Embracing Your Mom Body

Blog pic 5.29.14

 

Before and after photos typically celebrate major weight loss, dramatic plastic surgery or some starlet who has returned to looking fabulous after having kids.

What if a before and after picture was designed to celebrate a return to a “mom” body? This picture of Australian mom of three Taryn Brumfitt below set off a social media firestorm a few months ago for breaking the mold and embracing body:

o-TARYN-BRUMFITT-570

 

After training for and competing in a bikini body contest, Brumfitt realized having a “perfect” body left her emotionally and spiritually unhealthy at the end of the competition. She decided to return back to her balanced lifestyle of moderate exercise, occasional treats and typical “mom” life. After many tears and making plans to have a tummy tuck and breast augmentation, she had a breakthrough.

Brumfitt felt a strong conviction that teaching her daughter to have a healthy body image could only be accomplished through learning to love her own body as a mom with all of its bumps, lumps and wrinkles. She is now on a mission to educate women everywhere by filming a documentary (which will be funded through a Kickstarter campaign) about the root of widespread body image issues and how freeing it can be to embrace your body just the way it is. This quote from a video clip on Huff Post Women captures the heart of her movement:

“I want women to stop striving for it [the perfect body]. I want women to start focusing more on their accomplishments [and] how they contribute to the world. If women can remove this chip, this body shaming and hating chip, get it out of their head…it allows them to contribute more, and that’s what it’s all about.”

As a mom of twins who hates swimsuit shopping and has researched and seriously considered a tummy tuck to repair my stretched out and saggy middle, this movement is a breath of fresh air to a weary soul.

I have cried too many tears over clothes which didn’t fit the way they used to, and I wish I had saved those tears for a conversation with a friend who was going through a hard time.

I have spent too many hours reading books about abdominal exercises and tummy tucks after someone once again told me I looked pregnant, and I wish I could have spent those hours laughing with my family in the backyard.

I have made too many nasty comments to my reflection in the mirror, and I wish I could have used those words to encourage a fellow mom.

I am done wasting my time in the quest for the perfect body. I’m going to learn to love this body not only for my sake but as an example for my daughters, and I am pouring my energy into things which are more important in life.

I challenge you to join me in sharing Taryn’s story and the Body Image Movement. We deserve it, and our daughters absolutely deserve it. #Ihaveembraced

This article was published on the Greeley Moms website here. Check out Greeley Moms today!

 

 

Advertisements

The Beauty We Can Teach

People most beautiful 2014 cover with title

Thank you to Lupita Nyong’o for reminding us of the importance of inner beauty. As parents, we have a huge responsibility to teach our children how to be beautiful where it matters the most. Here’s the link to this week’s Greeley Moms blog. Thanks for reading sharing if you choose!

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/11240941-113/beauty-inner-daughters-lupita

 

 

 

Kicking Out the Kardashians

The latest Vogue cover featuring Kim, Kanye and North has me thinking…when will the Kardashians ever go away? Why did our society allow them to become famous in the first place?

For a family of little talent who set off a reality television craze in our country, you’d think their 15 minutes of fame would have been over a few years ago.

Why is it that they are SO popular in America? Are we really a country of brainless zombies who think we want to be like these people? They don’t seem overly charitable or generous, and I’m not seeing any kind of motivation or drive (except when it comes to seeking fame) that I’d like to emulate one day. I especially don’t want my daughters to think of any of them as role models.

I admit (although begrudgingly) that I watched a *few* episodes of E’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” in its first seasons. Ok, maybe it was every episode. I was young and stupid—please don’t judge me.

It was kind of like a train wreck: so shocking and painful that I couldn’t turn my eyes away. I know it’s a lame excuse, but it’s true. They don’t have much of a filter when it comes to appropriate conversations with each other, and the obsession with clothing and make-up and style takes over their lives.

I admit: I played a part in helping them rise to fame by boosting their ratings every week. Now I’m working hard to help undo this Kardashian-monster I had a part in creating.

Once my girls came two years ago, I realized if I wanted the Kardashians to go away before my girls were paying attention to popular culture, I needed to do my part and turn off my television when an episode was airing. I decided to stop giving them any ratings from the DeBusk household.

I sneakily tuned in a few weeks ago when I was at the gym (someone else had surely been watching it earlier, so I couldn’t have been boosting their ratings by tuning back in, right?), and I caught a clip that was brazen enough to make me flip the channel and stick by my earlier Kardashian boycott.

It was an episode when Kim was preparing for the birth of North (there’s another reason not to watch the show—who names a baby North West?), and she talked about having her “glam squad” on standby for the weeks leading up to her birth. She decided she didn’t want her baby to see her mother for the first time without full makeup and hair done.

Moms, how many of you had your “glam squad” prep you before your newborn baby saw you for the first time? Can a person be any farther disconnected with reality than wanting their newborn to see them in full makeup and eyelashes? Why do they call it reality tv?

This is absolutely not the way I want my daughters to be. I want my girls to be down-to-earth enough to realize the relationship between a mama and newborn baby is absolutely magical and has nothing whatsoever to do with makeup or perfect hair. I want them to know what is appropriate conversation to have in public, and I want them to realize that 15 minutes of fame is not all it’s cracked up to be (see my post about ABC’s The Bachelor). I want my girls to have a talent, a job and work ethic. I want my girls to define success by more than a photoshoot in a big magazine. I want my girls to give their children more respectable names than North West.

Kim, Kanye and the rest of the Kardashian clan, I’m sick of you and your family. Please, please give us all a break and fly under the radar for a while. And if any of you tune in to their horrid reality television (no judgement here) or want to buy a magazine filled with their photos and gossip, think twice about whether you really want to support the Kardashian craziness any longer. Our country and kids deserve better role models.

