A mum’s top tips for feeling better about the way you look naked
Mums: How do you feel about the way you look without your clothes on?
My husband seems blissfully unaware that my body has gone through so much change. To him, my breasts are just as fun as they ever were. My round, soft belly he declares “sexy” I’m relieved that it doesn’t bother him, but I also think he’s nuts. I bet 90% of you know exactly how I feel at times. People love to give lip service to the idea that mother’s bodies are beautiful, life-giving, wondrous, magical. Our partners tell us we’re desirable and hot. And we want to believe they mean it.
So this post is not going to feed you any platitudes about focusing on the wonder of your life-giving body. We all know we should be doing that. And we all know that when it comes right down to it, while we love our children dearly and wouldn’t trade them for anything, all the magic and milk and gestational wonder in the world doesn’t make us feel hot when we take off our clothes.
Weight is just one common issue, of course: throw in a saggy tummy or stretch marks or uneven breasts or a c-section scar and we are bombarded with not-so-pretty realities of our own no-longer-smooth, no-longer-perfect bodies. I have completely gotten over covering up in the bedroom and made a ton of progress, and am able to override those negative thoughts and feel pretty good about the way I look. I want to offer a few ideas for real, concrete things I’ve done that have helped me grow to accept – and most days love – the body I have, rather than wishing for the one I’ve long since left behind.
So here they are: A mums top 5 tips for feeling better about the way you look naked…starting today.
1) Look around you at real-life couples.
Have you ever looked at the couples around you? If not do it tomorrow on the way to work, or on your lunch. You’ll see women with voluptuous tummies matched up with hunky, built dudes. Thin, waifish girls with large, beefy fellas, because when you really look at people, they’re all imperfect in their own way. Rarely are both members of a couple equally conventionally good-looking, but you can tell when they’re obviously attracted to one another. It just goes to show you that:-
- a) people are attracted to all kinds of people; therefore,
- b) all kinds of people are attractive.
Do some people-watching and let that idea sink in for a bit.
2) Take some good pictures.
My husband snapped this photo on a whim during a recent sexy moment, when I saw it, I loved it. It’s not that I think of myself as unattractive; it’s just that I’m not often caught in such a flattering pose, at a flattering angle, with flattering lighting. Most amazing is that the picture really seems to capture the way he feels about the way I look. When I look at that picture it hits home that that is how he sees me all the time. If you don’t feel comfortable asking your partner to take a pic and hiring a photographer isn’t in the budget, check out these tips for taking sexy selfies by photographer Casey Mullins.
3) Find a body part you like.
There is a part of your body that you could like if you just found a way to appreciate it. Maybe it’s not even one that you catch a glimpse of in the mirror all that often. I never thought much about my bum one way or the other until my husband made it very. clear. that it’s his favorite part of my body. If you are so deep in body insecurity right now that you can’t pick out your best features, ask a friend or your partner to point them out for you. And when they tell you that you’ve got great legs or cleavage or hips, believe them.
4) Spend some time with yourself in your underwear.
Undressing as quickly as you possibly can so that you can jump in the shower without catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror is not an effective way to become enamored with the real body you have now: particularly if your figure went through large and rapid changes, you need to give yourself a chance to get used to it again.
Put on a pair of sexy, well-fitting undies and a bra and spend some time in front of a mirror, just looking at yourself without judgment.
The more comfortable you get with the way you look right now, the more you’ll be able to recognize the best parts of yourself and the better you’ll feel about getting out of those clothes in front of someone else.
5) Look at your full you.
We pick apart features one by one, seeing ourselves not as a whole but as a collection of disjointed, messed-up parts. No wonder it’s so hard to recognize our bodies as something lovable just as it is – we’re zeroed right in on the few square inches we wish we could change.
So when you’re trying exercise 4 or looking at the photo from number 2, keep your eyes moving. Don’t let your eyes rest on your stretch marks or your bra bulge. You are not your stretch marks or your uneven nipples, you are a full person – legs, torso, face, voice, personality, you are a so much better than the sum of your parts.
Be patient and keep trying.
The biggest thing that’s allowed me to accept my mum body is the passage of time. Partly that’s because some of the initial changes lessen over time – skin does tighten back up to some extent; stretch marks do fade. But partly, I think, it’s because I’ve just had some years now to settle into this new version of myself. Confidence is sexy, Feeling sexy is sexy, Having sex is sexy.
In other words, sexy is something you do and someone you are, much more than it is the way you look.