I don’t recall a time when I ever got dressed or undressed under the covers. Maybe I got dressed in the dark, stumbling around searching for matching socks or something, but there was never any hiding. And, now, as a pregnant woman, I am proud to say this has not changed.
These days you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t self-conscious about some part of their body. And when you’re starting a new relationship and getting to know your partner, especially in the bedroom, it can be incredibly intimidating to expose your flaws. Whether it’s morning breath or cellulite, we’re all a little self-conscious in the beginning about something. But I look at it like this: my hips don’t lie. You see me, and when you do, you can make a pretty good guess as to what I got going on under my clothes. If you still want to lay down with me after that, then what am I hiding for?
Nowadays, you can ask a woman what she’d like to change about her body and she will give you a list – Botox this, collagen here, lipo there, tighten this, lift that. But as a woman who is very comfortable in her own skin, I want to give my body the respect it deserves and stop judging it so harshly – and I want all women to do the same thing. I define my body by my standards, not by what society says is okay. I love my body for what it is, rather than hate it for what it isn’t or never will be.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in being healthy and strong. I think we should take better care of ourselves, and I could always do better. But at six months pregnant, there is only so much I can do without straining myself, but I also find that I’m enjoying the new and amazing things that my body is doing now. I’m creating life while growing stronger every day. My body is my temple,and because I view it that way, it can be His temple too.
What I have found out over the years is that men tend to see in you what they love most. If you have a big backside – and he’s an “a$$ man” – chances are he’s not obsessing over the dimple you have there. Those heavy breasts you want lifted may make his mouth water if tig ole bitties are what he favors. In your eyes, he will detect the spirit you have chosen. Your smile and frown both speak volumes. He will see you how you see you; and if you have an issue with your body, so will he.
If I’m too busy worried about what he thinks of my body, how can we both enjoy it? You see me, it’s too late now. Clothes are off. We’re here! Turn on the lights and take a good look. My body is a playground – swing on my swing! While most women are especially self-conscious while pregnant, I feel the most beautiful. I’m not embarrassed by what anyone might see. I don’t cringe at the sight of my unclothed body. Oddly enough, I don’t like looking at myself in pictures, with clothes on.
But my brown, soft skin? I love it! My hands? I love getting manicures to show off my long, pretty fingers. My teeth are white and straight. I love the way my bubbly breasts bounce when I have on a good bra that shows off my ample cleavage. I’ve even grown to accept my curly eyebrows. Yes, I said curly eyebrows! Looking in the mirror, I see that it’s quite possible to love everything in its reflection. I look at myself directly, and rather than risk the pain of experiencing everything I am not, I savor the sweetness of who I am and how my body is changing.
The woman I saw in the mirror this morning was glowing! She was more than the sum of the color of her skin, the texture of her hair, and the shade of her knees and elbows. What I saw went deeper than a surface appreciation of beauty, a superficial measurement of self. What I saw was empowering. I didn’t just consider my exterior, but also my heart. I danced around to music playing in the background, with my swollen belly whirling around, joyous and happy. I sang to my voluptuous curves and they gave a standing ovation. There was no shame or negative inner visions. I was beautiful and whole and free. And this is how every woman should feel about herself.