So, I went knicker shopping the other day. I did this because, firstly all my other knickers were in the wash, and secondly, because it was high time that I started replacing them, after my beloved during one of his ‘doing the washing’ sessions, mentioned that one of my undergarments started fraying and made a fine crows’ nest in the washing machine.
There I stood, in my local KMart looking at tiger prints, itty bitty little things, lacy see through goodies and old granny knickers. There were shape wear that promised to nip and tuck and lift. High-cuts, bikinis, boy legs, low-risers and what have you, were staring at me as I stood there, wondering what happened to me.
You see, years ago I relished the idea of pretty secret wear. I loved the feel of lace on my bottom and satin on my bosom. I enjoyed looking at things that I knew no-one else would see, except for the aforementioned beloved. Mostly, I just enjoyed it because of how it made me feel. But I lost that feeling. I stood there, clueless and trying to make a decision based on practicality, cost and to at least have clean underwear, before I could do my washing (praying for the rain to stop long enough so that it could dry in the sun.)
I walked out of KMart and into Target. Hoping to feel less overwhelmed, but did not. I did however decide to flip practicality out of the window and went for sexy. Small thingies they were, did not provide any support, did not tuck the tummy in, and sure as daylight did not lift anything up either! They were pretty though… and sometimes, we need to be reminded of that, don’t we?
We are pretty. We are not just so and so’s wife, or so and so’s mum. We are women, and we are pretty.
We stop wearing pretty dresses in favour of a T-shirt and jeans because it makes running after children, so much easier. We kick of our high heels in favour of sneakers or thongs, because it is easier to get into and out of the car on our mum’s taxi rides. We stop doing our hair and just pile it in a bun or ponytail – at least it has been washed…maybe. We have stopped looking at our reflection in the mirror and have forgotten that a bit of foundation and a smidgen of blush actually do make our eyes pop and give us a beautiful glow.
We have forgotten how pretty we are, haven’t we?
Because no one really notices, do they? When last did your beloved look at you and really, actually saw you? Have your children ever realised that you are actually a woman and not just their mum? You feel like just another resource to be utilised in the lives of our loved ones. Just another cock in the machine to make it all go round. Until at last you start believing that it does not matter what you think, or what you feel or how you look. You believe that it is for younger girls, who still have the figure, who still have the dreams, who still wants to.
If you have not been there I salute you! Good on ya for not losing yourself in this chaotic thing that we call motherhood! Please tell me how you did it?
I have been clawing my way back for the last six months. It started with a talk that I gave about love at the Merise Morning Tea on the 13th of February 2015. I talked about love and reconnecting with myself and allowing myself to love myself again. In preparation of this talk I wanted to wear a dress and I got two that fitted beautifully and made me look pretty! (I have not owned a dress for many years before that!) It went further with me buying beautiful but very uncomfortable shoes, that lifted my bum and my bust and created an idea of height. And I had my nails done. All external things, but they confirmed an inner knowledge that I locked away for such a long time. I am still a woman and I still enjoy looking pretty.
From there on I did little things, kept having my nails done once a month, put purple streaks in my hair, got a new haircut and style, when clothing sales came along I ditched the old t-shirts and bought comfortable but yet elegant and colourful blouses that flattered my figure and complemented my skin tone. I bought quirky shoes that reminded me that I have the world at my feet.
But I did not buy knickers. Deep down I was still doubting whether the sensual me was still there. Could I allow myself to really believe that despite the stretch marks and the loose tummy and the full thighs, I could still be attractive in that way? I bought it… allowing myself to believe… despite not getting the confirmation from others, despite not feeling it, I allowed myself to believe it.
You are pretty. Let me tell you, the light in your eyes, the curve of your smile, the flush on your cheek… You.Are.Pretty.
If you have to start clawing your way back to believing it, do it. One thing at a time. Start small, start believing that you are worth the investment of your time and your effort. Go and buy yourself a pair of gorgeously sensuous panties, and allow yourself the believe that You.Are.Pretty.