Why do mums feel ugly?
Becoming a mother definitely takes a toll on your looks, but as bright beautiful women, do slight hints of imperfections trouble you?
SINGAPORE – Splat on the cover of today’s (16th September 2011) Urban section in The Straits Times is a shout out for a feature on a ‘guide to looking good’. It highlights the flaws women today seem to be worried about, with names that have been created to describe minute flaws on your body, showing signs of age.
Many women in Singapore look years younger than they really are and Asian skin is blessed with a lower level of susceptibility towards things like wrinkles and freckles. However, women are still panicking about minor issues such as fat ankles, cleavage wrinkles and neck rings. Is this because of all the gorgeous, airbrushed-to-perfection advertisements that are everywhere? Is it because women feel the need to compete with each other? Or are women who feel this way, perfectionists who are never happy with the way they look?
The truth might be a combination of all these factors, but when you are older, and more importantly when you become a mother, chances are you won’t look as good as you did when you were eighteen. So why is this suddenly a trend? It is true that as products advance, surgery gets better and the beauty market expands, women are offered various methods of looking and keeping themselves youthful.
There is no harm in grooming yourself well, and loving the way you look, but the answer here is acceptance and comfort. Women who are not comfortable in their skin and cannot accept the coming of age, or the result having children has had on their body are now resorting to procedures that cost phenomenal amounts. Wendy Tham, mother of fours, claims she feels under pressure to look good. “I don’t have the money to invest”, she says.
It is sad that women who are not very old feel the pressure to go under the knife and invest in large amounts of cosmetic products, so they can live in skin that looks younger than they are. There is no harm with staying fit. Many mums feel like getting back into shape, which is great. Fenny Loniah Bartlett has a one year old and is trying hard to get her pre-pregnancy tummy back. “I work out everyday”, she says.
Keeping healthy and doing things the natural way is good for your body, and feeling the pressure to look as good as you can is normal. However when you look like you don’t even have kids and are worried about getting surgery for a little bit of back fat, you need to give yourself a reality check. The best thing to do is talk to women who were part of the generation above you, and ask them how they dealt with accepting flaws. They lived in a time when surgery and advanced creams were not around, so your mum will probably have the answers you need. Remembering that you also have a pair of little eyes that probably think you are the most beautiful mummy in the world is also a great confidence booster.
Do you feel the pressure to look good? What do you do to accept that your body has changed?
(Additional research and writing by Anjali D’Mello)
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