I love this picture.
I love it because my husband took it.
He saw me walking in the water, and thought that I was beautiful in this moment.
I hate this picture.
I hate it because my body dysmorphorphia is so raging that all I see is saggy tits, flabby stomach, and huge thighs.
It's a terrible curse, inadvertently placed upon me by the one person who's sole responsibility is to love me no matter what.
Now, my mom has never once--not ever--not a single solitary time in my life, ever told me there was any issue with my body. In fact, she always commented on how perfect I am.
And how jealous she is of it.
Sometimes it seems like she can't get through a visit without complaining about her weight. Almost to the point of obsession. I look at her and say "Mom. You're beautiful. You're in your 60s. You've had 9 children. Your body looks exactly and perfectly the way that it should."
"I know, I know," she says. But I can tell she doesn't believe it.
I know the feeling.
I don't blame my mom at all. And we've had several discussions about it. When she realized what she was doing, she felt terrible. In her mind, telling her daughters they were beautiful was enough.
She didn't know that we were watching HER in the mirror, our beautiful mother, talk about things on her body that were "ugly" to her.
Flab. Jiggle. Loose skin. Cellulite.
So when we saw those same things in our own bodies, we only mimicked what we knew.
Goddamn, we need to stop this cycle.
If I had one wish, it would be to never let a single word reach my daughter's ears about how much I hate my body.
Because I can tell her all day about her perfect little legs. Her perfect little stomach. Her perfect little arms. But when she sees me in the mirror, huffing about cellulite, complaining about flab, and lamenting my un-toned arms, it's all for naught.
She will inherit my curse.
Just as I inherited it from my own mother, and she from hers.
My husband took this picture because he saw me and thought that I looked beautiful.
He thinks I am beautiful.
I am beautiful.
**shared with permission via World's Okayest Mom by Becky S. Relan