What are your thoughts? Are children being duped by the fashion industry with unrealistic (maybe some would even say unhealthy) standards?
by Nikki Pennington | staff writer for The Snap Mom
Dear Victoria Secret Models,
I saw all the commotion on Facebook about your upcoming fashion show earlier this year. I will be honest, I watched it a few years ago. My oldest son walked in the room, and I immediately changed the channel. It’s not the fact that he is seeing women in bathing suits that bothers me. It’s the fact that he is seeing something that unrealistic in that bathing suit.
I am the young mother of three boys under the age of five. I have had one natural birth and two c-sections. My stomach is far from flat; it has a scar that would show very visibly in your bikini bottoms. I have stretch marks from lovingly carrying each of my children. I have breasts that hang much lower from hormones and nursing, and they would never fit your bathing suit tops the way yours do. My hips are much wider, and there is no sign of a pelvic bone to be found. My skin does not have a golden glow; I don’t have much time for laying out poolside these days.
Your hair and makeup looks flawless as you walk down the runway in your bathing suit and heels. I rarely get time to shower and do my hair. I don’t spend my money on fancy makeup because I would rather buy something for my children. Besides, I do not have time to put on makeup most days. Your legs also appear to be shaved. Not only do I rarely get to shower, I don’t take extra time for shaving every time I bathe.
I do not want my son to see how you girls appear in the catalogue and on the runway.
It isn’t real.
I do not want my son to have specific expectations of beauty so that he misses out on finding out the meaning of a truly beautiful woman. A beautiful woman doesn’t have to be flawless: she has scars, stretch marks, wide hips, a postpartum stomach that is far from flat and doesn’t always have her hair and makeup done. A beautiful woman may wear one-piece bathing suits and certainly doesn’t wear heels to the pool. I don’t want him to look at his own mother and question why I am not up to par with the fashion models. I want him to know that a beautiful woman is one that carries her children without worrying about the aftermath on her body. Her body doesn’t define her beauty.
So, Victoria’s Secret model, we will pass on watching you walk down the runway in heels and a tiny two-piece that would not cover my big toe. I will let my sons continue to think that my not-size-zero hips, unwashed hair, no makeup, and stretch marks are part of what makes me beautiful.
About the author:
Nikki is a stay at home mom to three high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey.