Ever since I went through puberty I found things about my body that I hated. My hair was always too frizzy and poofy, my head was too big, my backside was out of control, my upper arms were too floppy, etc. My biggest complaint about my body (besides my fluctuating weight) has always been my breasts being too small. I do not think that I actually noticed a big difference until I went to Army basic training when I was 19 years old and came to the conclusion that God must have forgotten to give me boobs! About that same time I decided that sometime in the future I would have breast augmentation surgery. After all, people would love me more if I looked more like what society considered "pretty", right?
I went through a few relationships during my 5 years in the Army and they all culminated with meeting the most wonderful man in the world who is now my husband. From day one Ryan made me feel as though I was the most beautiful woman on the face of the planet. In the almost two years that we have been married, and the almost 3 years that we have been together, never once has he made a comment about another woman looking "pretty", "hot", "sexy", or any other word that I have heard men that I have been with use to refer to other women. At the beginning of our relationship this seemed very odd to me. In all of the other relationships that I had been in, the man would, at some point, make some offhand comment about the attractiveness of another woman. I figured that men were just visual creatures and this is just how it was. After I figured out that the reason Ryan did not say those things was because of his deep respect for me, I fell in love with him even more. I do not believe that I had ever really felt unconditional love from a man that I was with prior to being with Ryan. My husband has never said that anything on my body was "wrong" or should be changed. He would support my decision to have plastic surgery, but he is 100% happy with the way that I am. Even after I gained 62 pounds while pregnant with Reagan, he never cut me down or made me feel bad about myself.
So here I am today, stuck with the question of whether or not to have breast augmentation surgery. Another part of this equation is that I have one daughter now and we are expecting our second little girl sometime in November. How can I look at them and tell them that their bodies are perfect just the way they are if I surgically change mine? How can I tell them that God made them perfect, in His image, and then explain to them my reasoning for not being happy with God's creation? How can I teach my daughters to love and respect themselves if I do not love and respect myself?
I struggle with self-image and I tend to cut myself down on almost a daily basis. Today I was having a conversation with Ryan about his very subject and once again came to the realization that my daughter, even though she is only 18-months old, listens to every word that comes out of my mouth. I never want to hear her say, after looking in the mirror, that she hates the way she looks. To show how much she is watching and listening to me, I offer you this story. Every morning when I get up I go in the bathroom and step on the scale. I then step off and more times than not, I sigh and sometimes even cry. Because my husband works the night shift I get up with Reagan and she is usually in the bathroom when I am getting ready. A couple of weeks ago while I was putting on my make-up I saw Reagan step up on the scale with her little toddler legs, look down expectantly, step off, and sigh. This broke my heart! What am I teaching her?
Through all of this, even though at times I fall into societies trap and wish that my body looked different, I remind myself that I was made in the image of my Creator and that He thinks I am beautiful. Not only do I have a loving Heavenly Father, but my husband thinks I am beautiful. I owe it to my daughters to love myself so that they have a strong and confident role model to look up to and strive to be like. In the age of quick fix plastic surgery it is easy to get lost in all of the hype; however, wouldn't it be horrible if we all looked alike? God did not intend for this to be so. Today I am choosing to find my confidence in who God made me.