Clear a path. The opinion volcano that is about to pour out of me is not predictable. I'm like a feminist lawn sprinkler over here, flaming bras and Sylvia Plath novels just shooting out of me into the sidewalk. Harmless, to be sure, but on. Look. I've had it with the parenting blogs of the female persuasion and their preoccupation with tearing their bodies apart. It goes beyond hygiene jokes. This is self-hate. And it has to stop.
Dear ladies of the Internet who write blog posts about your "sharting vassholes" and elephant vaginas. Stop it already. I've had enough. Your self-hating is becoming my self-hating and the self-hating of a future generation of lady babies who read the Internet. Specifically, I am referring to the Scary Mommy guest post by "Anna" about the "10 Parts Of Myself I Don't Recognize After Childbirth". This theme of the-grosser-the-better blog posts welling up like a wave of body shame recently has officially jumped the shark. Here are a few delightful excerpts:
"You might call yours a vagina, but I made the mistake of taking a hand mirror down there for some post-childbirth exploration, and all I saw was a giant, weary elephant looking back at me. Sometimes I have nightmares that he’s trying to eat me."
Really. You're vagina's a "he" now and destroying you? I did some hand-mirroring, too, after I had my first baby and I remember thinking, "how does it look so normal after that ordeal?" Answer: Your vagina was meant to give birth like your teeth were meant to chew. What, you're going to mash all your food with your fingers now so you never run the risk of having to brush your teeth? This is no way to live! Moving on . . .
"Now that my breastfeeding days are over, my breasts have been replaced by dried out, shriveled up baby carrots."
Baby carrots? I'm reaching to understand this association. Week-old beefsteak tomatoes with plenty of delicious bruschetta ahead? Maybe. Carrots make me think of Frosty's nose. I still can't gather the connection of carrots to breasts and I've breastfed nearly two years of my life.
"I didn’t even know I had a perineum until it was destroyed by three vaginal births. And apparently – I have a SHORT perineum – which means that I tore from hole to hole during each childbirth – resulting in a giant vasshole. And vassholes produce a lot of sharts - trust me."
That's it. This is war. You're just inventing crap at this point.
Look, I get that you're a funny lady. Maybe you have some altruistic intent that if you make your suffering known, then we can all laugh and feel better about ourselves. Or maybe, like with any crippling self-criticism, it just feels good to let it out. See also: Bald guys who are always talking about being bald and fat people who make fat jokes. When it's done well, you're a fat guy in a little coat. Congratulations. I'm not a bald guy or a Chris Farley, I'm a woman who has given birth and I have a problem with graphic humor at the expense of the female body. I don't care if it's your body you're reaming. When you ream you, you're reaming me and reaming the rest of us. We're SISTERS, BITCH. And no, I did not just come in from a drum circle.
Why shaming your own body is not okay:
1. Fear-mongering. I can't stand fear-mongering of motherhood and aging. I'm creeping up there, getting a little closer to 40 and further from 30 every single day and I'm determined to face aging with grace. Damnit. You fucker. So don't ruin this for me by inventing weird new configurations of your lady parts that magically ruin your life a split second past the two-baby mark.
Sometimes I consider having a third child, but after I read that Scary Mommy post, I had a momentary freak-out like some seventh-grader afraid of getting her period. Am I really going to get varicose veins that snag on the coffee table?! Is my vagina really going to turn into an elephant!? For a moment I actually reconsidered my family plans based on this false menace to my vanity. And that's me! A woman in her 30's who has given birth in the broad light of day! If I feel that way after reading this post, how do young women feel? They're probably calling their asshole-bleaching professionals right now and asking about any specials running on the Permanent Vagina Stitch.
You know what? Parenting and growing older ain't all cake and roses. You learn a lot about yourself when you're holding your own knees back to force a human out of your body. But there is nothing greater than the joy and love of motherhood. Do not be afraid of motherhood, girls. Do not be afraid of life. I should tattoo that in Chinese symbols in my tramp stamp area just so you know I mean business.
2. Self-hate perpetuates self-hate. I see you don't like your legs. Making fun of your stomach fat feels cathartic, but when did you learn to hate yourself? And why are you teaching other people to hate their bodies? When I was just a wee little High Gloss (a Low Gloss, if you will) I sat on the floor and watched my mamaw take a shower. She looked different than me. She was all dimples and lumpy bits topped off with a generous, unapologetic smile. I didn't consider whether she had perfect thighs or judge her against Glamour Magazine editorials. She was brilliant and funny and knew everything I wanted to know about life. Poop? Oh, that's just nature! The bits of her skin on her hands that I squeezed and pulled? That was beautiful. She told me how gorgeous she was every chance she got. Not how gorgeous she had been, but how gorgeous she was that day. Now I've got a few lumps and puckers myself but if this body was good enough for her, it's going to be good enough for me too.
Now take all that and call it an elephant crotch that gives us nightmares of eating us alive and years of building our self-esteem goes up in smoke for a cheap laugh. Ha.
Some people cry tears of happiness when they read posts like the 10 Things on Scary Mommy. My friend Tracey said, "When we pause and see another woman being honest it reminds us to relax a little on the self attacks." I find this interesting because the only message I get when I read graphic, self-reaming articles is that I should be afraid to grow old. Don't have babies! You'll be disgusting! Don't grow old! You'll be a pariah! Is this really honesty anyway? I'd like any women who have had three or more babies to confirm this "vasshole" phenomenon. Seriously, are women just coming home from the hospital with one giant, leaking hole down south? I don't think so*.
I don't want a generation of women to be afraid of giving birth or growing old. It's called "growing" old for a reason, because we grow. Life is precious and beautiful no matter how short or how long. When we endure childbirth and are rewarded with a baby, we're going to get a few dings on our fenders. Big deal. I'll never be 25 again. I was never the prom queen to begin with and I sure as hell am not walking the run way now, lest you think I'm above all the criticism "Anna" has of her body. The truth is, I feel just as crappy which is why it made me so mad. We all have lumps! We all have dings! There is just no reason to magnify the madness and assign names like, "elephant crotch" to our body parts. Our husbands manage to do it with us, don't they? We must not be that terrible. Don't insult your husband's wife like that! You're GORGEOUS.
Also? I'm oddly in the mood for elephant ears.
*Unless you consider all the ladies in Africa getting circumcised and then later having "blocked births," a complication of which can lead to leaking poo the rest of their lives. Stay away from the Google!
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