All my life, I have been aware of the way I look. Aren’t we all like that? I’ve never been the chubby kid or had an inappropriately extra amount of weight on me. I think it’s because I learned at an early age that skinny = pretty. People (guys in particular) like girls who are skinny and who doesn’t want people to like them? Growing up, I was always best friends with the pretty girl. She had all the attention lavished on her (mainly because she hit puberty first and it didn’t totally screw her over like the rest of us) and I was happy to be her sidekick. It wasn’t until I was well into high school that guys started paying attention to me. I was shocked and had no idea how to respond to this sort of attention. In some weird way, I guess it boosted my self-esteem enough to let me know I COULD be a pretty girl, but it would also help if I could fit in size 2’s. So I did. I fit into the 2’s. Though my weight fluxuated over the next decade (and puberty finally gave me some hips), I edged into the 4’s, content to stay there for eternity.
And then I got pregnant.
I’m not going to lie – it is hard watching your body completely morph before your eyes. I keep telling myself that the number on the scale is SUPPOSED to get bigger (and it does – don’t worry) but it’s really difficult to watch it jump up suddenly one day (damn the home ec students for bringing me cheesecake AND oreo delight in ONE DAY). I confided in a friend about this and she just brushed me off saying that I need to get over it. To me, that’s the equivalent of telling a smoker to just quit smoking. As if it’s that easy.
And it’s really hard being pregnant because people WANT to know how much weight I’ve gained and they constantly comment on how “big” or “small” I am. My feelings on it are so conflicted because I want this baby to grow and get big, but I want to stay small. I admit it – I’m vain. And I care about what I look like.
I almost hate that I’m having a girl because I dread passing this vainity down to her. I saw a segment on the Today show years ago and have never forgotten the interview with a mother who wrote this book for her daughter.
It is such a telling title. “I’d be so pretty if…” I worked out more – I didn’t eat that extra serving – My hair was totally different. I believe we all do this – pass by windows and anything else to show our reflection and silently criticize our clothing, shape, or hair. And for those of you who are mothers or who know mothers of girls, I think this could be a valuable asset to any library. I know I plan on purchasing it in the next few years.