Laura Mazza was enjoying a nice, warm day in her red-and-white stripped swimming suit. Her hair was up in a messy bun as she leaned forward on the railing to survey the yard.
Unbeknownst to her, it was at just that moment that her husband pulled out his phone and took a picture. It wasn’t something to share, it was for him to enjoy. Eventually Mazza found it on his phone and she was not happy.
This blogging mother shares her musings on ‘Mum on the Run’, her website. It was on that website where she talked about her feelings of her husband having the picture. She couldn’t believe he took it.
“I saw this photo in my husband’s phone, and said, ‘Why the hell would you take a photo of me at that angle?’
When she looked at the picture, all she could see was cellulite on her backside and it made her feel self-conscious. She said:
“It reminded me when I took a photo of me and my newborn son and someone asked me if I wanted to try a scrub that got rid of acne scars and a cream that rid me of dark lines under the eyes – I had been in labor for 14 hours. But it made me feel bad about myself, even though I was feeling euphoric. I also once had a girl tell me quietly that my dress would look better if I had some Spanx on – I had a cesarean three months prior to that. I loved the way I looked in that dress.”
Mazza turned to a Facebook group for mothers to see if anyone could provide advice for muscle separation. All she got was people trying to sell her products, such as stomach wraps. She then went to a friend for advice about buying a swimsuit and got a painful comment.
“Right, straight to the plus-size section. They have the best tummy control.”
Mazza felt horrible as every comment that stung came from a female.
“I don’t blame them. I’m not angry. This is what society has taught them, this is what cultural pressures have led them to believe, and so much so, that they feel it’s okay to say it to their fellow sisters as if it’s helping us. It’s hammered into us – you give birth. You bounce back. You don’t? And you’re lazy. You’re not trying hard enough.”
Mothers often feel the need to justify their changing bodies. It isn’t anything they should be ashamed of.
“…it’s because you had a freaking baby. Why is that so shameful?”
She doesn’t try to hide her cellulite and she is open about it. Women have to deal with female organs and there should be no shame in the way they look.
She decided to confront her husband about the picture. He gave her a perfect response.
“‘You looked so happy!’ … That’s all he saw, not my cellulite, not my imperfections. He saw a happy wife enjoying a moment, and he was right. I was happy. I am happy. That’s all that matters.”
Mazza has some advice that all women would benefit from hearing. The female body is a beautiful miracle and they have the job of growing babies. Regardless of how they look, they should be cherished.