I saw the most beautiful woman today… and that woman was ME.

After having six children in less than ten years and struggling with obesity (even after losing 75lbs I’m still on the “overweight” side of the height/weight charts), it’s been a long, long time since I’ve considered myself beautiful.  I can actually remember the last time (the last moment, in fact) that I felt really pretty, and that was back in college.  I just don’t look in the mirror and see someone beautiful staring back at me, especially now with my grand multipara tummy and grand lactiferous [email protected]  ;)  Just yesterday, in fact, I was looking at picture ideas for today’s Celebrating Marriage photo session wondering if I’ll ever have a flat belly again, and lamenting the fact that I’ll never have the body “of my youth” again, no matter how much weight I lose.  Sometimes I find myself wondering if I’ll ever feel beautiful again.

(Which leads me to the reason I’m writing this…)

Today, our Celebrating Marriage photo session was with a friend who is also a breastfeeding mom of six children.  She and I have very similar body types and are both at a similar place in our weight loss journey.

And she is beautiful.

I don’t mean that she isn’t bad looking, I mean she is absolutely, completely, stunningly beautiful.

The whole time we were taking her pictures, I was trying to be mindful of the areas I knew she was self-conscious about.  Mainly, the area’s I’m also self-conscious about, such as the tummy and [email protected] and little rolls on the sides… you ladies know what I’m talking about!  But by the end of the session, I couldn’t help but take some pictures where hands and legs and blankets weren’t strategically positioned to cover these parts because standing before me, tummy and all, was one of the most beautiful women I’d ever seen.

I didn’t expect to feel that way.  I didn’t expect to look at a body so much like my own and see something so stunningly beautiful.  I didn’t expect to come away from today’s session really believing my husband when he says I’m beautiful.  I didn’t expect to lay down beside him tonight feeling completely uninhibited and unashamed.  I didn’t expect to feel… well… sexy.

It took a friend’s courage (because lets face it: no matter what you look like it takes raw courage to stand in front of a camera, naked!) and willingness to intimately reveal herself to show me…

I am beautiful.


Thank you, my friend, for having the courage to be vulnerable and for trusting me in such an intimate way.  You have taught me an incredible lesson and I’ll never be able to express how much it means to me.

You are beautiful.


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3 Responses to I saw the most beautiful woman today… and that woman was ME.

  1. That’s the beauty of all this.
    I see a woman who was essentially the center for their children.
    The protector.
    You gave life and provided a life for your children.
    I’m only 20 years old and don’t have kids, but I know that my time will come to be a mother and experience the gift of life.
    Beauty is not just about the image, but the out come of it all.
    Kinda like the saying a picture is worth a thousands words and that’s what you’re sharing with us right now. =]

    • Rina says:

      Ariana, a long time I read a book called The Screwtape Letters, by CS Lewis. In it, Lewis writes from the perspective of a demon (Screwtape) writing to his demonic nephew (Wormwood), guiding him in his attacks against a man new to a relationship with Jesus. In a chapter dealing with chastity, Screwtape writes to his nephew saying: “We now teach men to like women whose bodies are scarcely distinguishable from those of boys… We have engineered a great increase in the license which society allows to the representation of the apparent nude (not the real nude) in art, and its exhibition on the stage or the bathing beach. It is all fake, of course; the figures in the popular art are falsely drawn (or photoshopped!); the real women in bathing suits or tights are actually pinched in and propped up to make them appear firmer and more slender and more boyish than natural allows a full=grown woman to be.” I am sorry to admit it, but I have been striving after a figure that simply isn’t attainable for most women who have had children (not without surgery, anyway), especially mothers of multiples. In fact, the women whose bodies I strive to emulate don’t even have children. Never, until yesterday, has it occurred to me that a full-figured body, with all the lumps and stretches of child birth and child care, could be beautiful just the way it is. Always, I had resigned myself to accepting (but not embracing) the parts of me which, even at the end of my weight loss journey, wouldn’t change. I had resigned myself to looking cute in clothing that would push and lift, but still being unhappy when I faced myself in a mirror just before and after a shower. I had resigned myself to feeling pretty-er in the bedroom, but never beautiful.

      But yesterday changed all of that when I saw, for the first time in my life, the body of a mother as something beautiful.

      Thank you for your thoughts, Ariana. That is the beauty of all of this, indeed.

  2. Dorothy says:

    What an all inspiring article. I think most women have some insecurities about their bodies. Part of being beautiful is being beatiful to ourselves. If we feel we are beautiful then than emminates from our bodies and minds to others.