If Baby Rolls are Cute, Why Aren't Mine?


This article is part of a series about a woman with a vagina who gave birth to a baby. The intended audience is women with vaginas or anyone interested in birth from the female perspective.

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Today we went to the pediatrician for her one month check up. She is now up to 9 pounds and is 21 inches long. She has gained almost 2.5 pounds in just over a month. My little baby is getting so cute and chunky, I love it!

Her growing and us, as well as the doctor, being happy that she is gaining weight, made me start to think.

We love chunky babies, everyone comments on a baby’s fat thighs and rolls on their arms. When did that chunk become “un-cute”? Why can’t I love my rolls as much as I love my baby girl’s’? I blame diet culture, the media and my own flawed brain.

My belly has been public enemy number one for many, many years.

I have the curse of my matriarchs “pouch” and I never felt like it went away. I am almost positive no one noticed that part of my body, but my brain had me convinced that it was hideous and that I should hide it. Post baby, it is as large as it has ever been without a human growing inside it. I feel the rolls as I sit in the car, my seatbelt pushing against it. I am pulling at my shirts to make them baggy, so to hide the rolls tightening around the fabric. I notice I am doing things to hide myself just like I did during my eating disorder. My brain is convincing me that I am ugly, that I let myself go, that I am not enough.

So, now I am talking back to my brain and saying “ Listen here you manipulative voice, my body took a cluster of cells and formed a freaking human. Like, this thing can breathe on its own. I did that, my belly grew to support this beautiful creature and although it is not as small or tight as it once was, it is still beautiful. Do you know why? Because it made life.” Sigh, that feels better.

My rolls are adorable just like they are on my daughter. I shouldn’t pinch them and hate them, I wouldn’t do that to her squishy rolls. Why would I do that to myself? I don’t need to go on a diet, I don’t need to get my body back because I already have a perfectly good one right now.

I am starting to wonder if this baby was given to me to help me learn to change my thoughts about my own body. I don’t ever want her to hate her body as I have, which means, I need to start talking kinder about myself. I need to take these magazine articles about how to lose the baby weight and light them on fire. And with that blaze, I will spark self-love into myself and little Lucy Lu.