Beauty and the beast

“Stop” he said, as I pulled my shirt down to cover my stomach. “Let me see!” He pleaded.
“No. It’s disgusting. I’m embarassed.”
He gently moved my hand away and whispered “Baby, stop saying that. You’re beautiful.”
Once again, he slowly begin to lift my shirt, exposing my belly.
Shame and disgust is what I felt as I laid there, tears running down my face.
His hands gently stroked my belly, as he looked at it. “You’re so beautiful.” He whispered. “Stop calling yourself ugly. I love your body. Those stretch marks are beautiful to me, because they remind me that you carried my children. My children grew in there and you’re beautiful.”
The tears came faster and harder. Here is this man, this wonderful, loving man, rubbing the body I hate. Looking at it, loving it. Why can’t I just accept it for what it is?

That’s why.
I know he’s being sincere, but I can’t comprehend how he can find beauty in something so horrific.
I wish that I could see myself through his eyes. I wish that as he caressed my stomach and told me how much he loved me and how beautiful I am to him, that I could have closed my eyes, smiled and taken in the love that was being lavished on my body. Instead, I cringed in shame and I cried.
I don’t want to cry about this body anymore. I want to accept it for what it has become and not long for it to look like it once did.
How do I do that? How is that possible when I am covered with stretch marks and fat and sagging skin? How can I ever look past that to see the beauty within? I try, I really do, because I’m sick of talking about myself in such a disgusting manner, but it’s hard when I look in the mirror and see what I see.
I need to make peace with this, so that I can fully accept the love from my husband that he is so willing to give, I just don’t know how to do it.
*(Campaign for REAL beauty. Thank God for this, and it’s about damn time)

41 thoughts on “Beauty and the beast

  1. mollie

    AWW Yvonne you are so beautiful! there is nothing wrong. I think everyone has stretch marks. I do!

  2. da j

    there isn’t a single woman out there that has had children who doesn’t have stretch marks. heck, i’ve NEVER had children and i am covered with them. no one is perfect. we live in a world of digitally enhanced and retouched fantasy, where no one ever sees what is real when it comes to tv or any media any more. NORMAL women have stretch marks. normal women have saggy skin. it’s ok! =)

  3. geeky

    what da j said. i have stretch marks all over my theighs, and i’ve never weighed over 150lbs. we ALL have our flaws, and each one of us is beautiful for them. some people have tattoos to remind them of events in their lives – think of your stretch marks as your tattoos and be proud of them!

  4. girl

    seriously, girl. what geeky said. I’ve never given birth to ONE kid, let alone THREE, and I have big ol’ stretch marks on my thighs, hips, boobs, etc.. I’ve learned to just say fuck it and accept them. if Boy loves me for all that I am, I have to learn to love me too.

  5. maddy

    what stacey sed :) that sounds good :)
    i know its hard seein the beauty in the ways our bodies wear our lives. i struggle with it lots huh? but i do believe its there.
    im glad you have such a sweet man remindin you.

  6. QC

    I absolutely and utterly feel your pain. And this post reminded me very strongly of the first time QuirkyGuy saw my stretch marks and saggy belly skin. I told him how worried I had been about letting him see that, and he held me and told me how beautiful I was. I cried a little, too…partly out of relief that he wasn’t repulsed, partly because I was so damned touched and grateful for his sincerity and tenderness. Partly because I just hate the stretch marks and sagginess so much.
    I know they’re badges of motherhood and all that. I know they’re normal. I’m grateful to my body for carrying my son safely through my pregnancy. But dammit, I’d sure like to have smooth, tight skin again.

  7. momisold

    A memory was playing in my mind while I read your post. Back in the 80’s, I dated a man for 5 years. One time he bought me a sexy teddy, but I would never wear it.
    Years later, long after we had moved on, we got to have a conversation about our relationship and that teddy came up. I said I didn’t want to wear it because I felt fat and ugly in it (now I would be SO HAPPY to be that “fat”). He said he never saw me like that. That he had bought the teddy because he thought I would look so good in it.
    I bring that conversation up to myself when I am feeling down on how I look. We’re all so hard on ourselves, and we miss out on a lot because of that.
    I enjoy your posts. (I am trying to get up the nerve to start writing on my blog.) Keep loving on those kids and that great hubby.

