This Post was written by @HannahLMSmith and first appeared in her blog MamaBearWithMe
WARNING. This blog post comes with a hell of a lot of sidebar of shame. The Daily Mail.
Recently on a walk with Ed’s playschool we went to look at some ducks. Nice. We had a police escort to do so. I lie not. Not just Community Police Support Officers either. One was a proper copper. I have previously talked about the Duck Pond Mafia of the village. The angry little mob of old women who camp out by the duck pond, their angry beady eyes watching for you from behind glasses, their hearing aids tuned to the rustle of a plastic bread bag, ready to pounce (sort of) and start banshee wailing about the encouraging of RATS. RATS! It encourages the RATS! Whereas some villages have youths drinking cider in their bus shelters, we have a coven of little old witchy bitches that sit in ours. Not cider they drink, but rattling bottles of assorted shared pills “oooh Joan, try this (mysterious) pink tablet for your cellulitis” washed down by flasks of Earl Grey and gaviscon. Maybe the police were escorting us on our walk for our protection? But this is by the by and I digress.
Walking back from the duck pond with our security patrol, Ed pointed at our Police escort and said
“LOOK at that FAT policeman mummy!”
My face did that thing Alan Patridge does when he pierces his foot on a spiiiiiiiiike “eeeeeeeeeeeeee”.
Luckily the policeman didn’t hear. But the playschool worker next to us did. I rolled my eyes at her and did a “kids eh” face. You know the face. She smiled an understanding smile. And then Ed said;
“OH MUMMY! Your tummy is almost as FAT as HIS!”.
This, the playschool worker didn’t smile at. She avoided any eye contact. This was awkward for her. Because she knew that I had heard my child say it. Because she was embarrassed for me. Because, if I had been stick thin, she would have not thought twice about it because kids say awkward and embarrassing things all the time that are not true. But because I am not stick thin, and have a little paunch going on, she was embarrassed for me. Because Ed told the truth.
How did I feel? Well, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed for Ed. He was only repeating what he had heard me say endlessly – that I was fat. I was to blame here, not him. This was all my fault. And it crept up on me and hit me in my bigger than it should be but NOT fat ass.
As women we berate ourselves constantly to our friends “Oh, god I am so FAT right now” *grabs chunk of tummy blubber* “LOOK!”. I hold my hands up, I do it all the time. Or I DID do it all the time. What has stopped me from doing it is whilst I may have expected my children to call me fat, I didn’t expect them to do it so negatively.
And that negativity is totally my doing. Not the papers, not the magazines, but me. I have taken a word and made it bad and ugly in my house. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying throw down your salads and fall face first into a bath of donuts and eat your way out, I am saying, be healthy but dont make out you are FAT and FAT is ugly and that your body shape is wrong.
I always swore if ever I had a girl, then I would be positive about body image. I would not flaunt diets in front of her, I would not say derogetory things about weight and would always make sure we didn’t look at touched up pictures of celebs in magazines and long to be “just like them”. I didn’t think I would need to do this for boys. How sexist of me. It never even occured to me.
Let me explain…
Up until quite recently, I used to be a slave to celeb magazines or the showbiz sections in crappy newspapers. I would look at photos of Jessica Alba, four months after having her baby and looking the mutts nuts and wonder WHY ISN’T MY BODY LIKE THAT?! I would get sad about it. I would judge myself and stop having pasta with my spagetti bolognaise. Then, I would get hungry and binge eat on Ginger Nuts and old easter eggs (easter was 7 weeks ago. That chocolate is rank).
Amanda Holden was my tipping point of being obsessed with celeb mums (for want of a better word) and and comparing myself to them and their fab skinny post baby bodies. She was my peak. When she came back to work, less than 3 weeks after having a really traumatic delivery and almost die-ing, wearing a pair of hotpants and in one breathtalking about her brush with death and in the next talking about BGT, I thought “that poor cow”. Poor her. I genuinely felt for her. What pressure must she be under to return to work when she was that ill. She must have been terrified of some young hot whipper snapper swooping in from the wings and stealing her job. For someone despertately hoping she eats a bluberry muffin and does a Violet Beauregarde and starts swelling up.
In the sidebar of shame today was this article. I high five you In summary it is to do with Bollywood believing a popular actress letting her fans down because she has not lost her baby weight like a western actress. What is interesting is “Cinema professor Shohini Ghosh added that women in India were up against an almost impossible task.
‘There is a glorification of motherhood in India and Indian cinema,’ he told the paper. ‘But people are confused because they don’t know whether to glorify Aishwarya in her new motherhood or lament that she is not looking like a runway model.’ ”
Lets end on some actresses who have not popped back into their size zero frocks. Who may be taking their time, struggling to lose the weight, being normal, not caring, not wanting to, whatever.
I am not the woman I used to be. I am more than that woman, in more ways than one. I am probably half again the woman I was once was. HA! And I wont affect my sons futures by making them think their girlfriends need to be stick thin skinnie minnies. Shant.