Kim Kardashian is almost synonymous with controversy, and this week was evidence of that. After posting a nude selfie on Instagram she received a ton of criticism. Even other celebs like Bette Midler and Piers Morgan tweeted negative comments about her. To be honest, I was pretty surprised any picture of Kim Kardashian's body could cause controversy anymore. I mean... she did already break the internet with her butt.
What's the point here? What does this have to do with motherhood? Well, one of the biggest issues that make a lot of moms feel shame is body image. Am I too fat? Am I too skinny? Can you see my stretch marks in my bathing suit? Am I showing too much skin? Not enough skin?
This most recent incident with Kim is just one example of a mom being shamed about her body, but Kim didn't take it laying down. She fired back at the criticism with an essay on her website. Here's an excerpt:
"I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin."
Our last post was written by an amazing mama, Maria Bates, about how she changed her relationship with her body and was empowered by it. While I can't speak on Maria's opinion regarding Kim, I immediately related these two essays in my mind. Why? Both are about how each woman has felt empowered through her body.
The way they feel empowered through their bodies is very different. Maria is more modest and feels empowered by challenging her body to be as fit as she can. Kim feels empowered by the sexuality of her body. And both are completely ok ways for a woman to relate to their bodies.
What makes one woman feel good may not do the same for the next. Some women fight for their right to wear a hijab, and some fight to #freethenipple. Both are awesome.
For me, I've felt empowered through my body in different ways at different times of my life.
I'm not going to lie, my post-baby body isn't always my best friend, but even now (and especially when I look back at some nude selfies I took for my husband pre-baby) I feel more powerful and in control of my life when I feel hot and sexy. I like the feeling of being a woman who is a super sexual being. Especially since when you have a baby, there may be long stretches where you have no interest in sex, let alone trying to look or feel sexy.
No, lately the empowerment I feel through my body isn't sexual. It's through my new relationship to my breasts. Now, they are not the least bit sexy to me, even though they have reached epic proportions in size. Instead, they represent the close bond I've created with my baby girl through breastfeeding. They represent all the tough times we went through getting her to latch, and all the time I spent doing salt water dips and slathering on the lanolin to help heal the cuts all over my nipples when her first teeth had just erupted. The remind me of how I nourished her entirely with my body for months after she was born and still nourish and comfort her now.
I feel empowered by the fact that my body carried a baby for 8 months and 24 days. I'm empowered by the fact that even though I wasn't a big fan of my body during the weeklong back labor, it helped me deliver my sweet peanut into this world.
These are things I never would have experienced if I hadn't been lucky enough to become a mother, but there are about a million ways that you can use your body to empower and embolden you in the world. That is your right and choice.
We are all women and we are in this together. Let's stop the shaming, and accept other's choices. The whole world criticizes us for whatever choices we make. Let's stop being critics of each other, and be each other's cheerleaders.
Kim's words from her essay best sum this up:
"It's 2016. The body-shaming and slut-shaming - it's like, enough is enough. I will not live my life dictated by the issues you have with my sexuality. You be you and let me be me... I am a mother. I am a wife, a sister, an entrepreneur, and I am allowed to be sexy."