Dress: Old Navy
Sweater: Anthropologie Hiking Ruffles Cardigan
Shoes: Anthropologie Buckled Paddock Boots
Necklace: Tree and Kimball
"Green eyes and a heart of gold." - The Lone Bellow
There was a time, back when I first started this blog, when I would have been pretty satisfied with these photos. I mean, I wouldn't have thought of them as my best ones ever, but I wouldn't have thought as them as bad either. Well, times they have a changed. After a couple of years of being subjected to some pretty harsh critiques on every aspect of my physical appearance, I've become overly critical of myself in photos as well as in real life.
The first thing I noticed in these photos was that the FUPA was making another appearance. I say another, because these photos remind me of some I got slammed for awhile back on "a website which shall not be named." This website, which emphatically claims to never support body snarking, posted a picture of me in a similar knit maxi dress with the image title of "why is there a butt shape on the fupa?" I never answered that question back then, mainly because I knew it was a rhetorical question, but I thought I would address it now since my "butt in the front" is so out there in these photos.
The simple answer is I'm a 35 year old women who has had 3 children. In other words, the skin on my stomach has stretched out on 3 different occasions in order to accommodate a growing fetus. The first time it happened I was 24, the second time I was 27, and the third time I was 30. The first 2 times the skin on my stomach went back to looking pretty much like it had before my pregnancies, but for some reason that last time was different. Maybe the third time was the charm or maybe my skin didn't bounce back as well because I was the big 3-0, but whatever the case, I was left with some flabby skin on my tummy, aka "mummy tummy." So, there you have it. I'm a healthy 35 year old mother of 3 who doesn't have super taut abdominal skin. Well, excuse the fuck out of me!
I just want to know one thing, though, when exactly did the human body in its natural form become something to be ashamed of? I was really struck with this question this week when browsing through some pictures of the conclave preparing to begin in the Sistine Chapel. Yeah, I know, I'm really switching gears here, but hear me out. I realized I had never really examined all those paintings on the ceiling and the walls of the chapel, so I Googled "Sistine Chapel" and came across a website that zoomed in on each painting and talked about it in detail. It was some really interesting stuff, but in addition to that, it was nice to see some women depicted with natural bodies. I mean, you should have seen the FUPA's on some of those chicks. Grade A FUPA's, I tell ya.
This got me thinking about how we all see things through filters. Back in Michelangelo's day, natural bodies were considered attractive. Now, bodies subjected to strict diets, constant exercise, and plastic surgery are considered more ideal. The filter that defines beauty is always changing. These filters are further affected by personal taste. I've heard some guys refer to themselves as an "ass man" and others as a "breast man." I mean, when you think about it both asses and breasts are just two lumps of fat. So, why is my FUPA, which is also a natural part of my body, considered any less attractive than these other fatty areas?
Anyway, I guess the conclusion I came to is one that I come to about a lot of things in life: Fuck what everybody else thinks. If you are healthy and are happy with the way you look then you are an "ideal beauty." I've got a lot of flaws, outside and in, but I've got a few redeeming qualities too. For starters, I think I have really beautiful eyes. More importantly, though, I don't feel the need to use those eyes to analyze other people's flaws. That trait is really rare these days and worth it's weight in gold.
The Lone Bellow - Green Eyes And A Heart of Gold