One summer when I was like 10, I wore jeans every single day. Even on the most humid hottest of days, I rode my bike, played tag and hide n’ seek wearing my heavy dark denim that didn’t give or have cool torn holes and went to my ankles.
I had a case of what they call these days, body shame.
I hated my hairy white scrawny legs.
I begged my mom to let me shave them, they were so gross with dark long hair that looked like daddy long legs were hanging all over them.
She said, “No, you’re too young”. I wonder who made the rules on when you could start shaving – apparently my mom had the inside scoop.
It was a long summer I remember, and I felt so ugly, and boy was I sweaty. On top of it I was going through the “I don’t want to take a bath phase”.
The summer between 7th and 8th grade I snuck into the bathroom with a razor and attempted to shave my legs while my mom was at the neighbors.
I slit my leg wide open. The blood was gushing out everywhere. I crawled to the phone and called my mom. I was crying hysterically, I actually thought I would bleed to death.
Now I have daughters.
When I look at my daughters I see bits of me. Eyes, a nose, skin tone, lanky arms, a look, body language. In my oldest I see more bits of Mike, but I’m in there too.
As they grew up I was determined to help them see themselves as strong, emotional capable, smart, beautiful, independent girls with a voice.
I’ve work diligently to make sure I create a safe haven for them to be themselves, and to not be afraid to say what’s on their mind, even if Mike and I don’t agree with them.
It’s super easy to fall into the trap of wanting them to see things like we do.
It never dawned on me that growing up in this loving atmosphere that they would judge themselves body wise. I mean, they are beautiful. Both of them are perfect in her own way.
It’s me that could use some fine tuning. I have this double chin thing, and my thighs are squishy, cellulite has settled in my butt and my belly is not flat anymore, at all, no matter how much I work out.
In this day and age of selfies I watch them take pics of themselves to share on SnapChat or Instagram. They’re like models, but darn, they don’t get paid the big bucks.
They’ll go out to specific spots around town just to take pictures of each other.
Once they gather a few hundred they sift through them and the ones that I think look great, they’ll erase.
This one with Tess and the pineapple I got recruited to shoot during our week at the cottage. Over and over and over and over again I snapped shots. I edited it just right finally and she posted it on her Instagram. The things she’d say about herself in some of the shots took me by surprise.
If I say she looks good, she doesn’t always trust me cuz I’m her mom, and what else would I say? Well, she’s got me there, right?
I watch her struggle with her self image at times, she’s in that rough high school stage and she inherited my dark long spidey hairy legs, however when she asked if she could shave back when she was 10ish I hooked her up.
Thankfully overall they both have high self-esteem, self-respect, and cultivate self-love – this I’m super happy about, even when they do judge themselves a bit here and there.
They actually teach me about how I can cultivate self-love from here on out for myself, and set an example of aging gracefully.
What does that mean?
Well, I’m not going to dwell on the natural toll time takes on my body – that’s right no more body shame for ME!
I spent months not too long ago searching for the “right” wrinkle defying cream to halt my aging face from doing what nature does best.
I finally had to surrender and stop trying to defy nature. The time, money, and effort it takes to “look” younger was seriously making me feel older!
The obsession I had looking at famous women’s faces that are my age was out of control. Overtime I started to realize if they can’t stop mother nature with all the money they make (unless they go under the knife), well hell, I sure can’t.
I know Cindy Crawford looks real good and Christie Brinkley is pretty pretty. I don’t know how they do it, but truth is my daughters are a little freaked out about how young they look.
The dark spots, graying hair, wrinkles that are creeping in, cellulite that is settling, jowls that are dropping are going to be dimmed from now on by my positive attitude and zest for living!
I want my daughters to enjoy their life well into their 100’s if it’s meant to be, and I want to too. And no matter how we look, my deepest heart’s desire is that we feel pretty, young and full of zest!
This pic I posted on Instagram is what started this rant of mine and threw me back in time when I hated my legs.
I was focusing on the daisy’s when I took the picture, but when I went to post it, I noticed my legs.
Funny that when I got to be in my 20’s my legs became my favorite body part. They still are.
What’s your favorite body part? How old were you when you started shaving?