Beach Mom

I don’t think I could possibly write anything better than what this gorgeous #LRPBoudieBeauty did, so let’s kick it right over to her:

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“When I was little, I never understood why mom didn’t play with me at the beach. Covered head-to-toe in clothing, she sat in a chair and watched from afar as my dad, sister, brother, and I ran around like heathens basking in the glory of the sand, water, and sun. She was reserved, quiet, and visibly upset at times. I knew she loved the beach. I had heard stories from when she was a teenager of her being on the water skiing team; the hours she spent there in her bikini, covered in baby-oil tanning and hanging out with friends. The first time she met my dad, they were at the beach.

Away from that situation, she was such a different person – the mom that all of my friends confided in and stopped by the house to see. The woman who would throw parties for hundreds of people at a time and enjoyed every minute of it. This is the women that if she wanted to do something, she did it. Small business owner; teacher; solver of life-problems and homework helper – check. Why on earth was beach-mom so different? And why did beach-mom show up when we went shopping?

When I was fourteen and at the beach in my bikini, my boyfriend’s mother told me that I had an “amazing figure”, but that I was going to need to watch my butt and thighs. Per her, they were going to be my “problem area” if I didn’t watch out. She also added that she could already see the beginning signs of cellulite. At that moment, my fourteen-year-old-self turned into beach-mom and I got it.

Over the years, I have missed out on so many wonderful opportunities and not fully participated because I was too worried about how my body looked to other people. I have starved myself to fit into current clothing trends and told myself that if I didn’t fit back into a size six, I wasn’t worth it. Entire days and weeks have been ruined because the scale wasn’t at my perfect number. I have shied away from pictures with family celebrating beautiful moments because I always thought I looked fat in pictures.

The first time I told my inner beach-mom to fuck-off was when my daughter turned three. A woman came up to my blonde, curly-haired daughter and said, “You have gorgeous curly hair. You’re going to hate it and wish it was straight when you’re older.” That’s all it took for my daughter to start worrying about her appearance. After getting over the initial rage of someone saying that to my child, I began thinking about the way I view myself and the amount of self-worth I put into how my body looks. How can I tell my daughter not to care what someone else thinks about her appearance when my entire self-worth was wrapped up in my own? In that moment, that’s when I decided that enough was enough.

 I have lost so much time and energy focusing on how I look and never once given myself credit for the woman I am. I am fun. I am smart. I am a loyal friend. I am an amazing wife. I am a caring sister and daughter. I am a speech pathologist. I am strong. I am healthy. I have put myself through graduate school while working a full-time and part-time job. I have led and served on community boards. I have run races and traveled all over the world. I have birthed two children.  I have been and am the woman that my husband and children seek comfort from and with whom they want to share their accomplishments and secrets. None of those things have anything to do with how I look.

I am not saying that my inner beach-mom doesn’t pop-up from time to time, because that bitch pops up when I least expect her. It’s just now, I know that my body isn’t who I am and no one that is important to me cares what size I am currently wearing or if I have a gut at the beach. Those large thighs, big butt and boobs, stretchmarks, cellulite, and rolls have taken me places I could never imagined and have let me do the most amazing things. After almost forty years, I am proud of my body and proud of me. I want the woman that Lindsay captured to be the woman my daughter remembers – the fierce, bold, confident woman who was just simply happy with herself.” ~S

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Hair and makeup by Erin Marie Artistry