Sew Paradise

What’s body confidence?

I have a five year old and yesterday after a pool party with friends she asked me why I wanted to lose weight. I said that I did not, but that I had some fat around my middle that I wanted to go away. She asked why. I said that having fat around your tummy is not good for your heart. That I wanted to eat more vegetables and exercise because those were things that were good for me. I’m discovering that my words – even when she is five – are powerful. I need to, want to teach my daughter that it’s who she is and what she can do that defines her. Not her looks, her weight, her hair color or anything else. Her brains, her intellect, and her abilities.

Here’s a great article about a mom posting about shopping for suits for herself and her early-gradeschool daughters. And why magazines should ‘keep it real’ for at least one photo in their magazine per month that is not retouched.

I brought a bikini on my vacation for the first time since I had my son two years ago. I’m not really even sure I wore one after my daughter’s birth five years ago. But I love this one – it’s a string tie bikini in turquise with white schools of fish on it. My mom suggested the bottom was too small. I countered with “I look great in a bikini and I think it fits perfectly”. It does. In Brazil, I’d have a gaggle of men following my rear. In Miami, where we lived for six years (or I did at least for six), we had women from all over the world. You really have a chance to see how hung up we are on body image here in the U.S. by seeing women of other cultures at the beach. I spent my twenties there, and I have to say, that changed my outlook on what’s beautiful.

They simply don’t have the same issues as we do about perceived faults. Grannies in two piece suits, mamas chasing toddlers with postpartum bellies in full view.

I work in the design business and for several years in South Florida, I designed and produced a swimwear catalog for a client. This client would get models – not supermodels but nice looking women of all sizes – and photograph them. And then we would Photoshop them. 10% weight loss? no problem, cellulite? inadequate bikini line shaving? no issues there either. Between the ‘chicken cutlets’ used in their tops and the sticky tape used in their bottoms, we had those models perfect, but you wouldn’t want to go down a waterpark slide with your kids dressed like that!

My body is not perfect. It  grew and birthed two beautiful, amazing miraculous children. This body borne of years of loss, of great expense and perseverance, of two very high risk pregnancies. I birthed them without anesthesia, and I nursed both (still nursing one) with this body. I’m very confident in it’s performance. It never lets me down. I ride, bike, run, swim, chase kids and nurse a child, still.

I think that’s what this confidence is. My 5 year old didn’t look at this body and say “mama you shouldn’t wear a bikini.”

She looked and with careful observation said “I like your suit. It has fishies on it.”

By paradise

I'm Ann. I've been sewing since I was 9. My first project was a denim wrap skirt. Thrifting is a way of life for me - both eco-chic and financially savvy.

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