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Byron Shire
May 11, 2021

Love your mum body

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Mandy Nolan

Women are at war with their bodies. From when we are very young we are encouraged to view our lovely bodies with suspicion and disgust. Whether it’s a photoshopped supermodel on a billboard, or a boho supermum doing yoga on the beach, the self-harm is the same.

We look at the radiant curated image of what society deems perfection, and we measure ourselves next to her. We fail. We are always going to fail – because billboards are never going to promote images of women that make us feel good about ourselves.

The predominant narrative about the female body is that our bodies are wrong. The narrative exists to make us feel less than we are. We believe we are too fat. We obsess over the shape of our breasts. The curve of our tummy. That our butts aren’t round enough. We rage at our bodies for not being billboard perfect. Our lips are too thin, our foreheads are wrinkled. We are condemned to feeling unwanted and unloveable in our prison of self-loathing; our bodies.

Mandy Nolan

How can we, as women, have positive powerful relationships with those around us, how can we be powerful in the world if we don’t have a powerful loving relationship with our own bodies?

This year I made a pledge to myself not to use any negative language or thoughts about my body. I decided to only speak to my body with kindness. I decided to love my body and honour the stories that she carries. The things she has achieved – what she has endured. This is my mum body. My soft, fierce, sensual, strong, and amazing mum body.

I honour my breasts – the breasts that fed four of my children for 11 years. They are not the breasts of my 21-year-old self – they were working breasts, now retired – these are the soft heavy breasts of a woman in her 50s. I love my breasts. I still love to wear a low-cut top, to show the world my lovely middle-aged woman tits. My real tits. The world needs to see more real tits.

I love my strong feet; feet that scream when I wear heels and breathe a sigh of relief when I don runners or thongs. I love my legs. My legs that were once smooth and brown, that are now lightly circled with veins. Tiny explosions that spider the top of my thighs – and behind my knees. Proof of life. A varicose tattoo. These legs have carried my heavy body through four pregnancies. They have run on beaches, kicked me through waves, and have walked me home late at night.

I love the perpetual roundness of my tummy. The soft skin that has stretched as tight as a drum to carry my children, then shrunk back to a smaller enduring roundness. I love the roll of sumptuous flesh that sits above my jeans. The dimple of my bellybutton. My giant glorious butt. An arse that can’t be caught by two hands alone.

And my vagina! My amazing vagina that has birthed all my children in a matter of hours; like birthing was as simple as breathing. The vagina that has given me both exquisite pleasure, and exquisite pain.

I love my face. I think I love my face more now than I ever have. This is my mother’s face. This is my face. I see the story lines across my forehead, the places where my eyes crinkle because I laugh hard and a lot. It reminds me of my happy life. But there is evidence of sadness too.

I look at my hands, the strong hands that have unpacked a million dishwashers, hung washing, soothed fevered brows, applied lipstick, made cakes, served kids at canteen. My hard-working mother’s hands.

This is my mother’s body. My unremarkable remarkable body. I am perfect. And so are you.

This Mothers’ Day I challenge you to write your body a love letter, and then to carry that through the year. A year of self-love and kindness. I wonder, if you do this, if we all do this, just what we will see next Mothers’ Day?

What do we look like when we love ourselves?

Let’s rewrite the narrative about our bodies. Worship your Mum Bod!


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11 COMMENTS

  1. ” City girls just seem to find out early
    How to open doors with just a smile
    A rich old man
    And she won’t have to worry
    She’ll dress up all in lace and go in style”

    I think the Eagles nailed it,and of course women have always been obsessed with their appearance , it’s their free ticket to a life of ease. I honestly believe though,THE most devastating form of discrimination in this society is reserved for those who fail to fit with what both sexes deem ‘attactive’.
    Cheers G”)

  2. Understand that this person is a comedian and a very well liked one !! However!! Some balance here !
    The world needs to see real balls !!
    Or i love my penis!! One could only imagine
    If this article was put together by a white male
    Balding in his 50s this forum would go into
    Meltdown ! Just saying !!