  8. kristal

    I know exactly how you feel!!! I hate… no, let me rephrase that. I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE my stomach. The rest of my body I could totally live with and be happy. But the saggy stretch marks? No, thanks.
    Mike is always holding me there or asking to kiss my tummy. Even when we are in public, he will tease me and ask me to pull my shirt up a little so he can kiss it. Hello! ARE YOU HIGH?! I am NOT showing that in PUBLIC! But he thinks I am beautiful.
    It is hard to believe and hard to accept, but I’ll try if you will!
    xoxo

  9. GC

    My first thought when I looked at that picture was “Wow, look how flat her tummy is!” Seriously.

  10. Heatheranne

    I have them too. They never really bothered me until my mom saw a picture of me from my cruise and pointed at them and said “That’s disgusting. You should have covered those.” Now I hate them. Not only do I have stretch marks, I have freckles. Lots of them all over my face and arms.
    My friend keeps telling me that I “earned” my stretch marks and I should be proud of them. Uh, whatever.
    Y- you’re not alone in how you feel. I look at myself the same way. I wonder how my hubby could get turned on by me, but he says I’m beautiful too.
    The first time I saw the Dove commercial I thought “How refreshing! A woman with freckles and wrinkles and stretch marks. REAL women!” I love it.

  11. mo

    Actually, Y, when I saw that photo my first thought was that you’d lost some serious weight! Look at that bellah!

  12. angie

    Once again, I could have written this post. It made me cry. I love your husband. You are so lucky to have him! (I know you already know that, I was just stating the obvious. ) I can’t give advice on how to embrace your own body..I’m still trying to figure that out myself. Good luck, hon!

  13. hed

    Just look at that muscle tone underneath! Look at how you are rebuilding! Everyone who has ever had a child has those marks.
    Be proud of those marks! They are your warrior marks! Giving birth to three kids is hard work, and so is raising them! They are a sign of bravery, and a testament to your life and experiences. You would not be who you are without them, and for that reason, they are beautiful, whether you or society thinks so or not. You can make life. How poweful, wonderful, and beautiful is that?
    And darlin, I’ve got road maps for stretch marks… see where I’ve grown. (I think Ani DiFranco said that, but it’s so true!)
    -H

  14. Bobbi

    Y, You have brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry you feel this way about yourself. Try to be strong because Tony is right, you are a beautiful woman. Inside and out!!! Take care :-)

  15. Shalini

    Hi there, I have come by your site a few million times.. guess with mommy blogs that happens :)
    But I feel the SAME way you do.. and I cry when I look at my stomach, no creams or anything has worked… and it’s so hard to think you look good… but you have a wonderful husband.. and my DH is the same way.. loves me no matter how I look!

  16. robynf

    Babe, stretch marks, beauty marks anything of the sort are horrible for us to accept on our bodies as anythign but ugly…but remember, Tony truely thinks they are beautiful for what they represent….which is the children they brought….you don’t have to love them, but please think of them as a reminder of the 3 beautiful children you have, try to be proud…God is just giving you a little reminder of all the wonderful things in your life.
    xo

  17. paula

    it’s cruel what nature does to our bodies when we’re doing something as wonderful as creating a new life. it’s hard not to get depressed about it, too.
    do you remember a couple of years ago when jamie lee curtis showed the world what her body really looked like? i loved that. it made me realize we shouldn’t compare ourselves to an ideal that doesn’t even exist.

  18. Snidget

    I have those same thoughts about my stomach…
    i like to compare my abdominal sags to “Crime dog mcgruff”
    I don’t know how you get past that… But I’m right there with you.

  19. debutaunt

    I have uber stretch marks. Zoe weighed 10 lbs. Then I got a nice c-section scar. Add to that some great bruises from daily insulin shots. It’s frankenbelly!
    It sucks. And I hate it.
    But I wouldn’t trade my kid for all the stretch marks in the world. And I feel sexy as hell.
    You got some great tatas though. Puta!!

