Feeling Festive

Feeling Festive |     Feeling Festive |

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.

Feeling Festive |

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.

 Feeling Festive |

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.

Feeling Festive |

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.

Feeling Festive | Feeling Festive |

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.

Feeling Festive |

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!


Bloglovin|Facebook|Twitter|Pinterest|Instagram|Fiction Press|Etsy|Photography



  • Jamie Rose // Petite Panoply

    I really enjoy this festive outfit too and I think you look great in it! You definitely didn’t need to photoshop your body. Everyone has rolls somewhere and for just having a baby you look fantastic! I’ve never photoshopped my body shape – I feel like people can always tell when people do that – but I’ve gotten rid of a very distracting zit before! Usually I don’t care if my face looks perfect because it’s not, but if it’s going to distract from whatever close-up I’m showing, I’ll fix it!

    Jamie |

    • Eccentric Owl

      I think that’s the best way to use photoshop — to just take away anything that might get too distracting. I have photoshopped backgrounds before, or random stray hairs. But not body things — like you said, it could be way too obvious! 🙂

      Thanks Jamie!

  • Emily

    Great post! I feel like so many of us can identify with that feeling of being uncomfortable or surprised with what our bodies do at times, and I think it’s wonderful to be honest about it and put it out there. (Also can I just say that THE BACK FAT is totally a sore spot with me and my postpartum body. Back fat!! I hate it but I am trying to accept it and show it love … even though it’s hard.)

    And I love your idea about “seasons” of motherhood/life – it is such a great reminder that things ebb and flow, and are always changing. I look back on how my girl has changed, and how our relationship has changed, even in just these few years, and it’s amazing.

    • Eccentric Owl

      Ah, the dreaded back fat! It’s totally new to me and definitely the hardest thing to get used to postpartum, weirdly enough. I think because it’s SO hard to hide, I mean… anytime you wear a semi-fitted shirt, it likes to pop out and say hello. Sigh. Oh well!

      I think it really helps in the harder weeks (those first two weeks of post-baby, man) to think of it as just a season. It reminds me that it’s not going to last forever, just as the baby blues didn’t stick around as a constant.

  • Salazar

    First thing first: that cardigan is gorgeous. It would be amazing for a Christmas outfit.

    Second: I do use Photoshop on my photos on occasions, but it’s mostly to remove stains or wrinkles on my clothes or maybe a zit. I hear ya, it is tempting to do more sometimes, but I’d feel… icky. So I applaud your honesty. Besides, you always look awesome, so there’s no need for Photoshop, really.

    • Eccentric Owl

      I know! I’m making a Christmas skirt right now (I found AWESOME fabric at Goodwill and I’m so excited!!!) and it’s going to be absolutely perfect with this sweater!

      Yeah, I don’t have anything against using Photoshop — especially zits or wrinkles, totally understandable! I should probably ‘shop that bra line, but mostly I don’t care that much. Haha! And that’s what it is; I’d fell really dishonest if ever I did Photoshop my body.

  • SaraLily

    Girl, we’re twinsies! I have the same back fat that rolls over my belts and skirts. When I wear skirts, I usually wear a longline bra so the bra helps smooth that area out but it’s just something we have to accept! I call my back fat my Wings. They’re the bane of my existance after my chubby arms. I refrain from photoshopping. This is me, world! I am petite but I’ve got rolls! Haha

    Also, FYI, if I am honest, when you fore-warned us that the next image made you cringe, I stopped at the photo to see if I could spot what made you cringe and before I read your explanation of what you didn’t like, I scanned the photo numerous times, unsure of what it could be! So it just goes to show you that the things we see, others don’t! Until you pointed out the nursing bra line, my eyes didn’t even pause at it! We’ve gotta chill and give ourselves a little credit. We’re too hard on ourselves!!

    • Eccentric Owl

      It kind of reminds me of that video where Buzzfeed asks men what they think of thigh gaps. And none of them can remember whether any of the women they dated actually had any thigh gaps.

      Hey, we just have more to be loved, right? It’s so true that we’re always harder on ourselves than other people are (and kind of a relief!). I mean, I never notice the things you mentioned are your own flaws, either!

  • Kadi

    I agree with SaraLily! I looked for the cringeworthy part of the picture but didn’t see it! We are so hard on ourselves! And the closeup of your top just looks like a shirt wrinkle! I did notice the bra line, though. 😉

    • Eccentric Owl

      It’s so true! I think any sort of body change that we aren’t used to tends to stick out hard in our own eyes — I’ve always had hips and a belly, but back fat is new to me so I notice it more!
      I need to find a bra without that stupid seam there; it shows in ALL of my clothes even if I wear an undershirt!