beauty standards

‘I grabbed mascara to hide my puffy eyes. ‘But you’re pretty enough, mama.’ The words stopped everything.’: Mom reminds us it’s okay to ‘lower your standards every now and then’

“‘Let mama throw on some clothes and put makeup on.’ Some days, I embrace the chaos. I laugh it off. It’s fine. This was not one of those days. I felt the tears welling in my eyes. There I was, day 3 of dry shampoo, on my knees in my 6-year-old’s closet 10 minutes before we had to leave. My toddler sitting atop the kitchen table, spilling milk from his brother’s cereal while the dogs licked the sticky floor. The words came from the other side of my bedroom door. I stopped frantically searching for a bobby pin. I just stopped.”

‘Things will droop. Little people are watching. The physical features you once hated now define you. Embrace them.’: Mom shares candid lessons on ‘self-love’ learned in her 30s

“People will try to cheapen your self-love with promises of the perfect glow, hair color, or skin tone. Don’t chase the elusive rabbit. Aim for healthy, and you will land on confidence. Little people are now watching. Show them a woman doesn’t have to run herself into the ground to be loved. The woman inside only needs you to love her. No man will make her come alive.”

‘I shouted to my husband, ‘I think I’m having a heart attack!’ There I was, lying naked on the table as they announced my weight. ‘249 pounds.’: Mom of 3 loses ‘whopping 125 pounds’ after nearly fatal heart attack

“I remember feeling the most horrendous pain shoot up my left arm. ‘Please, God, don’t let me die. My three children still need me.’ An overwhelming sense of doom came over me. All I could see were the dark eyes of my doctor hovered over the rail of that hospital bed. He told me, ‘This is a wake up call, Adrienne.’ I was alone, naked, vulnerable, and helpless. The only thing I could do was pray.”

‘Don’t take her home with you,’ I was told. ‘If you have other kids, she’ll be a detriment to them.’ How wrong they were.’: Mom keeps baby, now world’s first ‘working model’ with Down Syndrome

“I’d never taken Madeline to a fashion show before because she was always sick. When her health increased, we walked in as I thought to myself, ‘What have I done?!’ I knew full well my daughter would want to be on that catwalk, too. Sure enough, after the show, she turned to me and said, ‘Mom. Me. Model.’ I’m the type of mom to do whatever I can to make things happen. Little did I know what this all would turn into.”

‘I have the perfect body. I really do.’: Mom shamelessly celebrates ‘thick, swollen’ body after multiple pregnancies, admits it’s ‘pretty darn incredible’

“My breasts are downward, swollen, and veiny, but they’ve supplied 4,560 meals. My thighs are speckled with cellulite, but they’ve walked 1.8 million steps carrying a toddler or pushing a stroller. My stomach is a big white balloon ready to pop, but my babies lived and thrived in it for 27 months. My arms are twice as thick, but they’ve rocked a newborn to sleep 1,200 times. And that happens to be pretty freaking awesome.”

‘How can your mom kiss you with that face?!’ My cysts were so bad they’d literally explode at any time.’: Young woman with Acne Conglobata embraces skin, gave her ‘confidence, resilience’

“I’ve had acne since I was 7. My skin would literally stretch to the point where it would break and stain my clothes, desk, and exams with blood and pus. People treat me like I’m unworthy as a human being. I know now it wasn’t ME that needed to change, it was my environment. My skin condition doesn’t have a cure, but I no longer think it needs one. My acne has made me resilient. And I’m proud of it.”

‘5 out of 6 of my sisters have been sexually assaulted. We’re all under 30. I’ve had ENOUGH.’: Woman pens open letter, claims we ‘can’t change the ugly,’ but we can ‘support each other through it’

“I’m tired of carrying pepper spray. I’m tired of clinging to my cup at parties like some wild animal out of fear of getting roofied, again. I’m tired of school dress codes. No, my shoulders are not sexy or distracting. I’m tired of women covering their bruises with makeup before work. Y’all, I am TIRED.”

‘You look like a snake. You’ll never get a boyfriend.’ I made up my mind the whole human race was beautiful, and I was ugly.’: Woman survives 4th degree burns after ‘hide and seek’ game gone wrong, learns to embrace unique beauty

“My friend invited me to a local nightclub. Before I knew it, I was dancing with someone and their hands were rubbing up and down my back. He whispered in my ear, ‘Are you wearing a corset?’ That scared the absolute life out of me. It was my scars, once a gaping hole through my back, and he could feel them through my clothing.”

‘When people look at me, they see the fat girl. But no one ever wonders WHY I’m fat.’: Plus-sized woman says we shouldn’t tell others to ‘lose weight,’ we should ‘help them heal’

“You see, I wasn’t always this way. The weight came on after I lost my brother to a motorcycle accident. The weight came on after I had 3 miscarriages. The weight came on after my husband cheated. After I was drugged and raped. But you don’t see all that, do you? You only see the fat. You remind me to lose weight. In fact, you’re obsessed with doing that. But you’ve never once reminded me to heal.”

‘I opened the local paper to see a beautiful, bald girl. ‘Help me,’ her eyes said. I placed the photo in my pocket.’: Mom adopts girl in wake of bombing, reunites with birth mom 10 years later

“She had molten skin. Scar tissue pulled down her mouth. The caption read, ‘All she wants is a wig so kids won’t make fun of her at school.’ I taped her photo to my wall and sat down at my computer, determined to help little Teeba. Little did I know when I clicked ‘send’ I would be sending away my old life. A life that revolved around my husband, my dog, and I.”

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