Because our kids learn how to view their bodies through our example
Too often, motherhood and body positivity don’t always go hand in hand. The body changes in pregnancy, and for some of us — those changes last and may make us feel insecure about our new vessels. With the help of her toddler daughter, one mom shut down her inner negativity — by buying a fabulous bikini and rocking the hell out of it.
Instagram user “PCOS Support Girl” — also known as Coach Shelby online — recently shared a photo of herself in her new bikini, which is awesome all on its own. But it’s her accompanying words that will gut-punch you, make you tear up, and then leave you ready to conquer the world all on your own.
|| Yea, I'm gonna rock it || in honor of @nonairbrushedme #ALWAYSABEACHBODY My daughter starts swim lessons tomorrow. And, I hate to admit this, but she should have started two years ago. But my fear of getting in a pool, in front of others, who knew me, in a bathing suit won. . . I'm actively trying to be brave and get over stupid freaking anxiety issues. I know damn well she, at 3, cares more about playing with glitter and dolls and in the mud with her brother than what her mom wears. . . But she's smart. She is watching me. She's a little spitfire. She says what she thinks. She is brave and bold and stands up for herself. She tells me all the time how pretty she is and how strong she is. And I want to be like her. . . So today, as we talked about swim class tomorrow, she said " I want a bikini." And off we went to Target. She picked hers out, all on her own. Then she said, " your turn." . . A knot in my stomach, I told her, "oh mommy can't wear a bikini to swim class, boo." She looked up from the cart and asked, "but why?" . . Why? Seriously though, why couldn't I? I could. I just felt uncomfortable. Observed. Exposed. A bit like I'd embarrass her. But all of those sounded selfish in the moment, so I said, " you know what? You're right. Let's get mommy a bikini." . . Because she is learning, every day, from me just how to view her OWN body. I don't want to teach her to put limitations on what clothes she can wear or to worry about what others will think. I certainly want her to see her body as unique and wonderful and to be kind to it. I want her to always stay the brave, bold blonde little girl who knows exactly what she wants and exactly how beautiful and strong she is. The same little girl I used to be, before life and society taught me I shouldn't be. . . So we bought bikinis. We rushed home, we played and spent the afternoon excited about how we'd be mermaids tomorrow. And we tried on our bikinis. Like the brave, bold beautiful blondes we are. #mypcosbody ( reshare in honor of #alwaysabeachbody)
Shelby writes that the day before her three-year-old’s first swim lesson, she was feeling a little anxious. You know, because it’s a room full of strangers and you have to be in your bathing suit. Not exactly every woman’s comfort zone. It’s hard feeling insecure and not letting it show.
Her daughter decided she wanted a new bikini for swim lessons (as one does), and when they went to Target to pick one out, her little girl wanted her mom to get one too.
“So today, as we talked about swim class tomorrow, she said ‘I want a bikini.'” Shelby writes. “And off we went to Target. She picked hers out, all on her own. Then she said, ‘your turn.'”
She continues, “A knot in my stomach, I told her, ‘oh mommy can’t wear a bikini to swim class, boo.’ She looked up from the cart and asked, ‘but why?'”
“Why? Seriously though, why couldn’t I? I could,” she writes. “I just felt uncomfortable. Observed. Exposed. A bit like I’d embarrass her. But all of those sounded selfish in the moment, so I said, ‘You know what? You’re right. Let’s get mommy a bikini.'”
|| nerd alert || 99% of the time, I am not as cute as I look on Instagram. I wear glasses because I'm getting old and I'm too afraid to stick shit in my eyeballs. I never wear a bra and my boobs are hardly as perky as when in a bra and all ready to party. My chub rub and cellulite ain't got no spanx keepin them in. I wear whatever is clean and never match and honestly don't give one flying fuck what I look like because the only people who see me are my dog. So yea, I can clean up reallllllnice. But you best believe I can't wait to take my bra off, and be anything less than Instagram ready and impress no one but my dog. ( she thinks I'm pretty fly.) okay? Okay.
We can all relate to feeling this way in a bathing suit. But Shelby decided it was more important to set an example for her daughter than to give in to her insecurities. Why?
“Because she is learning, every day, from me just how to view her OWN body. I don’t want to teach her to put limitations on what clothes she can wear or to worry about what others will think. I certainly want her to see her body as unique and wonderful and to be kind to it. I want her to always stay the brave, bold blonde little girl who knows exactly what she wants and exactly how beautiful and strong she is. The same little girl I used to be, before life and society taught me I shouldn’t be.”
|| I got 99 problems, but my body ain't one || Can we stop doing this toxic game of making humans feel bad for •gasp• being human? Especially women. The comparison game, whether negative in the form of body shaming or intended positive in the form of "I wish I looked like her she's #goals " is a game no one will ever win. Guess what? I'm okay with my body. 📣📣📣A little louder for the trolls, lurkers and haters in the back 📣📣📣IM OKAY WITH MY BODY Now that I've said that, it's okay for YOU not to be okay with it. That's your god given right. And Hell, there's days that I'm right there beside you, pinching and poking and judging and hating on it. Some days it makes me uncomfortable. Some days I wish it was smaller, leaner, different. Some days old toxic self destructive shelby wins. And on those days, old me would seek out comfort by comparing and judging others. Like some may be doing now. Sad. I'm not proud of it. But I get it. But most days, I look at my body and say- damn, you amazing human. Do you know what you've been through? I've been hella bad to you, treated you like shit, punished you and belittled you, and some how- you still got my back. Sure, things have changed, shifted, stretched, sagged and squished. But you are a god damn champ. So I'm more than okay with my body. I'm proud of it. I own it. I rock it. I don't feel shamed into hiding it. I don't worry if others don't like it. I don't concern myself with how it makes other feel, think say or do. Because at the end of the day, I'm the one who has to live in this skin. No one else. And if I think I'm hella cute and poppin, cheers to me.. that's not been easy. And if you feel cute and poppin, cheers to you. This self love stuff is not easy. It's work every day. But it's no ones job but your own to decide how you feel about yourself. And I pray you see how gorgeous, worthy, valuable and amazing you are- at any size or any amount of squish or sag or stretch.
A-fucking-men. I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) myself three years ago, after two years of endless tests for thyroid and hormonal imbalances and no periods. I watched my body expand, dimple, and bloat in ways it never had before. To be honest, it’s enough to make me want to wear a potato sack and not leave the house some days. I even hate wearing a bathing suit around the women in my own family, because I feel somehow less than. But I’ll be damned if I ever let my daughter hear me beat myself up about my body and what I can’t control. I will flop and wobble around with her in the pool until we’re both wrinkled and blue — to hell what anyone else thinks.
“I felt empowered wearing the bikini knowing that I’m showing my daughter it’s okay to be comfortable in your own skin,” Shelby tells Scary Mommy. “It’s okay to embrace your body — even when others tell you not to.”
Shelby ended her post by letting us know she and her daughter bought their bikinis and had a ball. “We rushed home, we played and spent the afternoon excited about how we’d be mermaids tomorrow. And we tried on our bikinis. Like the brave, bold beautiful blondes we are.”