On Saturday I found myself crying in a fitting room at JC Penny’s while shopping with my mother; she had coerced forced encouraged me to try on some work clothes as part of my birthday present, despite my polite but vehement protests over the last few weeks.
After a few minutes she brought more items, trying to be helpful, and I snapped at her. Seeing the look of hurt and confusion on her face, I immediately told her I liked the top she picked out but it was too big, and unflattering. That I was frustrated because nothing I tried on looked decent. My body, bigger, squishier and even more strangely shaped than before I was pregnant, just didn’t look good. As my mom went off to get me a different sized top I really gave myself a look over – something that hadn’t really happened since BB was born, since I was able to successfully avoid clothes shopping – and I made a gruesome discovery:
Everyone who had told me how “great” I looked since the baby was born was lying to me. Like, to my face.
My unwashed hair was thrown up quickly into a messy bun, that I initially thought had looked okay when I left the house. My makeup, put on during the car ride to the mall, definitely did not come close to masking my blemishes and dark circles. I saw my stretch marks, those brightly colored highways that really made their presence known when they started to go down South the last two months of my pregnancy, under fluorescent lights for the first time. That, coupled with the chipped off purple nail polish on my painfully un-manicured feet, the fact that I only owned one pair of (maternity) jeans that fit me, and the ugly truth that I will have to eventually go back to work hit me all at once; all I could do was let a few tears fall out.