God Bless Cindy Crawford

Because Georgia thought I was being vain and mean, I want to clarify the sentiment behind this post. I wasn't trying to make fun of Cindy Crawford. I was elated to see the pictures of her on vacation, paddling a surfboard (in another), enjoying the sunshine, celebrating her good health. She's a real woman, with a real woman's body, albeit a beautiful real woman's body. She's fit. She takes care of herself, and she wears (proudly it seems) the scars of her history and the history of her children's birth.

In my dreams, men love their wives inside and out. When the women give birth to their children, the husbands honor that process and respect its sacrifices. They continue to love and long for the woman they married, and embrace the changes that come with motherhood. They don't start ogling other women or scouring the Internet for "Barely Legal."

But my own experiences and those of many women I'm close to, have proven otherwise. I read once that one of the prime times men cheat on their wives is when the wives are pregnant. I couldn't believe that, but then it happened to me. Often, when a woman's body has been "damaged" by pregnancy and childbirth, she's no longer prized. This is clear in the general response to Cindy's photos. But one would hope her own husband would feel quite otherwise.

I felt I was being punished once my children were born and I no longer met my ex's "standard." I became self-conscious and inhibited. I was ashamed of my body; no amount of exercise or cosmetics could fix the stretch marks or c-section scar. Eventually, after my divorce, I learned once again to celebrate my body and all of its wonderful stories. But even that hard-won victory was short-lived.

One of my favorite poets, Adrian Blevins, has a moving poem called "Turning Thirty-Six" about this very subject. Here's an excerpt:

but what could we have known of the births that would take our
bodies from us?

No matter what, the bodies of girls will fatten on semen
and burgeon with milk
while the fathers with zilch in their hands amble off drunk,
broke, bawling, blind.
In their divergent dreams do the febrile men see us as we once

when we were still little birds in the water? Do they carry us in
the pockets
of their hearts? Do they take us out and throw us down
while we rock like hags in the deadbeat dark?


Montgomery Maxton said...

really? wait. for real?

Tania Rochelle said...

Two kids, MM. It happens.

ga said...

why would you even ever do that? ever? this is the stupidest post in the history of your blog. hands down.

Tania Rochelle said...

Why would I do what, George? Post the picture? Say god bless her?

And regardless, there have been stupider posts.

ga said...

No, I assure you, there have not.

Kathy said...

Great post. Cindy is fabulous and looks healthy.

They just had story on Today show re women/body image. Lead was beach photos of Jennifer Love Hewitt; expert talking about loving your body; and, of course, they showed the unflattering photos over & over.

Mary Campbell said...

regardless, it makes me feel better about eating a few cookies every now and then....

ga said...

Perhaps you should have written this in the post the first go around!!

Tania Rochelle said...

Well, Miss George, I thought the pic and the title said it all.

Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

Ahhhh, if only we weren't so relentlessly superficial when it comes to our sexuality. I want to say body image in a man doesn't bother me. Yet while dating an older, out of shape, rather large man once, I found myself often fantasizing about having, uh, "relations" with someone less old, out of shape, and large. Needless to say, the relationship never went anywhere, on my part at least. I found it difficult to remain "interested" at the physical level. On other levels, I remain very attatched to the person though. I hope he can one dy forgive my relentlessly human shortcomings. But I'm not holding my breath. Nor am I holding it in expectation of something younger, fitter, and slimmer coming around either.

Collin said...

It's a good thing some people can see around the flaws of others or we would all be alone and the Earth depopulated.

Tania Rochelle said...

If men's balls drooped and they scarred a little when they fathered children, I think we'd love them and their bodies anyway.

ads. said...

T- that's it...exactly. Women, for the most part, have accepted men as they are- warts and all. Women, it seems, have foregone the loss in man's physical appearance, character, etc. for a sense of "security" and worry more about being presentable to the man. That's why mostly women get eating disorders... and men are usually just "carriers".(It's not EVERYONE, but there is enough to set the so-called "standard" we see every day in the media, and in real life.) Women have had centuries of being taught this, so you can't expect it to change in a few decades...even though it should.

Figuratively speaking: Women, if not influenced, accept change. Whereas men reject any change they cannot control.
Good post. This post ties in with your post about eating disorders, and also your "fat Travolta" post.

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