"MILF." "Mom Gets Her Body Back Just Weeks After Giving Birth." "From Not To Hot: Mama June's Amazing Transformation!" Women in general, and moms in particular, are constantly presented with unreasonable demands, which attempt to permeate every aspect of our lives. Topping the list? Being thin or skinny. However, when I truly take a step back and look at my life, dreams, and goals, a desire to be "skinny" is hardly front and center. Absent other people's expectations, "skinny" doesn't even rank and there are so many things I'd rather be than the "skinny mom."
To avoid any confusion right up front, I want everyone to know that I have no problem with skinny-ness, skinny people, skinny dipping, or '80s Canadian industrial band Skinny Puppy. I'm not a "real women have curves" kind of person (those people are misguided at best). I also don't have a problem with people who aspire to be skinny. You do you, folks! But here's the thing: I'm not skinny and I'm pretty sure that if I were all alone on an island, with no one there to look at me, I wouldn't be especially interested in getting or staying skinny. So any inclination I have to lose weight is not an intrinsic desire. Being skinny would take a lot of effort on my behalf and, honestly, it's not something I'm all that interested in.
Not only am I currently not skinny, I have, in fact, never in my entire life been what most people would consider "skinny." I was born almost 10 pounds and rocked well above the top of the bell curve most of my life. For a period in my early-to-mid-20s I was solidly "average weight" and maintaining "average" took a tremendous amount of mental energy and self-denial. It was during this time that I longed to be skinny, and while I would never use that word, the desire was pretty clear. But as time went on, my confidence grew, my priorities shifted and one day I thought, "What the f*ck am I obsessing over? Is this going to make me happy? Is being bigger really going to make me less happy than this constant state of fretting? Who is this even for?"
Then I started to think, "Well, what would I rather be than skinny?" Here are just some answers to that question:
Well-Rested And Relaxed
In order for me (personally) to get skinny, I would have to work out a lot and at least a lot more than I do. It's not that I don't exercise, because I run and I love it. However, even running requires me to wake up early a few mornings a week.
Mom life is a busy life, y'all, and everything I do as it is is pretty precariously balanced. Every moment is already more or less accounted for, and that includes knowing how much time I need not occupied with a particular task in order to remain sane and rested. Being a skinny mom would basically require me to either wake up at some horrendous hour in the morning or go to the gym as soon as my kids went to sleep and never have any one-on-one relaxation time with my partner. No thanks.
In my early 20s I lost a lot of weight — about 40 pounds — through dieting. Thinking about what I was going to eat, calculating calories, and fretting over social functions where I couldn't control the food choices basically consumed, like, 33 percent of my mental energy. I didn't realize it at the time, because I was in the thick of it, but it was over-the-top and a little insane. I wouldn't say I had an eating disorder, per se, but I definitely didn't have a healthy or enjoyable relationship with food.
Nowadays I like to think I've retained the better lessons I learned in my dieting days (portion control, for example) while ditching the obsessive aspect of it. I enjoy food, and mostly healthy food, but sometimes the food that's healthy for your soul if not your corporeal form.
Confident In The Body I Have
In a society where you're constantly being told what you should look like, being confident in your own skin can be really, really hard. However, once you have that down, it's difficult for other people to shake your confidence, because you've reached a point where you see through the bullsh*t. I think this is a much loftier, more fulfilling goal than being skinny.
A Powerful Sorceress
My powers would be unfathomable to mere mortals. I would be able to summon demons and mix potions and control fire. I would definitely have some sort of staff with a big crystal in it. I would enter every room wearing a hooded cloak and then, when someone asked who I was or said my name, I would dramatically cast it off and everyone would gasp.
Realistic? Nah. But being skinny isn't realistic for me either, and between these two unlikely possibilities I'd rather be a zaftig sorceress than a skinny mom.
Modeling Body Positivity (Especially For My Daughter)
So anyone who doubts that genetics plays a huge role in body type can look no further than me and my daughter. I mean, granted, she's 2 and I'm a grown woman, but taking that into account, we have the same proportions, same overall shape, same general carriage and, frankly, it's just a little bit eerie. Sometimes she'll be running around, naked as a jay bird and I'll think, "Oh my God, who stole my legs, shrunk them down, and glued them to this child?"
Because our bodies are so similar (at least for now, though I'm thinking the trend will likely continue), I'm determined to make sure she doesn't hear me complain about my waistline, thighs, arms, or any other part of me. My body is good, because it allows me to do things that make me happy. It's not bad because it doesn't look like someone else's.
I would be the most majestic unicorn ever to prance through a sun-soaked meadow full of flowers. Peasants, priests, poets, and princes would look upon me and weep at the sight. Again, I recognize this probably won't happen, but if I ever had a genie come up to me and say, "You can be skinny or a unicorn," my answer would hands down be "unicorn."
A Little Bit Chubby
Because you know what? My personal aesthetic preference tends to be for women who are a little bit thicker than average, and my favorite version of my physical self has some fluff on her. Not everyone has to like or be attracted to the same things.
Dating Jon Hamm
For his personality you guys. Is he handsome with a gorgeous body? Yes, I will not deny that I find that to be an accurate statement. However, he's also talented and hilarious and smart and I would be so happy if he would just return my calls.
Healthy And Strong
Not that skinny people cannot be healthy and strong. But I resent the idea that people who are not thin can't be either of those things. So if I had to pick "skinny" or "healthy and strong," because the two do not necessarily go together, I would definitely pick healthy.
Right now I am healthy and strong. My blood pressure is great, my organs are all in excellent working order, I never get sick, my hair is shiny, and I run between 7.5 and 10 miles a week (something I never thought I would be able to do but I've kept it up for about a year now and I feel awesome about it). Life is good, you guys.
They say money can't buy you happiness (it also can't buy you skinniness), but there are so many things I would really like to buy that would make me tremendously happy. In no particular order: a really big trampoline, an apartment in Paris, a horse, a beach house in the Caribbean where I could invite friends and family to stay with me whenever they wanted to get away, various expensive lipsticks, and, well, the list goes on.
Not Obsessed With An Arbitrary Beauty Standard
It's exhausting, folks. First of all, everyone has a different idea of what beautiful is. Secondly, in so many instances, another person's ideal is impossible to achieve, so you're always going to consider yourself flawed or not good enough.
Being preoccupied with being "skinny" is, like, quintessentially that, at least it would be in my case because left to my own devices I have no desire to be skinny. So I find it best just to completely disregard what other people would have of me and just kinda do me.
Someone Who Is Really Good At Hair And Makeup
Remember when I talked about powerful sorcery above? This is basically a little bit of a step down from that because have you seen some of these YouTubers?! How do you do that with a blush brush? How do you get your hair to hold a perfect curl like that? TEACH MY YOUR WAYS! Not because I feel that a woman has to get gussied up in order to face the world, but it looks like so much fun.
Less Awkward In General
Yeah, if we're sitting here wishing we're things we actually weren't, I would rather be chubby and elegant than skinny and graceless. Right now I'm rocking "chubby and graceless" but I'm learning to accept it so I can move past it. I'm sorry, but I just think in my mouth and, believe me, it's more embarrassing for me than for you. Also, I'm really clumsy. Even if my body were skinny, I still don't think I'd have any idea of what to do with it half the time. So, you know, any tips?
A Little Bit Drunk In A Pool At A Luxury Resort In Napa
Truly, friends, this is me in my natural habitat, living the life I was meant to live.
I like this not-skinny chick. In fact, even now I want to get to know her better. I think that sounds far more interesting than focusing on getting skinny.