Stuff We Love: The Mom Belly
How I learned to love my maternal curves
Self-appreciation comes when we reframe our “imperfections”
One of my favorite movie moments comes from the film Shirley Valentine, the story of an under-appreciated mom who ditches her husband and teenagers to pursue her decades-long dream of traveling to Greece. She meets a handsome local who seduces her on his sailboat, kissing her body and admiring her stretch marks as beautiful badges of honor. I let out a cheer when I heard him utter those words, until the lead character, Shirley Valentine (played marvelously by Pauline Collins) looks at the camera and deadpans, “Aren’t men full of shit?”
Great line, right? I laughed. But as much as I adore the Shirley Valentine character, I have to side with the boyfriend here. Sure, stretch marks aren’t glamorous, and I’d rather not wave mine around at the pool, but I’d guess that for many of us they’re the norm, whether through childbearing or weight gain (or both).
A few years ago, I was out walking with my family after dinner when I noticed a young woman walking with a toddler. She had the same soft midsection that’s so common for those of us for whom hitting the gym wasn’t a big priority after giving birth. For the first time in my life, I found that soft belly look adorable. Endearing. It said something, and meant something: I grew a person with my body, and it changed me.
What delightfully imperfect part of your body do you love most, and why? Tell us in comments!