Learning From My Long-Lost Tummy Twin.

I fantasized having a beauty mark like hers grazing the right side of my upper lip. In fact, one time as a teenager behind the locked doors of my bathroom, I experimented with eyeliner to see if I could make the zit in the same locale pass as a Crawford trademark. Wisely, I wiped it off, afraid of the repercussions resulting from rain or sweat. 

I often pulled a ripped-out, crinkled-up magazine page from the back pocket of my Jordache jeans to show the stylist at the salon, imploring them for her exact color and cut. They likely suspected from the scores of like-minded girls requesting the same brunette hair transformation, that I actually was requesting to be remodeled from head to toe in her flawless image. While they did their best (after giving me the classic "Oh bless her dear little heart and crooked teeth" look), I always left reminded that being a stylist was not the same as being God. How unfortunate.

Over time, I gave up my unspoken desire to emulate the woman with unparalleled, perfectly proportioned beauty.  So you might understand the level of rapturous joy this week, when the latest Internet sensation involved an untouched photograph of Cindy Crawford exposed the truth: 




I mean, I wouldn't go so far as to change my name to "Mindy" and/or fly out and offer to wear matching midriffs to walk around Beverly Hills together to prove it, but IF WE DID, YOU BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR NO ONE WOULD BE ABLE TO TELL US APART (judging by our mid-sections only). DOUBLE-MINT would be A'CALLING for darn sure.

Cindy + Mindy...Tummy Twins Forever.


This is not the first time the thoughts of "midriffs" has entered my thinking lately.

One afternoon a few weeks ago I was sitting on the couch reading to my five year old twin boys. For whatever reason, one of them felt compelled to lift the bottom of my knit shirt ever so slightly. Laughter erupted, as did a chant in a sing-song tempo:

"We see your booby! We see your booby!"

The book snapped shut and I informed them that it was not my booby, but rather my BELLY (thankyouverymuch!) and it was because of them it was seeping out over my jeans in a uni-breast fashion. I wasn't upset, but of course it did send a shiver down my spine as I mulled over the summer season and reconsidered the tankini I had eyed in Lands End. Even so, I am growing into accepting the beautiful marks of LIFE that have left their mark on my body.

Several days later, we were talking about body image in Sunday School and afterwards a kind woman came up and said "I wish I was tall and thin like you". This story came to mind and I shared my uni-boob story and I'm sure, much to her alarm, I grabbed my uni-boob to prove it was true. "If I went around wearing a midriff, you would see clearly what I work hard to hide." She gave a nervous chuckle and likely made a mental note to never offer me a compliment again. 


I've been thinking that we would do well to listen closely to collective sigh of relief over Photoshop being so publicly kicked to the curb, exposing the lies of false images that many of us have spent a good portion of our lives quietly trying to emulate. This is about so much more than jiggly tummies, un-toned thighs or our bodies in general. There lies more to be dug into than plain body image. There is much to take away from this sensation, realities we would be wise to keep in the fore-front as we lead, raise our daughters,pursue friendships, create healthy thinking patterns. One thing I've deduced thus far is the way this highlights the need to create an atmosphere in our tiny part of the hemisphere in which the women we are in contact with-for however long or briefly--can be free to be their real selves. Shedding pretence, looking past the photoshopped life being the ideal one.

I would LOVE to hear what the take away has been for you? How can we, in all of our little corners, live freely and encourage those in our wake to do the same. If you have time, think about and leave a comment. I much prefer two-sided conversations...even in my online cottage. 

For now, I leave you to go read to my boys, for which I am prepared for in my brand-spanking new Spanx cami (thank you, Sarah Blakely). As you can see, I have a little freedom-work to do myself. 

MINDY (formerly known as Jeane')



Anonymous said…
Oh Jeane, ha! That was a glorious picture; thanks for the link. At my six week postpartum visit the midwife took my hands and buried them into my forever-separated abdominal muscles and showed me how hopelessly spread they were. I was shocked. I knew that five babies would likely do that, but her reaction to my tum (which I thought had a rather respectable pooch that it had earned) made me feel ashamed; like I'd let something get out of hand rather than let love and life fill me and spill over. She then elaborated on all sorts of birth control options while I "hmm'ed". Her message was clear: DEFINITELY DO NOT HAVE MORE KIDS...I mean, look at you, your abs are a mess and I can tell you aren't doing kegels. Like my motherly figure was something to be avoided, a train wreck of sorts. While I was stunned then, I'm angry now. I have half a mind to march my five kids into her office and ask her which one I should have forgone to keep my washboard abs. Rant over. Long live realistic, and affectionate, expectations of our aging bodies!
Jeane'....you kill me. This is fabulous! I think I could be a tummy triplet with you and Cindy! Seriously the photo is one she should be proud of...real!
debi said…
I loved that the photo leaked out, I think it helped a lot of women. We always heard about photo shop, air brushing and the like....it made it real to see the untouched photo. My Grand Khloe ask me shortly after her little sister was born, as she pointed to my tummy, "Namaw do you have a baby in there?"
....to which I almost said, "fine, now we aren't making cookies today!!"


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