  3. And happy Mothers day to all you wonderful super
    Mums!! who sacrifice so much for there families!!
    Absolute pillars of strength the World over !!

  4. But Ken, she’d rather be the one who ends up a rich old woman by being able to develop and utilise ALL her talents. A man is not a good financial plan nor a guarantee of decent behaviour.

  5. Celebrate Mama’s….
    Happy Mama’s day & thank you to all the Mama’s, including mine, who can hear me in the ether.. as well as our beautiful planet Mama.. she is so good to us all.
    Thanks Mama Gaia.

    Ken Mate…. one of my first jobs was working with 8 fellas as the youngest female apprentice… I had to sit ‘through it’ work with it.. the magazines… not Better Homes & Garden… you know for years I believed women had staples in their midline. I worked with these guys for years.
    Would it be fair to suggest that these mags have done so well for so long because the focus on appearance is really the distorted story perpetuated by men that women are nothing more than that?
    It not fair is it? Not all men think like that.
    Not all women are the same.
    Broad generalisations about things are easy.. they just don’t work anymore. There is so much diversity.

    Thanks Mandy.. fun as always..

    Barrow.. pleased to see you are in admiration of your bits too.. it’s a ‘love in’ mate!
    … & … you just said it!
    Out loud & proud.. over 50’s(?)..
    well done!

  6. Liz lets if we shall, put a few things into perspective
    Here !! Men are not a good financial plan !!
    Maybe in your case , however Males and that
    Would be husbands and fathers have been providing for there families forever. millions of Men Liz have ended up penniless after there wife’s
    Have divorced the husband run of with the kids
    Taken the house , no access to the kids .
    And that’s not a good financial outcome ?
    Or plan !! And yes this dos happen to women as well no doubt! Works both ways Liz ..and as far as behavior is concerned, do not condone violence
    In the household from Male or female has no place in society.. and there is no guarantee that this
    Will not happen from either sex in the household
    Unfortunately!!

  7. Barrow, you are determined to read offence where there is none intended. You are touchy!

    Yes for many years it was seen as the responsibility of men to provide for ‘their’ families – with the emphasis on the possessive pronoun resulting. Women’s ambitions for financial security were often limited to making a good match. However I can’t believe we are now still contemplating this as a viable model. It really harks back to my mother’s generation and is becoming ancient history! My mum (now 96 and going strong) used to try to convince me that this was a marvellous idea and I had to admit it worked out well for her too, who had a saintly husband who spent his life terrified he would displease her. For others it didn’t work so well and I’m not just referring to physical violence. My dad, on the other hand, with an early education in the reality that ‘shit happens’ when he was orphaned and fostered out in the Great Depression, saw personal self sufficiency as of prime importance, championed the right of married women to work, when it was seen as scandalous, and encouraged me in every way to forge personal independence.

    The trouble with relying on ‘a rich old man’ or any man is that it results in a large degree of powerlessness and loss of agency and only lasts as long as their favour and good humour remains. Tenuous and optimistic in the extreme! The idea that someone would use their personal attractiveness to gain material security surely points to a degrading and unsatisfying relationship of power imbalance for both parties.

    I certainly don’t believe I have developed any bitter one-dimensional views of men and am blessed that my life has been filled with examples (father, husband, sons, grandsons) of gentle males with a respect for women. This doesn’t happen by accident though and we have to wary of the attitudes we leave unquestioned. We are all the products of societal attitudes and those that make anyone feel valued simply for their physical beauty, their personal wealth or influence, are destructive.

    And no – I don’t see the scenario you describe as a good outcome, financial or otherwise. I’d rather feel that I could provide for myself.

  8. Liz iam sorry if my response came accross as touchy !! Certainly did not intend for it to be that
    Way ! And yes i do feel most Men feel it is there
    Responsibility to provide for the family, and of course if the lady of the house is the main
    Bread winner that’s fine ! Great to see female’s
    Out in the work force in blue collar
    Positions should be more of it .. and enjoyed
    Reading your response liz !! All the best .

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