While I've been busy whipping up a batch of amazing macaroni and "cheese" for my Moody Monday's television recipe, I decided to take a break and start perusing my Facebook page. I was recently introduced to this kick-ass "project" by one of the mommy blogs I follow, called the 4th Trimester Bodies Project.
This photography project is "dedicated to embracing the beauty inherent in the changes brought to our bodies by motherhood, childbirth and breastfeeding."
It's sad that we live in a day and age where we have to EMBRACE the beauty in being a mother. In the stretch marks it may leave us with, the slightly knottier breasts, the sometimes chewed-on nipples, the wider, curvier hips birthing a human being can leave us with.
Every mother is beautiful and different in her own way. Heck, even if you weren't physically able to birth a child, but adopted one instead, it doesn't mean that motherhood hasn't had it's wear and tear on your body. Your arms from lifting it, your smashed chest from clutching a child, the crumbs and spit-up you find in your hair, clothes, hell, cleavage. Being a mother - in any sense of the word - changes your body forever.
We live in a society where we don't just celebrate beauty, we demand it. We want it in our faces, we want more of it and we use it to complete nearly every task throughout the day. Want to sell a hamburger? Just put a a bikini-clad girl in your commercial licking barbeque sauce off her fingers. Can't decide what kind of cologne is right for your hubby? Just find the one with the hottest, most-naked man on the box. Need to get that special woman something in your life to reignite the romance? Clearly you should get her some edible underwear.
We don't want to see what real people look like. We'd rather stare at the photoshopped faces and bodies of our beloved celebrities and then pick at ourselves in the mirror. We need to feel badly about ourselves because what happens if we actually become comfortable with our looks. What happens if we wake up one day and decide we are good enough - without the push-up bras, mascara and four-inch heels? Well, for starters, our entire market would probably collapse. According to an article that appeared on The Economist website, the beauty industry alone (make-up, diet, grooming products) generates at least 160 BILLION dollars worldwide. Yeah, we may say we need to "embrace" our inner beauty, but I've got 160 billion George Washington's that says we don't practice what we preach any time soon.
So that's what was so awesome about this 4th Trimester Body Project. It's something that's empowering to women. It's something for women. It's something that finally says "I'm OK with my body and showing it off doesn't mean it has to be sexual." The pictures are tastefully taken, most of them depicting women in a simple pair of black underwear and a bra. (I carefully chose the word underwear there, because if I would have used 'panties' it might have sounded too sexual, crazy, huh?) Some of them show a woman breastfeeding her child, however, if the caption didn't tell you that's what was happening, you wouldn't know. Because guess what? The child's head is covering the woman's breast.
I'm not saying you have to be all ra-ra-ROAR about breastfeeding and natural parenting to get on board with this campaign. The first time I breastfed my daughter in public, I felt incredibly uncomfortable, not because of anyone else, but because I just couldn't get the hang of it. Am I a supporter of women being allowed to breastfeed? Yes, I am. Even though it wasn't quite my cup of tea, I think that women shouldn't be shoved into a bathroom stall or their car because they want to feed their babies.
Might it result in a few sideway glances from 10-year-old boys or an awkward conversation with children who haven't been exposed to breastfeeding before? Sure. But guess what? It's called being a freaking parent. Sometimes, you have to educate your children. Sometimes, you have to accept that just because you don't think boobs are made to feed babies and formula is fine, not everyone feels that way. And if you really have that big a problem with boobs and the female body, you should probably avoid the mall, where there are photos plastered everywhere with bras and boobs the size of my entire body; the beach or pool, where there are boobs BUSTING out of bikinis and well, the grocery store, because there are women, with breasts and cleavage EVERYWHERE.
So here's the big picture. The people behind this awesome photography project keeps getting banned from Facebook and Instagram because their photos are "violating Facebook's Community Guidelines." Which, I've read them and can't say they have. But let's pretend we've got some 900-year-old prudes running Facebook and they really do have a problem with the "nature" of these photos.
I present you with this (a collage I put together of four photos pulled from community pages active on Facebook as of 9/8/2013), and ask you, why is it these "groups" are still actively allowed to post (you know, if we're all just about following the rules here, Facebook Gods).
To be honest, I don't have a problem with any of these photos. The female body is an absolutely gorgeous thing. I do, however, have a problem with some asshole social network execs censoring one because, what, it's too real? Being a mother and being beautiful isn't allowed? Or is it that being a mother means that we're not beautiful anymore? Which is it, Facebook?
Guess I'll just quit wasting my valuable time on your biased, censoring website and get my ass back in the kitchen where it belongs. Because if I'm female, then that's probably all I'm good for.
Well, unless I'm bowling in my panties. Then I'm OK.
Please consider signing this petition to tell Facebook what assholes they're acting like.
You also might like: