I’m wagering a guess that God knew that I would love writing because he made sure to give me a big cushy place to sit while doing it. Yes, I have a lot of junk in my trunk. I have extra air in my derriere. My caboose is on the loose. My booty is extra fruity.
I wish I could say that I’ve always appreciated my curves. I know that curves are supposed to be great. I mean, that’s what makes women look like women. Unfortunately I live in a society that constantly tells me that my curves mean that I’m fat and lazy and that I should be ashamed.
A few years ago I made the conscious decision that I would love my curves and, taking a cue from Sir Mix-A-Lot, I decided that I would learn to love my big butt. This decision wasn’t due to my feminist beliefs or a desire to break free from social norms and expectations. I’m not progressive enough for that. I decided to love my butt because I’m the mother of a young girl who will take cues from me about how to view her own body as she grows up. I didn’t want my daughter to learn how to scrutinize and hate her own body from watching me.
I decided to start with this motto, “Fake it ’til you make it!” Every time I dressed in front of my daughter I would say something complementary about myself, “These jeans fit great.” “I love this color on me.” “I make this dress look good!” At first it was uncomfortable for me and my acting wasn’t going to win any awards. Each time it became less of an act and more natural.
One day my daughter playfully told me that I had a big butt. I shrieked, “I love my big butt! It gives me a place to sit and I can use it to sit on little people!” I then proceeded to chase her around the house threatening her with my ample asset. This became a regular game in our household that still happens from time to time.
My daughter always rolls her eyes at my acts of self-love. She makes sure to look and act embarrassed whenever I compliment my curves. But I know this is all sinking into her internal matrix of opinions about the female body and how women should view themselves.
What I didn’t know was that this was also sinking into the deep layers of my own unconscious self-assessments. What started as an uncomfortable ‘act’ to benefit my daughter became a very comfortable internal truth. Self-love and body appreciation have become my natural response to myself instead of loathing and disgust.
Over spring break I was caught out of town in beautiful, sunny, warm weather when I had only packed winter clothes. I made a quick run to Kohl’s with my daughter in tow. Now, I might have put on a few pounds this winter that I’ve failed to take back off and knowing this I grabbed a few different sizes of capri pants to try. The first pair only made it to my thighs before I realized that this was no longer going to be my comfortable ‘go-to’ size. Without a word I slipped them off and grabbed the next size up. They fit perfect. Without missing a beat I checked out my booty and declared, “These make my butt look awesome!” I started to shake and sing Meghan Trainor’s “All about that Bass.” My daughter immediately shushed me, “Stop mom! You are so embarrassing!”
But she was smiling. We were both laughing. She hadn’t even noticed that the first pants didn’t fit. I didn’t point it out.
I’m okay with embarrassing my daughter. I’m not worried about raising a young woman who sees her mother being silly and happy and full of self-love. I made a decision to live this way as a gift to my daughter and in turn it has been a gift to myself.