I read this heartfelt, wonderful post yesterday. The author, @AmandaMagee (whom I’m now following) writes eloquently of her lifelong struggle to accept her body – it’s size, it’s various bits. She recalls the cutting comments she’s endured. As she evolves towards an uneasy acceptance, she notes the part her body has played in her role as mother, and in her life at large:
My shoulders are broad. In high school, they embarrassed me, and ever since then, they’ve carried three babies thousands of miles. They’ve torn down walls and helped power me through swimming from one side of an island to another. When I stand in a dressing room and try on a top or a dress, I try not to let the label define me. Yet there is still a part of me that sees the “large” or the “10″ as a failure. Too big. The idea of not fitting goes beyond the shirt; somehow, it’s about me. I don’t fit. When the shirt comes off, I see myself in a better light. The familiar lines of my shoulders, of my waist that has expanded to carry life three times, they are, after all, precious to me.
While I think it’s worthwhile simply highlighting this post, I was drawn to it by @HuffPostParent’s tweeted description of the piece:
A beautiful post from @amandamagee on accepting herself for the sake of her girls.
I have to disagree – the piece touched only briefly on the author’s three daughters, and not at all on how her body image was affecting them, or on how her parenting might affect her girls.
Ms. Magee’s piece is about how she accepts her body – not for the sake of her girls, but for her own sake, recognizing how her physical strengths, her physicality, and her physique have given her all she has and is:
I need to once and for all shake this idea that I am supposed to be a way other than I am. … the body I have, the talents I do and don’t have, these are things to cherish, not hide. Thirty-nine years into being me, and I revisit this theme with great frequency, although I am getting closer to understanding that there isn’t a miraculous finish line to cross that will herald my having become a grown up, or having figured things out, or that I will ever truly outgrow the awkwardness that is living. You and I, we will be unsure. There will be foibles and face plants, but there will also be moments when we each feel alive with the knowledge that we are a kind of strong, beautiful or amazing that has never come before. Maybe the hardest thing to do is to face that not being her is the best gift in the world, because it means that I am me.
Shame on HuffPo for announcing the piece for something it is not, when what it is, is enough.
Just like Amanda Magee, and her body.
Like all of us and ours.