I remember before I had kids I would see women 10 years after high school or college. After they’d had children. I used to wonder, what happened to her? They looked-different. It was as if their hair wasn’t kept up and they’d put on weight. They looked tired. How naive. I get it now. Part of it is age. But after you have kids alot of things change. We look like (gasp) Moms!
My parents were hippies. Despite my pleading, begging, and guilt tripping, they still refused to buy me Barbie. They didn’t want me to think that beauty meant big boobs and blonde hair. So instead, I had a misfit cast of dolls: a black doll whose perfectly sheened afro I insisted on combing out. Then there was the Bionic Woman, who was like 2 inches taller than the other dolls, one arm donning a panel which housed her bionic parts. And rounding out the group was Skipper. Flat chested, stick straight hair, and legs that wouldn’t bend no matter what. What a pool party that was.
So why do I, do any of us, get caught up in conventional beauty, continually asking, Do I look like a mom in this?
Maybe, because our physical selves have …shifted a bit. Which alters our ego…perhaps? Like shoe shopping at one of those warehouses. Seriously, some of those places have gotta have 3000 pair of shoes. If you go there and can’t find shoes you either A. really didn’t look, or B. your feet are a size15. But seriously, a strappy stiletto? So not gonna happen. My ankle fat would ooze outta that like cookie dough forced through a strainer. And size does matter. I’m a 10. On one foot. Mysteriously, since childbirth my left foot is an eleven. Shoe shopping is about as painful as finding a two-piece bathing suit. The same size never fits both parts, and something’s always hanging out.
Way before muffin tops became fashionable, cute was all we needed for jeans. Now? It’s all about the comfort, but we don’t dare get anything that could fall into the category of, well, you know-MOM PANTS!
There are plenty of styles to pick from. There are the ones that have the mock rips and acid wash on them. I just can’t bring myself to pay for something torn and void of color. I’m pretty certain you can get the same effect with a lawn mower and half a bottle of bleach.
Skinny jeans? Worst fashion concept ever! Those should come with a disclaimer that reads, “THESE JEANS ARE SKINNY, WHEREAS YOU MAY NOT BE.” Skinny jeans are only good for kicking off yeast infections, cutting off your circulation mid-calf, and lowering sperm counts.
Oooohhh bedazzled jeans are tempting aren’t they, with their blingy decorations adorning the pockets. But those faux rhinestones and bright embroidery are like a magnet for people’s eyes. And my butt really doesn’t need that kind of attention. Sadly, it’s just not that nice.
Ahhh…then there’s Gloria Vanderbilt. Her son is Anderson Cooper, and who doesn’t love him, right? Okay, so that brand hasn’t really been big since the 80’s but the tag on the front reads “LOOK SLIMMER”. Now we’re talking. I mean, they don’t say you’ll look skinny, but instead “slimmer”. That just sounds realistic. Like a nice way of saying “You won’t look great, but you won’t look so bad either.”
It probably doesn’t help that the dressing rooms are often filled with girls half your age, chatting away about their bodies. “Look at your boobs! I’m so jealous-they’re perfect. I hate you!” I hate you too and I didn’t even get to see your boobs. Nothing makes you question your boobs more than being surrounded by three mirrors to give you that full frontal view.
Here is how I imagine my dolls conversing today:
“I am so glad I stopped relaxing my hair. My curls are awesome!”
“Yes they are! Did I tell you I’m the spokeswoman for People with Bionic Parts? People look up to me for more than one reason now!”
“That is so cool. Yeah, I don’t care if my knees don’t bend. I just joke and say, ‘At least I won’t have to get them replaced!’ ”
“You all inspire me. I finally stopped getting upset about blonde jokes. I mean if I am so stupid how come I was able to build an empire in my name with 200 variations of me? A pool, a car…a townhouse. Right?”
Do I look like a Mom? What does a Mom look like? Do we look a bit different than before we had kids? Maybe. But we are moms. So wear what you want even if you have to use Spanx. And a special bra. And possibly some industrial style hosiery and duct tape. But embrace the skin you’re in; stretch marks, arthritic knees, and saggy boobs. They’re all part of the fabric of who and what we are as we maneuver the journey of motherhood. Just remember looking like a mom is hard work. Heck yeah, you do look like a Mom.