Friday, November 07, 2008

Botticelli Babe

I've been feeling frustrated that after running 2 miles nearly every day that my body is insisting on keeping the muffin top (I think so far my bum is the only part of my body to recognise that I've been running). Why can't the Botticelli body be the ideal any more? I'd stop traffic with my thighs, and everyone would applaud Noah for making enough money to feed me so well.

The sad truth is that the beauty standard has changed. Even Venus (the goddess of love and beauty, pictured above) would be a plus-size model. But in my opinion, Botticelli had it right. I'm certain he used only post-partum women for his models (check out those birthing hips) and in all honesty, what is more beautiful that a woman whose body was able to bring life into the world?

I am proud of my body, for its ability to deliver three beautiful babies into this world, and for it being so considerate as to leave me with stretch marks for each one--my own little tattoos. I'm proud that my body can sustain the life of my littlest baby. I'm proud that my body is strong and I can move furniture with my husband so we don't always have to call on the neighbors for help. I'm proud that I can run 3.1 miles while pushing a stroller and still have a bit of energy left over when I'm through. Now if only I can convey this message of body-love to my daughter who will soon be taught by friends and the media that Kate Moss is now the ideal--so help me God.

By the way, I'm still going to run and eat well, but I want my children to have a healthy ideal, not one that can end in tragedy.


rsheedy said...

You know what is so ironic about the skinny ideal is that most men don't find it attractive. I used to detest my "breeder hips" (a common Lifferth trait) but it turns out this is probably my husband's favorite feature.

Anyway, I think you are amazing...I don't know how you do all that you do. There's no way I could keep up, ESPECIALLY if I had to go running after all that, too!

Mom said...

Kaila, this is a poignant, brilliantly written little essay. It's a VERY important one as well. And I love the metaphor of stretch marks as tattoos. I remember my mom showing me five stretch marks on each hip--one for each child. (And there would be three more.) I marvelled. I had left my mark!

I think you're phenomenal.

Gretch said...

Kaila-you are so beautiful inside and out! I love what you are teaching Gabby. It is such a scary thing raising these kids-so much to teach and shield them from. I love what you wrote-you are a very talented writer among many other things.

BTW I thought Noah liked the "muffin tops". :-)

Gretch said...

Oh and I love what you said about stretch marks!

Bruce Young said...

Kaila, I just want you to know that you're one of the world's most truly beautiful women, as well as amazingly buff.

Julie Young said...

Agreed! I do think the skinny ideal is becoming a tiny bit less ideal as time goes on, luckily (and hopefully.)

You're awesome for writing that blog, and by the way, you are FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. No lie, you are and have always been the ideal to me.

Kaila said...

Wow, I had no idea writing this post would lead to so many compliments. I'm going to be posting many more nude Renaissance paintings to keep the momentum going.

Zachary said...

You go girl!

Smiley Family said...

It's true Kaila, you are beautiful. And your kids are beautiful, so I guess the tattoos are worth it.

Henry Parents said...

Word, sister. I needed to hear that. I really liked what you said about stretch marks, I still don't feel that excited about them. Luckily they fade.

I read some article about how the feminine ideal silouette is affected by the prosperity of the time.

I wish I could find the link. But it proposed that the curvy ideal woman of fifties (think Marilyn Monroe) reflected the general prosperity of the time. Compare that with Twiggy (of the 60s) and the general state of chaos our country was in, therefore we had a thinner, less "fertile" looking ideal woman.

I don't think it is as clean as that, but still interesting to think about.

I've got my little muffin top still hanging around too, and I think, hey - muffin tops are the best part of a muffin, right? :)