There is this creature in my house. I don't know where or when she came about. She comes into my bed in the morning to snuggle and her body spans from my toes to my chest. Her form resembles mine more than it does her younger siblings. I always knew my arms would hold babies but I never took the time to realize it would someday hold her. 

This partially grown and unbelievably magnificent creature who is young enough for dress-ups but old enough to scare me with me comments like, "Don't take my picture in this leotard - it makes me look fat."

Honey - where have you heard that phrase, "It makes me look fat."?

That is an ugly phrase for such a young girl to say. Really for any girl to say. And it is not the truth. Your body looks beautiful. It's beautiful as you run full speed on the blacktop ensuring that you are first in line for tether-ball. It's beautiful as you sit with your back strait, hands hovering, about to play your weekly favorite on the piano. It's beautiful as you crawl on all fours chasing Perry's belly laughs out of him.

 I am sure this will not be the last time she uses that word to describe her body. I can already see how aware she is becoming of her form. How aware she is of the images that are being portrayed of women around her. A couple months ago we were at the mall and as we walked by the make-up counter in a department store, I observed Cosette and her viewing the poster-sized images being offered. All women - but women that look nothing like the women I see each day. Women who are waxed, buffed, polished, and since that is not enough, finally airbrushed before they are ready to be put on display. I leaned down to them and said, "Those girls look pretty but it is not a real-pretty. You girls are real-pretty. Your teacher at church - she is real-pretty. Your cousin - she is real-pretty. Your best friend's mom - she is real-pretty. And that old lady over there - she is the realist and the prettiest of us all."

I am sure they didn't get it. I am sure it is a message that I will repeat again and again. I am sure that this war (a war I am willing to fight) of giving them a healthy body image, has only just begun. 

I just wish she could see her body through my eyes - it was breathtakingly beautiful the day she was born and has only become more beautiful since.

Paisley Jo with her namesake Grandma Jo - one of those real-pretty women I am talking about.


Jo said...

This made me tear up a little. Cyndi, you are a very special woman and mother.

Jana Weaver said...

Definitely a post to remember...