Wow! Let me start by saying that Texans really like to PARTY! I had no idea! Big Poppa and Thing 1 partied hard at the Daddy/Daughter dance. There was a chocolate fountain, carriage rides and rumor has it that Big Poppa was all over the dance floor when Gundam Style came on! … excuse me while I collect myself. Then the whole city put on their best western wear for the kick off of the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show. Big Poppa, the girls and I (along with what seemed like the majority of the City of Houston) went down to Reliant Field to check out the festivities and discovered that it was a giant party! Oh, my word! Not to mention that I saw at least a gazillion pair of truly cute boots! There were tight jeans, boots and rhinestones EVERYWHERE! Think modern-day “Rhinestone Cowboy” (again, if this reference is lost on you, Google it but, don’t tell me). It was truly one of the best carnivals that I have ever been to in my life.
So, earlier this week I was sitting in a waiting room at the doctor, flipping through a magazine when I came across this advertisement:
Moms have their own plastic surgery makeovers?! And, it includes my body, my face and my breasts? Like… EVERYTHING? Wow! Mind you, this was not found in a celebrity magazine but, a local community publication. Such pressure!
It’s no secret that I am currently on a quest to improve my fitness and lose some weight. In part because I have two little girls that emulate me and I always want them to be healthy and physically active. In part because I had these two little girls later in life and I want to be healthy and active for many years to come. In part because I want cute new clothes to go with my cute new shoes (you know me!). Also, to me (and this is totally random), there is something about the number 47 that seems like such a sexy age. I think it’s the number 7 because I felt the same way about 37 but, I was trying to get pregnant at 37 so there was no dieting going on. I want to be the cutest 47-year-old that I can be. Vain? Yes, but, true. I have to deal with how I feel about my own self image and my own insecurities.
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who went through a similar situation as me when she moved with her family for her husband’s job. She really wasn’t feeling it, not particularly happy and gained a bit of weight. However, at some point she assessed her physical and emotional state and decided that she didn’t like being who she had become. Also, she was approaching the big 40. She decided that, among other things, she wanted to be a “Hot Mom” and she embarked on an exercise and fitness plan. She definitely succeeded because she is, in fact, a hot mom! No, really, I wish that I could despise her but, she’s just as nice as she is hot. The thing is, what she did was done with common sense, determination and a commitment to her own health (with a little vanity thrown in for fun).
When I saw the advertisement above, I thought “Who sets the beauty standard that says that I need these things fixed?” Let’s be honest, motherhood changes your body. FOREVER. You may be able to get back into your clothes after the birth of your children but, it’s never quite the same. Your hips seem a bit wider, your stomach is not quite as taut. Then there are the breasts…deflated. Enough said. These are natural changes that are a part of the process and, while I want to tone things up, I’m quite fine with it. By the way, absolutely nothing permanent happens to your face during pregnancy so, I’m not sure why that would be a necessary part of a mom’s makeover.
Now, if you’re thinking about all of those celebrities that have had children and seemingly popped right back into shape immediately thereafter, please keep a few things in mind. They are celebrities and it is part of their job to look that good. Absolutely no one would want to see Beyoncé shimmying across the stage in a corset and booty shorts if she was 50 pounds heavier and Halle Berry would not be a sought after actress if she did not have that killer body. These people have the money and time to hire personal trainers and personal chefs to make this all much more attainable. They have personal assistants, hair and make up people and stylists to make sure that they always look their best, not to mention nannies, landscapers, cleaning ladies, accountants, publicists, etc. to help run their lives. I too have people to help me run my life but, they happen to be five and six years old and they are not concerned with my needs. Thing 1 likes to consider her self a style maven and I guess that I could have them help me with my hair and make up but, I’m fairly positive that I would end up looking a lot like either a Las Vegas showgirl, Phyllis Diller, or some combination of the two. The point is that we can’t compare our bodies or lives to those of celebrities because it’s just not realistic.
It’s okay to want to be a hot mom or the cutest 47-year-old ever. It’s okay to want to be the best that you can be. Yes, it’s okay to want super cute, tight jeans, that you tuck into super cute cowboy boots, with a super cute rhinestone studded white shirt, all tied together with a super cute belt with a huge buckle! No hat necessary, though ’cause that might be over kill. But, it’s really necessary to understand that what’s really important is that you set the standard and are the example for young, impressionable minds that watch you every day. They walk around in your high heels, they play in your make up and jewelry and they dream about the day when they can wear your wedding gown to marry their own Prince Charming. You are their Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelly or Michelle Obama. You are their style icon, life coach and Dear Abbey. Use your influence wisely and teach them to love and take care of themselves.