“Going into this project, I didn’t really know what to expect.
I knew that I had something unique that I wanted to share. I knew that there was a part of my physical appearance that didn’t fit into the traditional idea of beauty in regards to women.
What happened after that was an amazing awakening and total change in my perspective of what defines me, and more importantly, what will define my daughter.
This project opened my eyes to my mother’s love and commitment, to her beliefs and communication style. It forced me to look inside myself to truly understand why I feel the way I do about my body, my daughter’s body, and how my reaction to her self-image could hurt her more that anyone else ever could.
This project made me think about how much work my mother put into helping me feel normal and “fit in”. It made me realize the pain she felt knowing that I would struggle with the fact that my body was different.
From pads in my bras to clothes that hid my imperfections, she was there through it all. For that, I am eternally grateful.
It made me thankful that I had a mom that truly cared.
It also made me think about the lengths she went to because of her beliefs and society’s beliefs about what makes a woman attractive. By this I mean how thin they are.
At the time that I started having to wear a prosthetic, I was the same age as my daughter is now. I was the same size that my daughter is now. I had rolls on my belly and I was bigger than other girls my age.
To protect me, my mom put me in a nutrition class. I know she did it to help me. The effects on me still linger today. I am still striving to be the “thin” girl I am supposed to be.
Because of this, I have had a revelation of sorts as to how I communicate with my daughter regarding her size. Before this project, I would have tried to mold her into what I thought, and what society thinks, about how she should look.
I realize now that she is confident.
She feels good about herself, the same way I felt before the nutrition class told me I shouldn’t.
It has made me choose my words wisely.
I want to protect my daughter from being hurt. She is going to be hurt at some point by someone. I realize that instead of teaching her how to conform, I need to foster that confidence and allow her to feel beautiful no matter what size she is. Someone is going to hurt her, I just don’t want that someone to be me.
This project helped me to appreciate the mother I had, but more importantly, to realize the mom I want to be
to my daughter!”