Today is the first time I have ever considered photoshopping my body in some way for the blog.
I feel really great about this outfit; I love the combination of red, black, and white; I love the sequins on my shoulders, the gorgeous Rocksbox jewelry, the way my hair turned out, and the overall feeling of festivity with the colors and the cold day and the season. I was having a lot of fun taking pictures — other than hoping my neighbor didn’t suddenly emerge from his garage and wonder what the heck I was doing — and shot the upcoming picture with the thought “oh, wow, that angle really makes my waist look small!” as I viewed it in the small replay screen on the camera. But then, I saw it on my computer.
And I cringed a little.
This belt is not tight on me, nor is the skirt. It’s not a struggle to zip or hook, it feels comfortable, and I never would have thought it would produce such a drastic roll above the waistline.
And I have never before considered using the clone tool to smooth out lumps and bumps, but for a good five minutes I stared at the roll of my post-baby waist that curves out over my belt, and I really wanted to make it disappear. I even tested what it would look like to just touch up that area. Nobody would ever have known; it’s not like I would Photoshop myself into Disney Princess proportions, nor even erase every single lump, — let’s be honest, if I really cared I would probably take the time to clone out the lines of my nursing bra — I just wanted less of that fat that hangs out where I used to have none.
But that’s not what my blog is about. This isn’t a magazine where people are paid to make everything look perfect, where money and professions ride on having fantasy-like photoshoots of beautiful people in beautiful clothes with perfect bodies and flawless skin. This is real life. Sure, I do minimal post-processing on my photos in that I generally color-correct and color-enhance slightly. However, I have never Photoshopped myself. I made a vow once that no matter what, I never would Photoshop myself. So instead, I’m sharing this picture that nearly made me break that little promise to myself.
Even though I have another shot that hides the back fat. Why?
Because I want to be a reminder and an encouragement. A reminder that we are more than just how our bodies look, that back fat (or any fat) doesn’t negate from our attractiveness, that you can still feel good about yourself even if you aren’t at your hoped-for weight. And an encouragement especially to new moms that it’s normal. Obviously by now we all know (hopefully) that celebrities who drop baby weight in a month have a ton of help and are not realistic people to set our standards by. Or for myself, my first postpartum experience of unintentionally (aka, I didn’t do anything to try) losing the baby weight in 14 days… that’s not always going to happen. And it’s okay. It’s healthy, even.
Because we as women, or as new moms… we are all so different and our experiences are all going to be vastly differing from each other — just as my first pregnancy and postpartum period was incredibly different from my second one — and we cannot compare them to anyone else. We shouldn’t be comparing our bodies to other bodies, thinking that because we didn’t lose weight the same way that person did we aren’t enough, or because we aren’t experiencing the same happiness, we’re doing something wrong.
My friends going through postpartum periods right now have been heavily on my mind lately, and I hope to encourage them especially at whatever stage they’re in, whatever body they’re in, whatever emotions they’re feeling… it’s all okay. It’s all normal, and, most importantly, they aren’t alone! Not in feeling like this season is a terrible one, or that they’re not connecting with motherhood like they thought they would, or they’re not ready for their other kids to grow up yet, or they wish they could be skinnier than they are now, or didn’t have the scars pregnancy gave them, or whatever it is about life in this moment that is less-than-desirable.
I think most of all, I really want to stress that it’s totally okay not to enjoy every single moment of new motherhood, because having a newborn is hard enough without feeling pressured to love it, and without feeling guilty that you don’t. You’re running on broken up sleep, dealing with nursing problems, figuring out a tiny human’s needs, changing a million poopy diapers daily, and barely have time to even take a shower, much less get dressed and try fitting back into your pre-pregnancy clothes.
And yes, that tiny human is 100% worth it, but sometimes it’s hard to feel that when it’s 2am and the baby is screaming and your nipples are raw and your emotions are shredded. And you know what? That’s okay. Because someday it will be a little easier, and you will start to enjoy the moments. There will be time to find the beauty in every day. I think motherhood is full of seasons, seasons that are different for every mother. Some seasons are full of hardship and emotion, some seasons are full of sunshine and happiness. And each season is necessary, and normal, and not going to last forever.
Sweater, belt, and headscarf, thrifted | heels, Target | jewelry subscription provided free of charge via Rocksbox – $19.99/mo| skirt provided free of charge via Choies (old)
Including this season of having unexpected back rolls and hips that don’t lie. 😉
What about you? Have you ever Photoshopped or thought about Photoshopping yourself? Are you in a season that you aren’t really enjoying?
And, by the way, I’m not saying that I’m against Photoshop – hey, sometimes you have the lumps or the zits that you just want to get rid of for the sake of a prettier picture, and that’s ok! It’s basically a computer’s form of makeup and spanx. But personally, while I’m on the road to postpartum health and sharing real life motherhood, I don’t think I will ever use it.
I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far!
And as always, if you want your very own month of Rocksbox for free, use the code eccentricowlblogxoxo to try it out! If it’s not your thing, you can cancel super easy. If it IS your thing, well then… you’re welcome!