“Life is too short to waste time hating our bodies.” ~ Kate Rose
I have no desire to be skinny.
It’s not that I am looking to become overweight or to indulge myself past the point of healthiness, but I also don’t have any desire to kill myself with exercise and dieting just so I can fit someone else’s standard of beautiful.
My body, like so many other women’s, has gone through a lot. Sometimes, I just marvel over how our bodies change multiple times throughout our lives, but men don’t get to share in this same experience. Women are likened to the moon, and it’s no wonder, because the phases we often travel through are just as frequent.
I was a pudgy adolescent with long legs. I didn’t really think about my body or weight—and like most children, I didn’t feel truly connected to my body. I didn’t mind my stomach or the way my clothes fit—and for the most part, this transitional stage is normal for girls going through puberty, but I was never the skinny girl.
As I grew older, I did thin out—but at that point, high school had corrupted my mind, and I thought I was fat, even though I look back now wondering how I couldn’t see the reality that was in the mirror in front of me every morning. I only saw everything that was wrong with my body, based on what I told it should look like.
However, as I aged into my 20s, I really fell in love with my body. I had curves, I was soft, and I was happy to be that way. Every woman is different, and we are all beautiful in our own unique ways, but I took pride in being someone supple enough to cuddle up against.
But then, I had children—and everything changed.
With my first pregnancy, I gained 60 pounds—and I was eating healthy. Previously, I had skipped meals—not to lose weight, but simply because I was busy. But when I became pregnant with my daughter, I took my health quite seriously, and I probably overate in general, even though it was all good food for me. It was just too much for my body. But even then, I still loved being pregnant. I loved my belly, my enormous breasts, and my thick thighs and butt. It felt good—until the swelling in my ankles kicked in with preeclampsia.
I loved my body—and at over 200 pounds, I still felt sexy.
But then I had my daughter, and other than my breasts getting even bigger, the rest was just…eh. I wasn’t very happy with my body, and I felt too soft. However, I wonder now—did I actually feel like this because that was how I saw myself? Or was it because of the expectation I was sold by a thin-obsessed society?
I lost most of the weight, and with my subsequent pregnancy, I gained only 30 pounds—but I loved being pregnant just as much. Still, once I had my second daughter, I made it my job to lose the weight and get my body back. I think it was partly because I didn’t truly feel like myself, but I also wanted to look sexy, and part of me didn’t feel sexy when I still had jiggly bits.
So I dieted, cleansed, fasted, and did yoga seven days a week, until I had lost almost 100 pounds of my postpartum weight. I felt skinny and sexy. I liked having my shoulders hunched and feeling my ribs along my back, and I enjoyed playing with the bones that had become more pronounced in my collarbone.
But why? I wondered.
Why did being bony equal sexiness to me?
Perhaps saying “it’s society” is really just a brush off—but I feel that in so many ways, I was brought up with the expectation that fullness isn’t sexiness. When I became thin, it was when I was leaving my marriage, and I wasn’t happy. I felt like a shell of my former self.
But then, over the course of the next few years, I began to look at my body differently—and now, I’m at the point where I kind of like my jiggle.
Some might look at me and simply see me as thin, but in my eyes, I’m a skinny fat person. I may not be a huge size, but I love how my thighs squish in my hands and how my arms are now soft enough to be a pillow for my girls to fall asleep on.
And the really radical, far-out idea?
As I wear long dresses in the summer (with no underwear), I love the way the fabric moves against the softness of my belly and thighs—both of which jiggle a bit when I move, which (call me crazy) I actually love. I don’t want to be skinny and hard, and I have no desire to waste away without eating things like cake and Spanish rice and beans. I like my appetite to be just as rich as my soul, and for once, I’m deciding that I like my body to be just as soft as my heart.
Every woman is free to make her own choices, but for me, I am doing this really radical thing by simply loving the hell out of my body.
I love my legs and my stomach. I love the softness of my skin and the length of my hair. I even love my C-section scar and stretch marks from having my daughters, because they come from giving birth to two amazing kids, and I couldn’t be happier.
I like my jiggle, the way that I move, and ultimately, the sex appeal I radiate simply from being comfortable in my own skin.
Because to me, it feels so much sexier when I allow myself to feel like the beautiful woman I am—regardless of the number inside my clothing tags.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina