I was flipping through a magazine the other day full of expensive things that one may choose to purchase for their impending little one. As I flipped I came upon an advertisement from MILK. It featured a perfectly tanned, non-stretchmarked "sexy" body of a pregnant woman advertising maternity undies and bra. Initially, as one is supposed to, I thought, "Oh she's beautiful. If only I had those undies." Then I pictured my pregnant body in reality; a glowingly white, alien brains for a belly, flabby thighs and arms, and general puffiness kind of body. I felt a flush of shame, (also, I think, the general intent of those ads). Then, I felt raging anger. Here I am, in a time of my life when growing larger is entirely out of my hands, it's a good thing, a sign of my miracle and gift to be able to carry another little Loftis, feeling shame that I am "ugly". Now there is a reason I no longer read Cosmo, or any of those other "10 ways you're too fat and ugly" magazines. I realized a long time ago that that is never going to be my reality. That looking at how fat and ugly I am has never helped me to be more beautiful or thin. I have also avoided parenting magazines for the same reason. I get so tired of being reminded how I don't measure up. My children are not potty trained by the time they are 6 months, in fact, my 16 month old is not even walking yet (pause for shock) and my 3 year old is not toilet trained yet.
In reading that magazine and seeing that image, I felt like my safe place, my feeble self-image and confidence had been invaded. It made me angry that once again, I was not measuring up. Once again, even in the midst of pregnancy, I was too fat and ugly. Then it dawned on me, I AM fat and ugly. Pregnancy is not sexy. I have NEVER seen a pregnant woman and thought to myself "Wow! She's so sexy!" I mostly look and think that "Oh, She looks cute for being pregnant." Pregnancy mutates our bodies, it damages bladders, causes yeast infections, dental decay, nose bleeds, stretch marks (which by the way are NOT the cause of a lack of hygiene, but simply genes which some of us are lucky enough to have been given), flabby bellies, hemorrhoids, and a myriad of other very UN-sexy things. Pregnancy does not make me feel beautiful, and definitely not sexy.
Pregnancy has, however, given me many things which make me value even this fat and ugly time. I have been gifted with two children, and two healthy pregnancies. Pregnancy does make me feel feminine, as I defy any real man to bear a child. I have come to appreciate my femininity and role in my world, thanks to my super-human ability to make people from nothing but another cell. So although I have failed in so many ways, I can make people. And that's pretty awesome. My maternity undies campain would include swollen women with stretch-marks, pregnancy pimples and capes! Super hero capes! Because pregnancy is not sexy (we all know that) but it is SUPER human!