In their own words: women and body image

In their own words: women and body image

“I once jumped naked in front of the mirror upon the advice of a magazine. This ‘dietary advice’ is not for the faint hearted, and if I remember correctly was followed by a week starving myself on a soup diet. I actually feel a lot better about my body since I had my two children – maybe because my protruding stomach can be blamed on having kids instead of my love of carbohydrates. I wouldn’t have plastic surgery, but may consider a facial peel or something along those lines in the future.”  Kim, 38

“I hate stretchmarks. I’m too young for them! Since I got pregnant my boobs and hips have exploded into red marks and I absolutely hate them. I hope they go away, and no creams I’ve bought have done anything. I’m worried that guys won’t find me attractive because I’m a mum.” Adele, 20

“My mother has always run herself down and uses the term ‘us’ and ‘we’ when she does it. Like: “We’ve got this funny shape, all legs and no torso,” and “Isn’t it a shame we put on weight so easily?” I even remember her blowing out her cheeks when I reached for seconds. It’s no surprise that I went from diet-to-diet and never felt good about my body until I reached my thirties. The sad thing is, my mum actually has a great body, and has spent her whole life putting herself down. I’m determined not to make the same mistakes with my daughter, and hopefully I won’t because I’ve learned to accept that while I may be an apple, my bum and legs look damned good in jeans!” Angela, 33

“I’ve had botox on my forehead a couple of times and was pretty happy with the results. Sadly I can’t afford to have it more regularly because I’m really self-conscious about my wrinkles. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight since separating from my husband, but the whole separation process has left me feeling pretty bad about myself and instead of enjoying the weight loss I’m focusing on the saggy skin. I guess I just feel a bit worn out at the moment.” Sonya, 43

“I put on so much weight when I got pregnant and now I’m so busy I don’t have time to cook diet food. I’ve tried losing weight but I end up eating my kid’s leftovers and not sticking to my diet. I’ve guess I’ve always been a bit bigger, but it really annoys me when I read about celeb mums losing their baby weight just by breastfeeding. I think I put on weight breastfeeding because all I wanted was chocolate! I still make an effort with my clothes and makeup, but I can’t help but compare myself to the other mums at Playgroup and feel embarrassed about my weight.” Stephanie, 26

“Since even my forties are a distant memory, I found liking my body is all about how fit and healthy I feel, instead of how attractive I look. It’s actually a relief to not have all the pressure to look good, and one of the best things I did was to finally let my grey hair grow out. I’d been dying it every four weeks since my early thirties. I started taking gym classes in my sixties and reckon I look pretty good for 78!” Elizabeth, 78

Many thanks to the women (whose names have been changed) for their honest and open answers!



Carina Sharplin on 18 May 2012 22:39
Im pregnant with my first child and am freaking out about how this will change my body, im 22 and not scared of stretchmarks as Ive already got plenty of them on my hips/tops of my thighs but Im scared stiff of cellulite and not being able to lose the weight. Sad but true, will I ever have that special someone? just because Im a single mum?


Victoria King on 24 May 2012 20:45
I found as I headed into pregnancy that the best way to deal with ALL the changes, hormonal, emotional & physical, was to accept that it was all part of it. I wanted to be pregnant SO much & wanted my baby like it was the answer to everything. So I decided, "come what may", this is all a natural part of what I've wanted, & I can deal with it, because they've been doing this for thousands of years. I'm in my 30's & more comfortable in my own skin than I've ever been. I'm not fat, I'm not thin, but I'm normal & I'm ok. I don't mind my droopy boobs from breast feeding, or little pot guts from having a baby, because I wouldn't swap my son for ANYTHING in the world.
To Carina, I'd say, don't be scared of what's coming, & especially not something as minor as cellulite. Women are amazing & we produce these amazing little beings & my baby has been the most magical thing to happen to me. & as for finding someone special, if a guy's special, he'll love you & Bub. Anyone who shies away because you're a mum, was never good enough in the first place. Best of luck :-)

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