Overheard at the ballfield last weekend by a cute little ponytail wielding 10 year old girl softball player.
“Hey Mama, you should get this tank top, its such a pretty color and it would look good on you and you could wear it to our softball games!”
The mom agreed it was cute, checked the size, slipped it on over her shirt and then affirmatively said, “Oh no – I cannot wear this, it will show my flabby arms and cellulite!”
She did finally settle on a shirt she liked, that was 2 sizes too big and in her words, ‘would hide everything!’
I can relate. Maybe you can too. I spent years and years hating my arms, and thinking they were manly. I wear tank tops to bed, and have only in the last year gussied up the courage to wear a tank top in public. At a ballgame. With a lot of people around. And I have to admit, I am still self conscious.
The reason that this short but sweet conversation struck me, is because as a mama to 4 girls, I am so guilty of the self criticism myself. And this mom was not fat. If I were to see her wearing a tank top at the ballfield, I would never have thought anything of it. I would have never thought “Who does that mom think she is wearing a tank top out in public like that with those arms!
But we all do it.But we have to STOP doing it around our daughters.
And if you take a look around the softball fields, you will see that our girls – our players come on every single size and shape available, and they are all beautiful.
And mostly, they all deserve to feel beautiful and confident in their skin. And that mentality, that confidence starts with the women in their lives that they emulate.
One of the things we love most about female athletics, is that it gives our children, our daughters – a place to express themselves, display their talents, be STRONG both physically and mentally, be TOUGH minded, be competitive and NOT have to be concerned with how they look.
If anything the softball field reinforces the fact that beautiful comes in all shapes, sizes, and that their worth as human beings has nothing to do with their weight, or their hair color, or any other aesthetic pressure that girls are naturally predisposed to.
If nothing else, allowing our daughters to embrace the down and dirty, nitty gritty, hard core toughness that coms with being a serious, competitive athlete is one of the benefits of playing softball; or any sport for that matter.
Our girls can show up to the softball field not worrying about the size of their butt, whether their arms are flabby, or whether they have cellulite because they know they will be accepted for who they are, exactly how they are.
And you know what…as their mama’s – we can too! In fact, we need to be able to show up and wear tank tops if we want to, embracing our flabby arms and not so perfect thighs if for nothing else so out daughters can see that we are SO MUCH MORE than our appearances.
We also have to remember that our girls, well – they love and accept us how we are. They think we are beautiful. They see us through eyes that aren’t clouded with self consciousness. We are their mothers, their aunts, their grandmothers, their sisters. We are their soft place to land.
So we say – wear the damn tank top this summer. There is zero sense in sitting at the ballpark sweating your boobies off because you are worried about a little arm jiggle. Who cares if you sit down and your thighs widen, and your stomach sort of folds over itself just a little. YOU are the only one bothered by it.
And you know what IS absolutely BEAUTIFUL….CONFIDENCE!
Go ahead. Even out that ballfield tan.
So wear the tank top. And if you want one that we promise is not clingy and will look great, we have tons up for summer to choose from! (And they are on sale!) We call that a win-win!