36-24-36! Doesn’t that remind you of an hour-glass modelesque bod? What if I told you that I am talking about a mom’s body? Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Well, it is hard to imagine a curvaceous woman with a figure like that, I guess.
But, there is something about the lean body that chauvinists implicitly believe cannot extend to a mom. I cannot imagine a mother who recently gave birth sporting a figure with those stats, especially a few days after birth. It might take weeks, few months or a year. For women who have a body, which expands or contracts of its own accord, having a baby might not alter their figures much. They would shed the extra pounds in no time, just like they did earlier, with the push of a button. But, many others have issues with their body, which seems reluctant to get back to what it was before the baby arrived.
With my son almost turning a year old, I swear, I can modestly put on those maternity outfits, which still aren’t too oversized for me, and roam around. Not that I would want to hide the drooping abdominal flab that a well-fitted attire would accentuate, as the letter B if you saw me laterally, but the ease of carrying myself is incredible. I am taking caring of several affairs at home and work, and looking after my baby. If not for this adroitness, I could still wear a body-hugging outfit and flaunt my curves or wear sheer fits and parade my stretch mark-adorned tummy. And the evening gowns – awww – those seamstresses only have an eye for not-yet-moms or prom-goers. I could pay them heavily to fix me something my size if I chose to show up at the next party.
So far, so good; sounds like some positive body image of the self. But, don’t you feel that people need to be less nosy and leave you alone? Don’t tell me you never had your visitors tell you, “My, you look big now!” Or came across a familiar face in the market which bluntly says, “Gosh! I didn’t recognize you for a while. You seem like a mother of three already” (And you’ve had only a baby recently), or you hear from coworkers, “Look at you, you’ve just had a baby and seems like the other is on the way. Correct me if wrong”. I’d rather not waste time correcting you, but pay attention to my baby’s nourishment and his needs.
I wish there was a yardstick to standardize a mother’s body, but sadly it does not exist. For one, it’s motherly affection that counts more than how voluptuous you look. In fact voluptuousness and the image of a mother don’t go hand in hand, do they? Unless you want to raise a son who goes about ranting, “Hey, you know what, I have a voluptuous mother, and she is great!” Disgust on divinity.
So while my son wouldn’t care whether I have Marilyn Monroe figure, and my husband doesn’t care if I appear attractive to anybody else, there is, indeed, no rhyme or reason to take quips about my body seriously. If a 34-26-34 description were befitting a mother’s body type, no one would be talking about it, honestly! Somehow those stats acquire a more venerable stature. This is the body my family likes to get cozy with. This is the very me whom they like to dine with, talk with, go on outings with. This is the very me they like to introduce to their peers and friends.
My personal definition of my body has turned out to be something like curvy, sturdy, robust, healthy, well-built, charming, dynamic, domineering, and magnificent. And I prefer this to a skinny, malnourished, bony, starved-zombie, media-hyped voluptuous, sultry, dusky, svelte, and feline type.
The one last remark: You decide which one wins hands down, but I am not in a hurry to lose my baby weight. If I do, then kudos to an earlier, societally established, normalcy. If I don’t, I will still find my body worth living in.