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An exactly 7 year old photo of my 25 year old self in an Okinawan restaurant, visiting a good friend in Shizuoka.

I’ve seen a lot of my peers post photos of themselves in their 20’s lately. Either to lament the loss of their super hotness BC or to celebrate their postpartum bodies equally amazing by comparison.

Well, not me.
I can’t do either of those things.

The reason being that when I look at a photo like this, I see a girl who although generally happy- was pretty numb from the neck down, absolutely did not consider herself ‘hot’ by traditional standards (in fact actively shirked that term) and was either the fat thin girl or the thin fat girl… and pretty much all of that felt bad.

I can’t celebrate the comparison as many others do with the implication that I was fabulous then and still am now. Because when I look back all I can feel is my total indifference and disconnect towards myself as a physical entity.

But what I can do is share the big learnings women’s work, my 30’s and being on the other side of 3 births and some big bodily changes has taught me.

And that is that female beauty has absolutely nothing to do with what I thought it did in my 20’s. It’s not about numbers on a scale, how closely you resemble a barbie or a fashion model or how much attention boys pay you.

It’s how you feel about yourself.
The less comparison to others, the better off you’ll be.
Maybe it sounds cliche but beauty is a light that shines from within, then you adorn that feeling on the outside.

For me- I’ve felt better in my skin post kids than I ever did BC and it has nothing to do with how I actually objectively look. Some days I’m still fighting the old fight of self doubt. But it is nice to have mostly stopped punishing myself for not fitting a mould that I didn’t even design myself.

How about you?