Confident that we are all the same

Okay, so for some reason I have this whole “confidence” vibe going on this week, and after reading Yum Yucky’s (as well as today’s) post on We Are The Real Deal and it got me thinking, “how many other women out there have stretch marks, and why are we so afraid of them?” And then I thought, “what if we found out that all of our friends and family have stretch marks and cellulite – would we then be okay with our own badges of life?”

Once upon a time, way back in the day of Junior-College Jill, there was a beauty pageant held at this little tiny JC I was attending. Normally, I could not have cared less about beauty pageants, but a friend of mine had entered – her goal was to make it to the Miss Oklahoma pageant. All of the girls were beautiful, and I remember thinking to myself that no way could I have entered because I had some serious cellulite on the backs of my thighs. Imagine my surprise when, during the bathing suit portion of the pageant, I noticed that 99% of the girls prancing around on stage had CELLULITE ON THE BACKS OF THEIR THIGHS!!!! I can totally remember the feeling of RELIEF I felt. Relief that I was not some flawed freak and most other girls my age had the same “affliction”. And just for the record, the 1% who did not have cellulite? My friend W, who won the pageant and went on to compete in Miss Oklahoma (she didn’t win). I don’t know if it was the lack of cellulite or the hours upon hours of coaching she had from a professional pageant-coach that won her the title of Miss Tiny Junior College (not the real title btw), but I prefer to believe it was the latter and not the former that won her the cubic zirconia crown.

The next time I felt this same relief is when the Dove Campaign for Beauty came out a few years ago. I had been through at least one pregnancy (maybe two by this time, I can’t remember exactly), and was feeling frumpy, dumpy, and fat. Once again I felt like the only woman in the world who had a poochy belly and thunder thighs. When those ads came out, I breathed that same sigh of relief to see that I was not the only pear body shape in the world (I come from a family of apples) and other women had short legs like mine.

Just knowing that there were (and are) other women out there who look like me, gives me a lot of confidence. It seems ironic to me that we (and by we, I mean a whole heck of a lot of us) yearn for small hips, thin thighs, long legs, and flat bellies because we believe that that’s how the rest of the world looks, or should look, and yet, if you look around, most women are naturally curvy with a slightly poochy tummy, rounded hips and thighs, and legs that don’t resemble those of a race horse. It doesn’t matter what size you are, you can have all of these things even if you are a size 2!

I guess what I want women to know is that it’s okay to have cellulite, because honestly we all have it, just like we all have noses. If you’ve had a baby, or you’ve lost/gained weight then you probably have stretch marks. If you’ve nursed a baby, then you probably have breasts that are headed south. If you are a female then you probably have curvy hips and thighs. IT’S OKAY – SO DO MOST WOMEN!!!!

I also think it’s totally fine to want to improve on those things if it’s what you want, but don’t feel like you are a freak of nature because you have some “gifts” that Father Time has bestowed upon you. He has pretty much bestowed them on all of us.

I was going to post a poll, but I’d like to hear from you all about your “badges” – do you have stretch marks, curvy hips, full thighs, large comfy bosoms, or a poochy belly? You can comment anonymously if you want, so don’t be afraid to speak up!

*Oh, what badges do I wear, you ask? Well, pretty much all of the above. I’ve got stretch marks, my size D girls are hanging a little lower than they used to, my stomach sticks out farther than my boobs, I could give JLo a run for her money on the booty thing, and my thighs would have been extremely popular when Rubens was the most sought after portrait artist back in the 17th century. All this packed into a size 12. And guess what? I’m not some hideous beast locked up in a tower. My friends think I’m beautiful, my husband thinks I’m totally hot, and when my hair is behaving, I feel pretty good about going out on the town. I even wore a bathing suit IN PUBLIC last week during our vacation – and no one vomited at the site of the cottage cheese attached to the backs of my thighs. 

15 thoughts on “Confident that we are all the same

  1. I may have gone from a size 26 to a size 16, but I still wear all of the above badges. 🙂 Just in smaller scale. I have also added some muscle tone from exercise, so it’s an interesting mix. (Great calves and quads, with rather deflated-looking inner thighs, nice arms and shoulders, but I still have some bat-wingage.) The mid-20s body (*sigh*) that I had when I was last in my 180s is gone, but I am learning to appreciate and do what I can with my early 40s body.

    1. And I’ll just be willing to bet that your 40’s body is waaaayyyyy smarter than your 20’s body!

      And hey – even Madonna has the bat-wingage thing going on, and she’s rock hard, so don’t be too hard on yourself!! 🙂

  2. Just for the record…are all your posts going to create a need for Kleenex?

    Crazy Mama!

    you know…my “badges” (since you asked) are emotional scars not so much stretch marks and cellulite (which I too GASP have)

    and I am just realizing my neurosis in the physical appearence dept are JUST MASKS for the beat up emotional train wreck I am some days (even years after the abuse that got me here ended)

    so not all cellulite is on the OUTSIDE!

    and nursing lil one #2 did a number on MY girls… doesn’t bother me half as much as the fact that some days I don’t have inner peace!
    (some days I do though… i just wish it were more consistent)

    Jill….. thanks for this great post! sniff!

    1. Aw! I don’t want anybody to cry, cause I can’t let anyone cry alone! 🙂

      I could write an essay about your whole comment – so much truth in there! Hmmm…you may have given me today’s blog post! I think a lot of what we see (or think we see) on the outside is a direct result of what’s going on inside. At least that’s true for me, and I’m sure for a lot of others as well.

  3. You are so inspiring this week (though I always find you inspiring!)

    Had I lived in the 17th century – I would have been a “Super Model” with my Ruben-isque body.

  4. I am so happy that Jenn told me about your blog – so far I have read just this one post and this post alone tells me I love you!

    Yeah, as a former mature art student who has drawn and painted a gazillion nudes in my time, I can assure you, we all have cellulite and stretch marks and veins and spider veins and birthmarks and scars and droopy bits. Heck, some of us have all of those things!

    To add to those I can list a lot of hair, a wrinkly neck and many bruises (I am clumsy!).

    I have been slightly afraid of what I might uncover as I shed the lbs, but so far, for this old gal, I am pleasantly surprised!

    All bodies are as lovely as the soul inhabiting them!

  5. You’re so right. Seeing others with the same ‘badges’ is reassuring when we’re surrounded by media that pushes their version of perfection on us 24/7.

    Stretch marks – check
    girls drooping a big – check
    flabby belly – check
    big ol’ hips – check
    acne & the beginning of “laugh lines” – check (& I’m filing a complaint with someone because I’m pretty sure once the wrinkles show up the acne is supposed to leave).

    Shoot, I could make a really long list if I really wanted to, but I’ll leave it at this.

    Thanks for the post & have a great weekend!

  6. Great post! I get so tired of the artificially photoshopped images of women in the media. They erase all the “real” stuff like wrinkles and cellulite and fat etc, and make us feel like there’s something wrong with having a real body!

  7. I have had cellulite and stretch marks at sizes 12, 8, 6 and 4, but guess what, my friends and family have always loved me, regardless!

  8. I have it ALL! I have stretch marks, I have cottage cheese thighs, I have back rolls, I have a pouch belly, and my boobs are saggy.

    I use to be mad that I couldn’t use ‘having children’, like many of my co-workers, as an excu…er…reason for why my body is the way it is. But, I’ve come to love my body just as it is. It’s a fixer-upper, but it has a lot of potential.

  9. This was such a good post, Miss Jill! I have an awful lot of ‘badges’ (that word is a little too close to baggage for comfort!) and over the years I have been both more and less accepting of some of them. But I carry on, and they have not limited my life too much, I don’t think.

    I loved Jinny’s description ‘ It’s a fixer-upper, but it has a lot of potential.’

  10. Great post. You’ve seen me whine about my bat-wings. Remember Pulp Fiction? Where the Asian woman pouts “I wish I had a pot belly?” I got hers!

    Hey, guess what??? I GOT MY APPLESAUCE. My first bloggie swag! Woo hoo!

  11. I am in my 20’s and have all of that. Tummy even though i was already a big girl, has gone down after this pregnancy. Boobs have always been big so they already pointed south, i’ve had stretch marks since i started puberty. My legs, oh my goodness,don’t even go there. I have to work on those before they see shorts again. I love your blog by the way.

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