Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What's Your Superpower?

My best friend, Julia, complains on occasion about her body.  She’s had three babies via C-section in the last 4 years and breast-fed them all.  The youngest is now six weeks old.

For a few weeks now, I have been asking her to write a paragraph or two about her views on body image.  As you can imagine, writing something for my blog is not high on her list of priorities.  So, I’ve listened to what she’s said and attempted to recreate her voice and view.  (Yes, she has given me permission to write about her.  Don’t worry- I won’t publish any private conversations that I may have with you.)

Creating and carrying life for nine months is nothing short of a miracle.  Then, being able to nourish that baby from your own breasts- that is also a beautiful and distinctly female gift that should not be undervalued.  But, we all know how much our culture values ‘perfection,’ thinness, and appearance.  And if you live in this appearance-obsessed world, no matter how much you value your ability to create and sustain life, loving your post-body baby can still be a challenge.  No one is excited about stretched-out stomach skin, saggy breasts, and the addition of spider and varicose veins.  

Julia said she saw a bumper sticker once that made her feel better.  She now reminds herself of this bumper sticker when she starts feeling bad about her body.  There on the back of a car was her new mantra: “I make milk, what’s your superpower?”


  1. LOL! Good bumpersticker! I had NINE (9) babies, although I admit to not breastfeeding all of them. As for the body image.......there is no image....just body. I'm 66 years old, with nine children, 3 stepchildren, 24 grandchldren and 6 great grandchildren. How does THAT look as an image?? lol

  2. body image is a tough subject to voice aloud. kudos to julia and you for sharing her story. pregnancy is crazy because it truly does feel like your body is being hijacked and takes forever to get back even postpartum it's not the same. and maybe that's not the point, but in society and what our inner voice tells us it's to the contrary. i love my body now because after all it's the only one i'll get and so far it works pretty good.