It’s been three years since I’ve given birth. I envisioned I would reduce back down to my previous figure, with the consumption of seaweed and cigarettes. Alas, the pouch remains.
It’s the thing that makes all my outfits look lumpy as fuck, like I’m smuggling a deflated rubber ring into various establishments. It’s the little ingredient that makes swimwear shopping so hard. No matter how much weight I lose it’s always there, hanging over my jeans like a droopy lip. I swear at it, pinch at it, bind it up in corsets, I abuse it daily. It doesn’t get the hint.
Yes, it’s a tribute to my beautiful sons. My Mumma Kangaroo Brownie badge, but I still fucking hate it. I dream of lipo. I’m twenty-six and my abdomen looks like an old man’s bollocks.
Oh I’ve been on Netmums. I know the truth. “You can’t get rid of it!” They chorus in unison. I have resigned to my fate unwillingly.
I dread the day of the “big reveal” when the guy who I’m dating recoils in horror. Damn, he thought I was hot. No such luck. He will have to peel back a layer of loose skin to access my utensils.
The stretch marks, or “tiger stripes” as some women like to call them are a large obstacle to wearing two piece bathing suits. I’ve spent a small fortune on Bio-oil, there was no point.
The breasts, slightly more south than I would like. I can still create a cleavage however, which is great news.
Pregnancy does to your body what Mike Tyson does to an opponent. I skidded out of the birthing room a stretched out, saggier version of myself.
I tell myself if I had a husband he wouldn’t have minded. The scars and the flab would remind him that I carried his children and brought them safely into the world. Now however, when I undress, I am opening a jar of bodily imperfections that remind someone the children I carried were not his.
It’s easy to say “fuck it” and read stories about loving oneself and looking at pictures of Amy Schumer naked. I like Amy Schumer, she’s an inspiration. However, I also like Emily Ratajowski and she looks like she stepped down from the heavens to grace womankind with crippling insecurity. I want to walk down the street without squishing myself into control pants, feeling self-conscious. Some days, I feel like a half- eaten battered sausage on a plate. Some days I don’t give a shit and wear something figure hugging.
Some aspects of being a female confuse me. For instance ; Why do the majority of clothes have 50% less material than ten years ago? Why don’t clothing companies consider bras? Why wear bras at all? Why is beauty a toned, tanned beauty without a mark on her body?
Unless someone wants to mail me some plastic surgery funds, my pouch is here to stay. So are the stretch marks, so are the southward facing tits. It’s no use telling me to love myself when the industry implies the contrary, or when some hot stud invites me on a date because he liked the look of a cleverly crafted Instagram photo.
I often stare at the back of my son’s head and feel sad for my vagina. He has a huge head.
This is just a message to say: it’s ok. You will have days where you feel less than worthy, you will sometimes cry in Topshop changing rooms. You will occasionally wish that a crop top will look good on you. You aren’t alone.
Maybe if we all get a good babysitter we can gym together or something.