Mummy and Nina for #PNDAW16
There is one lady Nina (Mummy and Nina), I look at and think she is beautiful. She is immaculate in the way she presents herself. So, when I asked her to write a piece for the #PNDAW16 I was shocked at the topic she chose. I was shocked that someone as beautiful inside and out as her could go through this period of struggle. It just shows everyone faces their own battles no matter what they are.
I always thought being pregnant I wouldn't cope with the weight gain after having an eating disorder, but in fact I embraced it. When we left the hospital, I then gave up on my appearance. Unwashed hair, wearing Greg's clothes hiding my weight loss as I wasn't eating and tucking my mum tum in my leggings (I still do this!). We should never be made to feel we are not good enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, you are enough, unwashed hair and all. Take away the filters, the glossy mags, the amazing foundation that will make you perfect and we are all the same coffee induced, sleep deprived parents that are wanting that extra bar of Galaxy when we are sitting in our PJs without our bras.
We are enough. We are perfect. Never forget it. Never let anyone or anything tell you otherwise- NICU MUM X
I never really thought much of the glossies. It was my greater love for food rather than gossip that prevented that relationship flourishing.
I will begrudgingly admit that I had a short stint with Sabrina's Secrets and part way through a car journey to Newcastle, I bought a single issue of Sugar - the Blazin' Squad edition (the shame).
It wasn't the 'Juicy Details' headline that got me; it was the step-by-step guide on how to do a topsy turvy ponytail. That, and how to turn old trousers into statement shorts; with the help of scissors, felt squares and fabric glue. We're talking pre-YouTube era and any Saved By the Bell episode will have you remembering why shorts were a thing - don't judge.
The nod to fashion was subtle back then. It was more along the make-your-own-space and less of the this-is-the-space tangent. An underlying 'feel your vibe and dance like no one is watching' ethos. If a felt circle is what you want on your left butt cheek, then a felt circle is what you shall have. Maybe even add some matching beads in your hair.
So you can imagine my shock when I walked into Waterstone's last week and saw a dedicated section to body image and the teenage mind. I've always known it's an issue. But for that moment I had realised that someone out there felt ugly and for once I knew how they felt.
I personally struggled with my body image after both of my children. I have always been a fan of a good 80's gym so working out was never the issue. But this went beyond the mirror. I felt ugly. Mental, physical and emotional ugliness galvanised in centimetre thick incompetence at providing basic needs for my children.
All I saw was imperfection upon imperfection. Why hasn't my 3 year old mastered the alphabet in English, Spanish and Japanese? Why did my child tell the Postman to Foxtrot Oscar? And why isn't my home like a Next catalog? I bought all the damn cushions.
When I was a teenager I was more worried about whether I had the complete scented gel pen collection; not a complete lip contouring kit. What are we doing to our children? When I say we, I mean the journalistic scum that will sell their mother for a slice of the front page. The bullies that humiliate the rich and famous in an attention seeking hope of at least one viral post. Just stop.
This isn't open fire on journalism. Happinez Magazine is a good tingle for the ol' neurons. Their 'good vibes only' attitude churns out content to uplift rather than break down - Mr. Murdoch, it can be done. My point isn't to name and shame the mass media. My point is this: if our teenagers are unsure of their body image, what will having a child do to them? You need to have an idea of self worth 'before someone breaks in and rearranges the furniture.' (@toomuchmotheringinformation)
Who is perfect? Everyone. Everyone is perfect; rearranged or not. So can we please stop showing fake people in magazines and start showing real people?
For every lipstick sold behind filters and photoshop, one person breaks for not being good enough. Is that ok?
I'd like to chisel a bit off here, tighten a bit there and completely erase certain parts, but to the outsider do they really notice? Sure there are keyboard bashing bullies. But honey, I've been called enough names in the playground about my nose for you to have anything new to say to me. And that journey is a long one.
So whoever you are, you are beautiful. If you don't think it, I certainly do.
But one thing is for sure: don't let anyone tell you how big your waist should be.
Or your lips for that matter.
We don't need more Kardashians; we need you.
If you would like to donate to PANDAS (Pre & Post Natal Depression Advice and Support) to help them support sufferers of perinatal mental illnesses please text PANDAS £3, £5 or £10 to 70660 or visit their website for further information and support. (Texts cost donation amount plus
network charge. PANDAS Foundation receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill
payer's permission. Customer care 01691 664275 Charity No 1149485.)