Butt in the Front

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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




  1. Crystal Palmisano-DillardMarch 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM


    I'm sad to say I actually donated that dress because I thought it displayed my hips/belly/butt a little too much. I'm a mom too and you know we just don't always look the same after growing people.

  2. Darlin', why are there so few women like you left in this world? I love it when shit gets real and you can get as real as anyone I've ever known. Kudos! I agree 101%!

  3. I love this post! And if you're fupa is giving you grief just get some spanx that how I keep mine in check lol - but I'm with you... I wish I didn't feel the need to pour myself into sausage casing so that I could feel/look "good." Have a great weekend lady!

  4. Love this post, Bonnie! So empowering for other women! Kuddos for embracing "you" and being an example to the rest of us that we should do the same!

  5. FUPA?!? Are you kidding me? I had to look that up to figure out what that was-and I can rock the FUPA too, in the same dress no less. You make a good point-used to be that women with fuller figures represented all that was feminine, beautiful, and fertile. If figures like ours are good enough to grace the Sistine Chapel, they ought to be good enough to walk down the street. I've had a "FUPA" almost for as long as I can remember-even at my thinnest long before kids. Why can't we be as excepting of different bodies as we (becoming hopefully) of different cultures and lifestyles? You look beautiful as always and I love that color combo-that lace necklace is perfect against the blue. You rock that FUPA and be proud.

  6. Aww, the fact that blogging makes you dissatisfied with perfectly good pictures of yourself makes me sad. If it makes you so overly critical of yourself online and in real life, do you think you get more good out of it than bad? I know you really value bravery, honesty, and authenticity and seem to identify those with sharing all, but you should value your mental health and also being a good person more. If you think blogging has made you a worse person in respect to now you view yourself, maybe the really brave thing to do is to think about hanging up the spurs for a bit? Just worried for you!

  7. Fupa? That's craziness! I was just noticing what a great color that dress is for your (our) skin type and wondering if Old Navy still has it! It's so funny how we are our own worst critics. What I think is awful another person doesn't even see at all. Try to look at your pictures as if you were looking at a stranger's photo. I guarantee you that you wouldn't be that harsh to a stranger so why not be good to yourself?

  8. Amen to this post! I think I'll keep it bookmarked for those days when I am down about my tummy pooch. :-)

    And you are so right about those ladies in Michelangelo's day! Here's one of my favorite lumpy lady pics from days of yore (van Hemessen's Judith): Those Dutchmen really loved them some FUPA!

    (And you are also right about your beautiful eyes!)

  9. I think what people are trying to tell you is to wear clothes that actually fit properly, you'll feel better and look better. The reason some of these things that you mention show to an unusual degree is because the clothes are too small for you in the wrong places, not because you are a certain age or body type.

  10. You are so pretty and a pretty good writer too. Your wit is charming. But you do have a lot of issues. I suggest getting to know The Lord better. He's the only one I know who will love you completely through and through. And then he'll teach you to love yourself - I mean truly love yourself. That will make life a whole lot easier. I'm sure you've tried a lot of other things. Try Jesus. I'm serious too. Some may laugh, but I can tell you from experience, He is real and He really does love you.

    Think about it.

  11. You "know" Jesus, really?
    Jesus may work for you, but he doesn't work for everyone. Why is it that people like you can't just accept that not everyone is like you? Why must you force your beliefs on others? If you had read this blog recently you'd know that Bonnie isn't into Jesus. Just accept it. If it works for you, by all means, worship. But it doesn't work for everyone.
    Bonnie, I think you're doing a great job working through your issues using your intellect and your experience. You have loyal readers here, and a husband who loves you, and children and a full life. You must be doing something right. Also: there's nothing wrong with having issues; it's simply human.


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