I'm saying that, in general, I love this body, I make no apologies for it, and my kids need to know that.
My daughter needs to know how cool I think it is that my thirty-three-year-old ass can do gymnastics. My son needs to know that my body is mine (and his is his, and everyone's is his or her own) and respect that. My daughter needs to know that fashion and "beauty" magazines are ridiculous and stupid (which is why I regularly show her things like THIS and we laugh together) and that mama does not compare herself to the photographs inside them. My son needs to know that a woman (or a man; who knows?) does not owe it to him to be skinny, or even just thin.
|That blurry, purple and grey, flying thing is ME.|
My kids need to know that mama is proud of this one body, the only one she will ever have, and that she values its awesomeness enough to respect it and try to make it last as long as possible.
So we were in the car and I can't even remember how the conversation came up, but I said, in so many words, "I really love my body." Because how many among us ever heard our mothers actually say those words?
And then I explained why I love it, and how important it is to me to give it respect and thanks for the awesome stuff it does for me. And I mentioned that it irritates me how the media uses computers to make changes to women's bodies in magazines or on tv, and how indignant I feel when I hear talk of how women are supposed to look because genetics aren't one-size-fits-all and that's just science, people. And she was really, really listening.
And I really, really hope it meant something to her, because I'm going to say it again, and again, and again.
One of these days, something will make her doubt the value of her own body. A model in a magazine, or an off-handed comment, or a tv show, or a super-fit friend or acquaintance, or a scale with all its stupid numbers. Something will put a chink in her body confidence armor.
And I want her to be armed and ready to shut that shit down.