  20. Chas

    I heard about the Campaign for Real Beauty just this morning on Jane Pauley…and you’re right, it IS about time. We all have insecurities; maybe letting them out of hiding helps.

  21. D

    Oh my jesus Yvonne, I need to send you a picture of my stomach, you’ll be like “wow i’m glad I don’t have Dania’s body!” lol….
    Like some one said “they’re badges, wear them with pride” Although that’s easier said then done, we all got ’em…kids or not, skinny or fat. Mother nature was not kind to womens bodies 😉
    I have a hard time accepting my body, as most women do…I think we all wish for a tight muscular body again…but it’s what’s on the inside that counts (again easier said then done) but we all know what a great person you are. You care about your friends, and would do anything for them.
    I think you posting what you did took a whole bunch of courage and for that, I commend you =D I still think you look grrrrrrrrreat for having 3 kiddos, and kudos to Tony, he’s an awesome husband.

  22. Mushster

    This post has me crying right now and reliving quite a few things. I hope one day you come to see yourself the way Tony does.

  23. Dottie

    I’m sure you know how blessed you are to have some a kind and loving husband. Stretch marks suck but hasn’t the trade off been fantastic! HUGS

  24. Mari

    You look wonderful. You have a wonderful husband, and you will get over this.
    I know people saying its a badge and wear it with pride has been said, and I know they mean well, but sometimes when people tell me that I want to smack them. I know how it feels. I also have a frankenbelly.
    Lopsided and scarred from three babies, bruised and just nasty. I try to hide it from my husband, and he doesnt care. As time moves on, our bellies will lose the baby fat, our bellies will strengthen. You have a beautiful support system. You will be ok.

  25. lola

    your husband just wanted to get laid, why else would he say you are beautiful? your stretchmarks are hideous

  26. Sarcastic Journalist

    Her name is Lola, she is a hobag
    With frizzy ugly hair
    and she never shaves down there
    Sometimes she plays on
    the internettttt
    when she realizes how much of a pathetic loser she really is, she leaves rude comments on someone else’s blog…
    and then the punches blew
    and lola was smashed in two
    there was blood and a single gunshot
    and she smells like number two

  27. lola

    Sarcastic journalist, you are so eloquent and funny why were you fired from your job when you write so well?

  28. Fiona

    the internet is phenomenal….i click a friend’s blog, she links to someone else i know so i click on hers and there is yours as a link, so out of curiosity i click…and i find something so amazing….YOU!
    i read this post and then the comments and i laughed and cried…i laughed because there is humour in there but mostly i cried because i feel your pain and disgust and everything else people tell us we shouldn’t feel about having these ‘scars’
    i have never borne children though i did carry one to 3 months but that won’t count towards stretch marks….mine are quite simply, lack of respect for my body – weight issues my whole life starting when i was about 10 and the result of trauma
    but here i sit at 46 and still overweight so i’ve certainly had time to deal and turn it around and i haven’t….deep issues obviously
    but enough about the why….the what….is the subject of all this….i have them everywhere….boobs, tummy, thighs, underneath my upper arms…and i hate them all…i never wear anything sleeveless and i haven’t had the courage to wear a bathing suit for about 10 years
    but the ones i hate the most….are….those that lie just under my belly, where my tummy becomes my pubic mound…deep furrows which, when i run my fingers across laterally, my fingers literally go down into them…yes i even have stretch marks on my pussy!!!!! and no i wasn’t playing with myself *L*
    a guy i was getting to know online asked me for pics of myself…you know the kind all guys want…they’re so visual ….and while i’m not into that i can understand the ‘need’ to see…so i said well i’m not into taking photos, i’m kinda shy….he said no it’s ok don’t be shy….so i had to admit ok ok it’s not just shy, i’m disgusted by my body….
    of course it’s all…no no you’re beautiful blah blah….and i just wish i could read his mind to know if he means that or if when he sees for real, i’ll know whether or not he’s as disgusted as i am

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