Baby Rolls, Stretch Marks, and Wrinkles

August 2012 004I am mad and fed up. Fed up with the expectation that culture and media impresses on women. Mad that women all over the world doubt their worth because of the way they look or because of the shape of their bodies.

How did I arrive on this soap box today?

It started with a conversation with a dear friend of mine who is pregnant. She is an amazing and beautiful young women, vibrant and alive with the miracle of life that is growing strong inside her. But she does not see herself as the glowing mommy-to-be that you and I both see. She is not comfortable with her changing body. The woman who, in the past, would pose for the camera, now moves to the background when the occasion arises.

Honestly, as I write these words, my blood pressure rises. To think of my amazing friend who prayed and planned for the gift of a child, it angers me that she would think she is anything but perfect. It angers me more because she does not walk this road alone. How many of us have felt our worst during times of pregnancy or post-pregnancy? I would say, most of us.

Is it possible to overcome our desire to fit into our ‘skinny jeans’ the day we go home from the hospital, when in reality we haven’t fit into our ‘skinny jeans’ for years? Is it possible to not envy the person who is pregnant at the same time when they continually get complemented about how thin they have stayed? Or worse yet, the person who you would never even know they were pregnant if you were standing behind them.

Doesn’t it make you want to scream: Where are your baby rolls, stretch marks, and wrinkles?

As women, we must know who we are. We must define beauty by God’s opinion of us, not the world and never by comparing ourselves to other women. God says, you are more precious than jewels (Proverbs 3), and that the world should behold your beauty (Song of Solomon 4).

As sisters, we need to embrace and behold the true beauty and miracle of baby rolls, stretch marks, and wrinkles that are created by carrying, delivering, and raising the gift of a child. We should shout in celebration, “These are the marks of a mother who has been given a gift – a gift to bring a life into the world. Not just an ordinary life, but a life breathed and designed by God, uniquely created to give something special back to the world!”

Embrace yourself in love and dare to live in the body God gave you!

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