Have y’all heard about the Fourth Trimester Bodies Project? It’s beautiful. !!! This is a screen shot of a regram of their deleted Instagram account. Their account keeps getting removed. You know what doesn’t? This sickness. I’ll save you the screen shots of his account. If you click on the link, do it when your children can’t see.
This is infuriating to me. The supposed reason behind deleting the Fourth Trimester Bodies project account is because it shows nude children. I get it. Protect our kids from sick pervs who somehow lust after little naked baby butts.
But…wait a freaking minute. Instagram accounts aren’t limited to adults only. They are public profiles, easily searched and found. Some of my friends and family members have children with instagram accounts. Shouldn’t we also be protecting our children from soulfully sick men with a low sense of Self who lust after emotionally broken women? Shouldn’t we also move towards protecting and helping those women? Aren’t they someone’s baby (not babes) too?
I’ve never been a fighter. Most of my life I let myself become a victim; I tuck my head to my chest and crumble into the hollowness instead of raising my fist. Turning the other cheek is a good practice if you are a fighter, but if you are meek to the point of weakness, you just feel wrung out and dry. Neither are balanced. Neither create peace–within me or in the world.
Motherhood has changed that. Motherhood has made me more of a fighter. I guess I didn’t see myself as something worth fighting for before I saw the miracle of my own child’s eyes. I wanted to be wanted, wanted someone to fight for me, but I didn’t do any of the fighting myself. Instead, I fought with my body:
“BE SKINNIER, dammit! Fit into these jeans, fit into this bra, fit into society’s expectations of what women are supposed to be.”
Motherhood has changed that. My body grew a human being. My body birthed that being. My body is nourishing this sweet little soul that I fall more in love with every day. And because of this, for the first time in my life, I am falling in love with my body. I am experiencing what a miracle it is to move and be human. I am moved by the power & beauty of true, naked femininity.
“What is REAL?” the Velveteen Rabbit asked the Skin Horse one day. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit .
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. But once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Motherhood is making me Real. Making me want to be Real and fight for what is Real. The women featured on his Instagram account are alive and real, but maybe not Real in the sense of honesty. Make up, filters, highlights, dyes, fillers, plumpers, injections, puking, not eating, over-exercising are not Real. I’ve been there. I was anorexic/bulimic for years. I don’t want to start more wars against women–we do what we need to to feel good about ourselves. But if you are posing in a way that makes you an object, do you feel GOOD about yourself, REALLY?
I don’t always feel good about myself these days. At 5 months post-partum, I’m soft. I’m losing hair in gobs. I have suitcases under my eyes. Concealer won’t conceal them. Yes, there are days I try. Days I wish I could afford highlights, had energy to workout like a fiend, days I dream of slathering on a pound of Sephora. But why bother? All of these–the softness in my belly, the thinning of my hair, the lines around my eyes all lead to love. Maybe men won’t see the beauty in my or other women’s 4th trimester bodies. But maybe some of us will begin to see the beauty in ourselves. And maybe we can raise our sons and daughters to see us as we Really are:
Strong, fiercely protective, wise, wildly alive, vibrant, whole, healthy, brave, kind, loving, compassionate.
And that is beautiful.