My post originally appeared on the Greeley Tribune at the following link:

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/10781000-113/girls-baby-fame-Kardashian

 

 

Photoshopped Ads Blur More than Thighs

An interesting headline caught my eye this week because it pertains to the heart of our perceptions of beauty and to the minds of impressionable young girls.

Target ran a junior swimsuit ad with a model whose image was poorly photoshopped. Her rib cage and arm looked pieced together, and her thighs and swimsuit bottom had clearly been altered to make her appear thinner. (See the ad here.)

To make matters worse, when Target issued an apology for the poor photo editing, there was no mention of why they felt it necessary to alter the body of this beautiful teenage model initially or how they may be contributing to a culture-wide problem of teenagers and women who are chasing after unattainable perfection.

When is enough enough? When will we step up and demand for the marketing aimed at our daughters (and ourselves) to reflect reality? Are these models not thin enough? Are their thighs really not spaced far enough apart?

As a mother of two daughters who has struggled with body image issues in the past, I think it’s absolutely disgusting that retailers are altering beautiful young girls and in turn leaving normal girls feeling like something must be wrong with their bodies because they don’t match the glossy advertisements.

I’m aware it happens in women’s advertising and publications, but I feel like as an adult I finally am secure enough in who I am, imperfections and all, to be able to flip through a magazine without staring at the shape and size of the models featured and longing to change my body. As a teenager, though, I am certain I would have spent time comparing myself to swimsuit models like the one in the Target ad and feeling bad about myself at the end of it all.

Teenage girls are learning, growing, blossoming and delicate. No matter what shape or size their body takes, they need the confidence to love themselves and see their own value and worth.

Our society, retailers and publishers included, owe it to these young women to help them navigate through the challenges that come with defining beauty; however, I’m not content to stand by and wait for some huge movement which might never occur. I’m determined to do what I can to protect the hearts and minds of my girls.

I can empower my girls to believe in their own beauty and recognize false advertising for what it is.

I can laugh at crooked arms and creepy thigh gaps in botched photoshopped pictures so I can show my daughters what really happens to pictures before they are published for us to see.

I can support brave retailers who step up and refuse to alter the bodies of their models.

I can show my support to celebrities who share non-photoshopped images with the public so we can see what is really happening after the women leave the studio.

I can read and share articles like fellow Greeley Moms blogger Jaymi’s post on true beauty.

I can show my daughters how to love and accept an imperfect body by taking care of myself and saying no to unnecessary cosmetic procedures.

I can open up discussion about the moral obligation retailers and magazines have to help our young girls have a healthy body image, but I won’t rely on them to make that happen.

Our daughters are depending on us to fight for them, and I hope you’ll join me.

Here is this the original link for my post for the Greeley Moms:

http://www.greeleytribune.com/news/feature3/10691542-113/girls-body-daughters-beauty

Daughters: 10 Reasons You Deserve Better than “The Bachelor”

With the season finale of ABC’s “The Bachelor” coming up next week, I am a coldhearted cynic who doesn’t feel terribly sorry for the girls who have been sent home. Haven’t they seen the show? The odds of winning Mr. I’m-So-Dreamy’s heart are a mere 1 in 25, and the proposal at the end of the season rarely ends in a marriage. Yet I keep watching every year. It’s also highly addicting. (Don’t judge. You know you watch it, too.)

So, here are ten reasons why I will highly discourage my little ladies from ever choosing to go on “The Bachelor.”

  1. Although it’s romantic and over-the-top to ride horses along the beach in St. Lucia or cruise around Miami on a private yacht, dates like those are “inorganic” and created for the audience. You are just playing a piece in a producer-created event which is designed to get ratings. A real date which is orchestrated by the man who is after your heart will be so much more meaningful, even if it’s not fit for national television.
  2. With only a dozen or so dates, no matter how dreamy or exotic those dates may be, you won’t get to know someone’s true personality. Seeing how a man responds to an unexpected bill or phone call to his grandmother is much more telling about his character than how he rappels down a cliff in Jamaica while shirtless.
  3. The odds are seriously stacked against you. With 24 (or 26 this season) other girls vying after the heart of the same man, chances are you will NOT be the winner.
  4. When you are rejected (as you have a 96 percent or higher chance to be), you deserve better than being humiliated on national television. Your tears and your emotions are too special to be used as a ratings ploy.
  5. America is cruel. You are too valuable to be subjected to criticism from a national television audience who doesn’t know you or your heart.
  6. The metaphors are ridiculous. Every situation, whether bungee jumping or plunging into an icy pond, is somehow connected to an idiotic symbol of love. “Stirring this hot chocolate with Juan Pablo reminds me of how my heart is being stirred and warmed up to the idea of falling in love.” Bleh. You deserve more.
  7. You need a man who is going to have eyes for you only. If he’s off kissing three or four other girls in the minutes before he comes to woo you, he needs to be punched squarely in the jaw before you run far away and never look back.
  8. Your heart is too precious to be shared until you know it’s with a man who will cherish it and share your emotions. Too many women share their hearts with Mr. Bachelor prematurely because they feel pressured to make sure he knows they are here for “the right reasons.”
  9. The Bachelor himself may not always be on the show for “the right reasons.” You might be giving your heart to a fame-hungry and fortune-seeking man.
  10. Love will find you somehow, some way, without throwing yourself shamelessly at a beefy guy on a reality television show with all of America watching. Trust me–there are many great men out there who will move mountains some day to win you over, and you’ll be so glad you saved your heart for one of them instead.