle stops waiting for anyone else to tell her she is wonderful and goes on a rampage of appreciation for herself!
  • Raising Healthy Daughters – In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Kate Wicker offers tips to pass on a healthy self-image to the young ladies in our care.
  • Unexpected Benefits of a Healthy Pregnancy – How does it feel to have a healthy pregnancy? Dionna at Code Name: Mama discovers that making positive choices can be empowering.
  • Filling Up Our Watering Cans – Nada at miniMOMist believes that practicing Sabbath is the same as being a gardener who lovingly tends to the flowers in her garden. She needs to fill up her watering can first.
  • Better Body by Baby – Jess from Mama 'Roo and Family Too! shares how having her first baby makes her feel even more beautiful and confident about her body than ever before.
  • These Breasts Were Made for Nursing – Becoming a mother helped Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children to embrace her womanhood and improve her self image.
  • Yeah, I'm Pretty Cool – Amanda at Let's Take the Metro writes about her own self love and how she hopes to foster the same self-respect in her children.
  • Who I've Become – The future is bright with That Mama Gretchen who shares her past and present perspective on body image and how she hopes to become a change agent with her daughter.
  • Ever-Evolving Me – Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about her innate drive to continue learning, growing, and evolving.
  • I love you for your mind – Lauren at Hobo Mama turns a dubious phrase on its head with a little self-loving slam poetry.
  • Stop Think of Love with Your Body – Amy of Peace 4 Parents shares an exercise to gradually transition from hating to loving your body - stretch marks, sags, imperfections, and all.
  • I Love Me! – Jenny @ I'm a full-time mummy shares the things that she loves about herself!
  • First, I'm Superwoman. Later, I'm SupperwomanPatti @ Jazzy Mama explains how she loves taking care of her amazing body. It birthed 4 children, after all!
  • Baby Strikes A Pose – Emma from Your Fonder Heart writes about her family's decision not to let their 7 month old model, and uses the opportunity to think more deeply about girls (young and old) and how they determine their self-worth.
  • Love Your Tree – How do you picture the ways your body and mind change? Amy at Anktangle writes about how trees help her have perspective about her own growth over time.
  • Pumpkin Butt – Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes about how birth and pumpkins are the way to accepting her body
  • I do love me – Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about the lessons about loving herself she wants to pass along to her daughter.
  • Appreciating Who I Am – Linni at An Unschooling Adventure describes the things she likes about herself and the way she appreciates who she is as a person.
  • I love me! : A journey – Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares her journey on arriving at the point where she can say: I love me!
  • My Daughter Doesn't Care So Why Should I? – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama calls herself on the carpet for the image of self love and beauty she portrays in front of her toddler.
  • Finding out who I am – Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares an exercise that helped her identify positive qualities she possesses, and how that has helped her learn to love herself.


  1. There is some real wisdom in these words you have written here to teach your daughter! I wish someone had taught me these things at a younger age. She is lucky to have such an aware and confident mama. (And I love the photo!) Thank you so much for sharing this for the carnival!

  2. I had to smile picturing you as a kid, confidently and unapologetically yourself, shaking your head at the children who refused to accept you. That sort of confidence is rare and wonderful - and inspiring. You look gorgeous in that photo, too!

  3. It was really much more of me sobbing in the corner wondering why they refused to accept me, but I got to the head shaking point eventually.

  4. Beautiful picture! Those are wonderful lessons that you are teaching your daughter - she is so lucky to have such an insightful and self-aware mom! It's wonderful also that growing up your parents modelled healthy eating - it seems like that set you up for success regarding your body image!

  5. Thank you for writing this piece and sharing it for the carnival. I'm pleased to come across your blog again. I haven't checked in for awhile and I remember enjoying your posts. I think coming from a "different" approach right at the time when girls are aware of their bodies can be an asset once you have gone through that pain. I'm not discounting the pain of it at all. I wish no one had to experience that meanness and pettiness directed at them. It does give you some special insights for your own kids and, perhaps, the support to allow them to step a bit more out of the box and into their confidence with a parent to model it for them.

    You photo is glamorous and sexy! I would love doing something like that.

    And your closing lines are simply beautiful.

  6. Thanks so much for sharing. Your peace with your body really comes through in this post which is admirable. And the photo is gorgeous too! :)

  7. I love this! It's odd how even body haters can be a closed-door group, isn't it?

    What a fabulous picture! I've thought about doing that sometime. :)