Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Perfection

A couple of weeks ago we had an awesome presentation for our YW about body image and how women are portrayed in the media. It really got me thinking, especially when Kylie came home the other day and said, "I wish my thighs were as skinny as Emma's". I was shocked. That was something I never thought I would hear out of my 6 year old's mouth. Then a few days later I asked Jayden if he liked his new teacher at school and he said, "no, her stomach is too fat". Once again, I was totally shocked. Even at such young ages, they can already sense the pressure to be "perfect". The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is nothing "perfect" about the size zero image that is being portrayed. It's more than just being happy with who you are and loving yourself despite your imperfections (because heaven knows I'm not in love with my love handles), to me it's more about not denying yourself of a fulfilling life while on your quest for a perfect body. It's learning to love life and live it to the fullest. When I die (not trying to be morbid here, it's just a fact of life), I don't want people to come to my viewing and say, "wow, now that's a girl who lived off bean sprouts and had a permanent residence at the gym". No, instead I want people to look at me and say, "now that's a girl who really enjoyed life". I want them to look at my "not size zero" body and think of all those birthday cakes I enjoyed, all the pounds of cookie dough I ate while baking cookies with my kids, all the pizza I consumed during family movie nights, all the bean burritos and Fettucini Alfredo I devoured while on dates with Jason and all the donuts I ate while doing donut runs with Jayden. I want them to look at all the freckles and my far from perfect skin and think of all the memorable family vacations we took to the beach and all the days spent out in the sun playing at the park or swimming in the pool with the kids. I want them to look at the bags under my eyes and think of all the nights I lost out on beauty sleep because I was up with a crying baby or sick kids or just stayed up way too late watching TV and movies with Jason. I want them to look at the wrinkles on my face and think of all those years I spent laughing. I want them to see my scars and think of all the wild and crazy things I did--ha, ha! Who am I kidding, I'm such a whimp. But I may have a few battle wounds from my wilder snowboarding, motorcycle riding (riding, not driving) days :). I want them to look at my non-washboard abs and think how grateful I was to be able to give birth to my beautiful children. I want them to look at my not so perfectly manicured nails and realize that I would much rather have had Kylie give me a pedicure during one of our "girl parties" than have it done by a professional. I want them to look at my flat chest and realize, oh wait...I'm still hoping for my implants some day, so let's just not go there. I mostly just want them to look at me and remember that I loved unconditionally, laughed uncontrollably and lived undeniably. Perfection is overrated.

15 comments:

Jodee said...

Well said Jame! I can't believe they already have to deal with crap like that! I pray every day that Madison will love herself and the beautiful body she was given. It's so hard for girls these days. You are such a great mommy, those kids are lucky to have you and your "imperfections".

nicole said...

Jamie- i LOVE this post. I was actually thinking something like that the other day, and you have now inspired me to do a blog about it. Jayden's comment made me laugh though, just cause I love how honest kids are :)

Bunch of Brooks' said...

I agree. I've even had to deal with this with Riley. The boys at school all share their weight and with him being tall and a string bean he is always telling me he wants to get "fatter". If only he knew how lucky he was to have the body he has. I have to try and explain the whole thing about being OK with who we are and what we look like;even if it's not what we think "perfect" is!

Janessa said...

Amen, sister! (Hey, you really are my sister even!) If we cared, I would point out that you have a pretty close to perfect body already (minus the chest factor) so you just keep livning life to the fullest and know that you look hot while you're doing it:) Seriously, I dont' know how to teach our kids,especially the girls, to be healthy but to not worry about their body image. Abby already says things like, "Do you you think I'm fat?" It just breaks my heart to hear her worrying about things like that at such a young age. You have such a way with words. Thanks for the laugh and Jamie wisdom!

Angie Whitman said...

Loved this post. I wish I could of made it to this. I heard about it being done in Seville ward and how great it was. Its funny how I've begun to appreciate my stretch marks even because they were part of being pregnant and having my kids. I don't think they'll ever be pretty, but I appreciate them for what they show. How I know for sure, 3 times now I unselfishly gave of myself to become a mother.

Nichols Family said...

I loved that presentation. Thanks for sharing your insights to it also! I'm so sorry about your foot! Ouch! Hope you're feeling better soon. Oh and also, Tyler had Sis. G. last year in Primary. She's the BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

marcee said...

Okay, I seriously have tears in my eyes right now! (I need to write about that night myself.) Thanks for your take on it and being REAL. It's all so true. We won't look back when we are old and saggy and say, "Man, I wish I'd spent more of my time in the gym." It's our memories and relationships that will matter the most.

Alisa Larson said...

Amen sista! I'm glad you mentioned this post so that you won't be judging MY thighs on our trip! :-)

The Morris Fam said...

Amen!!! So you totally brought tears to my eyes... okay it may be because I'm menstrating, but seriously... you are right on the money. My mom was always (and still is) way too critical about her body and looks and I really hope (with my loving husband's encouragement) that I don't do the same thing and have my kids so worried. I always say this, but you are an amazing mom and I love you to death!

The Albertson's said...

Jamie, your soooo funny and honest. I was cracking up at the comment from Jayden, he is so funny too. Your right, perfection is way over rated and we should all live life like it could be over tomorrow. Miss having you as my neighbor! Love, Kelli

Please tell Heidi that I am always thinking of her and wish I could take her pain away like a nurse should be able to do. We should take her to lunch someday soon.

Chelsea said...

that was a really good enrichment! thanks for making me go. well said, all of it. I'll be making sure I suck in my gut next time Jayden sees me.

Julie and Matt said...

You are so cute, Jamie. What a profound way to say it like it should be. We really need to enjoy life and not be so concerned with our bodies. I sure love ya Jamie!

PS Thanks for letting Mia participate in those pedicures.

WishTrish said...

So well put. Love it, Jamie!

Amber! said...

I taught a very similar lesson on Sunday in YW (though it was not nearly as thought provoking!). I love the book by Elder Holland and Susan Tanner, "Modesty, Makeover, and the Pursuit of Perfection." It has helped me tremendously in how I think of myself (though I need a bit of an oomph with my post baby body. I'm working on it, though!)

Amber! said...

I taught a very similar lesson on Sunday in YW (though it was not nearly as thought provoking!). I love the book by Elder Holland and Susan Tanner, "Modesty, Makeover, and the Pursuit of Perfection." It has helped me tremendously in how I think of myself (though I need a bit of an oomph with my post baby body. I'm working on it, though!)