I’ve always been a major nudist. I’ll skinny dip in the middle of the day and walk around the house in broad daylight without any clothes on at all. I’m not sure why I’ve been like this my entire life, other than the fact that I feel more comfortable when I’m not being restricted by clothing. Even though I have never been ashamed of being naked and have always enjoyed it, after having my first baby things didn’t feel quite so comfortable…
I gained over 56 pounds with my first pregnancy. When I saw the scale hit a particular number, I literally thought, “Oh who cares anymore anyways?” and lost count of how much weight I gained. I know gaining weight is normal when you’re pregnant; you are making a human being, after all. It wasn’t just the weight gain that made me feel uncomfortable, though.
Quite sometime after having my son, I noticed things about my body that weren’t going back to what they had been before. My hips were wider. My breasts were…I can’t even describe those. My butt seemed like it NEEDED mom jeans because of how my old jeans were fitting. Nothing was the same. My body wasn’t mine anymore and despite how much my husband went googly eyed and drooled over me when he looked at me, I didn’t want to be naked for the first time in my life.
I told my husband I wanted to get a in better shape, have a boob job or liposuction in multiple places on my body, and get extensions for my hair to cover up any other flaws that couldn’t be changed. He would roll his eyes at me and tell me he didn’t think I needed it. “I want to look like (insert celebrity name here),” I would say. Eventually, my husband said the words I needed to hear when I said this …”Why? Those women pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to look the way they do and we don’t even know if they’re happy with themselves. Those women aren’t reality. You are. You are reality and YOU are perfect.”
How could I have been wanting something so unrealistic? I had a son now. A son who I wanted to love women for their beauty inside and outside. A son who, when he starts dating, I wanted to focus on making that girl feel as comfortable and as loved as his dad makes me feel. A son who I want to be familiar with reality so he isn’t focused on intangible celebrity bodies.
My boobs weren’t the same. My hips were wide enough to rest a toddler on one, carry groceries on the other, and bare lots of babies. My butt was still firm, but needed stretchier denim. My body was made by becoming a mom and that’s now why I feel proud to be naked.
Even if some people think it’s inappropriate, I get naked in front of my son everyday. He sees stretch marks caused by his life being created inside of my womb. He sees my loose skin on my stomach, the cellulite on my thighs, and fat hanging over my sports bra. He sees reality.
I get naked in front of my son because I don’t want him to have unrealistic expectations for women when he’s an adult. I want him to focus on the woman, not her body. I’ve always been comfortable with being naked, but now I think it’s more necessary than ever. If I’m unashamed to be naked in front of my kids, they will be more likely to be comfortable in their own skin too. My hope is that my kids will see my body, recognize imperfections, and embrace them just like I have.