Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More Stripes Than A Zebra

Last week we talked about what clothes to wear, today we're going to discuss what's under said clothes.


That's right,'s time to bare all. My guess is that 99% of our readers are mothers (and a BIG hello to Spencer and Carlin, our 1%), whether newer moms, veteran moms, first-time preggos, or grandmas. Hence, I'm sure you all have what's fondly referred to by some as badges of motherhood (also known as the mummy tummy, flat pancake boobs, more stripes than a zebra, etc., etc.). Heaven knows, I have more then my fair share...I have road map thighs, a chest that resembles deflated sandwich baggies (and that's while nursing, just wait until I'm not), and the saggiest, wrinkliest tummy this side of the Mississippi. I've tried a number of different exercises, but between a stomach-ripping c-section and skin with the elasticity of a banana peel (not to mention more pregnancies planned for the future which are sure to undo any semi-successful endeavors), let's just say that my so-called badges are here to stay. So, what's a young, semi-hip mommy supposed to do when the mere thought of her body sends her into spasms of revulsion and disgust?

Well...that is the question of the day, isn't it?

What would you do? Or, more accurately, what are you planning on doing? Are you going to try every exercise under the sun? Are you one of the blessed few whose body has remained relatively unaffected by pregnancy and mommyhood (you know we all secretly hate you, don't you)? Are you going to cling to your body shaper and wonderbra 'til death do you part? Or are you planning on being one of the 10.6 million women (in 2007 alone) who go under the knife?

I'll be honest, folks, as time goes by and my pre-baby best assets continue to become my post-baby worst, I'd be lying to say I've never considered it. Nothing major, but a little tummy tuck would go a loooong way to boosting my body-image. My major issue is that I have a hard time spending more than $10 on myself, so you can imagine how difficult it would be to spend thousands of dollars on something so superficial...and it is superficial, right? Then again, I often don't know how skin-deep it is anymore. If a body can affect one's psyche so much, is helping one's body look better truly just a cosmetic fix? Then again, if I give into my craving to look like I did five years and three kids ago, what's that saying to my daughters down the road about their own self-image?

What do you think?


  1. I would love to have a tummy tuck. Mine has this pooch and I hate it. I will tell you this though, the older you get, the less it bothers you. I think with age comes confidence and also the realization that only your spouse is going to see you without your clothes on and honestly I think most men just don't view us they way we view ourselves. Now that's not saying that if I had $10,000 pop into my hands that I would not consider a tuck and lift but honestly I think I could better spend that money elsewhere. Trust me, I feel sexier at 46 than I ever did in my 20's. Of course my brain still thinks that I am 16, LOL!!!!

  2. I remember having a roommate who said she felt it was totally ok for her to get a breast job. It blew me away.

    I don't always love my body but thankfully as I get older, even if it's getting less attractive world-wise, I'm getting more comfortable in it.

    I want to feel attractive but need to make sure the definition of attractive is determined by me not society. Remember that society's concept of beauty changes regularly- why cater to it?

  3. "Just as a mother's body may be permanently marked with the signs of pregnancy and childbirth, [the savior] said, 'I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands' (1 Nephi 21: 15-16). For both a mother and the Savior, those marks memorialize a wrenching sacrifice--the sacrifice of begetting life--for her, physical birth; for him, spiritual rebirth." by Bruce C. Hafen

  4. What a wonderful and uplifting quote, Brandielle! I might just have to put it up on my mirror. Thanks so much for it!

  5. I am trying (now that I know we are having a break) to "get back some assembly of a body" I really am using my exercise time as "my time away from my kids" I get an hour every night. me and the ladies in our ward and neighborhood have started putting the kids down and leaving our husbands home from 9 to 10 pm and speed walking! The stress that is relieved on that walk alone is worth 5 lb off my hips, butt and thighs (we won't mention anymore body parts) (I have added 15 minutes on to go joggin by myself and the music and the wind is seriously helping my health as a whole.

    Although I am proud to say I have two children and they "did this to me".. doesn't mean that i wouldn't like to see my old stomach back, and although I could stress about it... I think of it more of a challenge.

    I do joke that when I am all done breastfeeding I will get a boob job, not to get bigger, but just to lift them back where they should be.. they are hangin a little lower these days.(maybe even a reduction!)

  6. Believe me, I'm planning on saving my pennies for both a tummy tuck and a boob job when I'm done having babies!

  7. I love L's quote, and in all honesty, there's not much I would do to my body. If there isn't anything I can change by sheer will-power and a little exercising and healthy eating (cuz I don't diet), then I've come to just accept it. Although, I do like to get my hair colored and would love a killer haircut right now. Besides, my husband oddly finds me sexy, no matter what I look like. He thinks the fading stretch marks (which sadly will be returning soon) are hot - I guess like battle scars or something. Who knows?

  8. Hmmm...since we know I'm the stripiest person on the other side of the Ol' Miss, let's just say I'm not against the idea of work being done. A tuck and a lift WOULD so not be amiss. I don't think I'll ever have the funds to attempt said wonders, but I will definitely say I'm not against it.

    Badges or not, a woman needs to feel comfortable in her own body. It is amazing to me how much better I feel when I think I look okay. Beauty is totally in perception and the need to look "good" can be WAY to worldly and superficial, yet, I'm still that worldly. I won't ever be model thin and my stomach is a land mass of its own (curiously made of jelly and wrinkles) and my rear is officially LARGE, but there are times I still feel like I look okay, good or even---sexy.

    A woman needs a little work to feel better, I say more power to you, I hope you do feel better once its done. There has to be a stopping point and you truly have to find yourself beautiful despite its problems, then work can go a LONG way.