Guest Post by Karen Szabo

We live down the street from a beach so there’s nothing stopping us from going to for a swim when it’s hot out during the summer. This perk is one of the very many things I love about living where I do.

After I finished stuffing my face with tacos, we got dressed and took off to the beach. Luckily, because it was six pm, there were very few people there. As we walked into the beach area, I noticed a full-figured woman on her phone. She was striking, like, stop and stare striking. But I had no time to be creepy as I had to catch up with my kid.

My son chased birds and conquered the shoreline with excitement. The striking woman went back to her spot where she was sitting with another woman. The two of them joined me in laughing at my son going wild. They were watching their three older kids play in the water.

I finally managed to wrestle the kid down for a second to pull off his sandals before he tore off again. Again, the ladies laughed and so did I. My kid peed on the sand in his bathing suit and we laughed about how funny he looked doing it.

I was wearing my maternity bathing suit. A tankini and bottoms. It’s loose, no doubt, but I swear it fits! It’s totally comfortable and I really like the pattern.

You see, I was feeling bloated and when I feel bloated I believe everyone within a five-mile radius can see how imperfect I look. Yes, I can be that insecure.

I looked back at the woman and she smiled. She was full-figured and absolutely lovely. She carried herself with pride and confidence. She had tattoos up and down her arms and on her back. She had a labret piercing that only complimented her already gorgeous face. She had incredible long black straight hair that she held up in a pony tail. When I mentioned her to my husband, he let me know that he had already noticed her. This woman stood out.

Suddenly, I envied this woman.  I envied her zero-fucks-given about whether she had a thigh-gap or not. I envied the way she held herself, back straight and head high. And gosh, she was in a bikini and she knew she rocked it.

It got me thinking. I weigh about as much as a two-year-old Great-Dane (my neighbour’s dog). I eat healthy for the most part. I work out regularly and I’m pretty active otherwise (I do have a toddler, so there’s that).

Why don’t I raise my head up more? Why do I slouch my shoulders? Why am I so concerned about my physical appearance?

Because I always have been. Because I don’t know how not to.

I’m married to a man who always tells me how beautiful I am and how much he loves my figure. I wear fitting clothes and bikinis at times because the rational half of my mind lets me know it’s okay. She was wearing a black and teal bikini.

The problem is the irrational half of my mind. The part that obsesses over looks. The one who tells me my thighs are chunky and I shouldn’t be wearing that. The one who looks at the muffin top or the loose skin on my belly.

The loose skin that appeared from having a baby, my rational mind replies. The loose skin that accompanied the fact that I carried a human in my body for close to 42-weeks of my life (the guy just didn’t want to leave).

Who cares, right?

This woman was beautiful and I wanted to tell her that. So, I did. I walked up to the two women, said have a nice evening, and then preceded to tell the woman I am speaking of that I am not creepy but she looks fabulous and she is lovely to look at. She smiled, laughed, and said thank you. She said I was lovely too, and I said thank you, but I wasn’t there for her to compliment me. I was there to compliment her.

We do so much shaming and judging. We are expected to look a certain way. And this woman looked the entire opposite of those magazines and was incredible. I wanted to tell her that. Since we’re so quick to judge behind people’s back, I thought I’d say something nice to someone, out loud and to her face.

Originally posted on The Antsy Butterfly

 

About the author: Karen Szabo is a part-time worker by day, toddler-mom by night, and blogger at www.theantsybutterfly.com any time in between. She’s doing her best to keep her sanity by writing about being an anxious mom. She’s a contributor for The Mighty and has written for Sunshine Spoils Milk, Sammiches & Psych Meds, and Mamapedia. Karen can be found on Twitter @AntsyButterfly and on Facebook and Instagram.