Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mirror, Mirror

The other day Camille was in the store with H. At the check out line, she was reading a loud the magazine covers including the issue of People that names Jennifer Lopez as the most beautiful woman in the world. Camille looked up at H and said "Well that's lie. Mama's the most beautiful woman in the world."

Of course this comes at a time when I feel about as beautiful as a turnip. When I look in the mirror all I see reflected back are rolls of fat topped by a wrinkled tired face. I turn my head when passing a window or a mirror. I hate putting on clothes, and hate shopping for them even more. Thinking about my looks makes me want to cry. Things are so bad that I find that I don't even want to make an effort. Everyday it's more of throwing on comfortable yoga pants and a BIG HUGE tee shirt and just hoping that I can slip through life unnoticed.

And then my daughter thinks I'm more beautiful than J-Lo. 

What's happened over the last few months to make me feel this horrible about myself? There are times when I feel like I've been catapulted back into middle school. The crippling self image that comes from an unhealthly obsession with one's own body is something of a flashback nightmare. I have no way to view myself with any kind of realistic expectation. And it's not a fun place to be, nor a fun thing to deal with when you have girls who listen to your words and WHO THINK YOU'RE MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN J-LO.

Perhaps its because I am getting older. Losing weight after this birth was much harder than it was after Piper. Those young women whom I am friends are sad that they are five lbs away from their goal weight and I sit in silent self-loathing as I see my goal weight as their fat weight. 

But really what it comes down to this is this: I started hating on my body again. I am caught up in a vicious cycle where I say things out loud and online that I wouldn't say to my worst enemy. I have become my own personal mean girl. She jeers at me when I try on clothes. When I eat something fattening. She compares me to younger, prettier mothers and sneers at my stretch marks. She holds me to expectations that are impossible and when I fail them she mocks me while I try to soothe myself with French fries. I am never good enough for this mean girl who silently urges me to just give it up. And so I do.

The difference now is that I have these lovely daughters. And I think that if anyone said to them what I say to myself, I'd want to kill that person. And I realize that if I keep saying these things to myself, out loud or in the privacy of my head, my girls will develop their own mean girl. This mean girl will be more vicious then any mean girl they could ever encounter. She will introduce them into the cruel ritual of never being good enough. How can I want this for my daughters? How can I bequeath upon them this mean girl? 

It is time to weed this girl out. Time to realize that if I was the disgusting creature I think I am that I would not be married to such a hot man with these beautiful children. Even if they are only the best of me that part exists on my body. It is time to see what Camille sees when she looks at me. 


S said...

I'd say you have one smart girl there. :)

Aimee said...

This blog post made me cry, really cry. I'm in a very similar place, and I don't even have a younger, thinner me to look back at, because I've always been overweight. Honestly, the only time I have felt beautiful is when I was pregnant with Cecilia, and even then, I would look at my thin friends with their round, pregnant bellies and know that I would never look as healthy and glowing as they did. I wish I could vanquish my inner mean girl as well, and I wish it was as easy as saying that I'm going to do it.

For what it's worth, though, I think you're beautiful, Ginger, and that Camille is right. :)

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

Aimee: You are so lovely and I wish you could see it! I wish I could that I was lovely! I'm working on it. I think it helps when your kids get older and tell you how beautiful you are. CeCe sees you as beautiful and wonderful already and someday she will tell you.

Sarah: I agree:)

"Mom" said...

You're beautiful, you're smart, and you're an amazing wife and mother. I mean seriously - you've got it all, girl! I'm with Camille. JoLo? Ha! Mama Ginger? Yea!