For what ever the reasons some changes that are taking place aren't necessarily for the better (in my opinion). There are a bunch of things we just don't see happening openly anymore which is a shame:
- Openly sharing preggy bellies without judgment or competition for whose is better or worse so that other women now experiencing pregnancy can see they come in all shapes and sizes. We are only ever shown nice looking pert preggy bellies on young sexy mothers.
- Openly breast feeding. Over the years breasts have became more about sex and less about feeding our babies. Only weeks ago my young sons were amazed to find that breasts supplied milk to babies because they'd never seen it happening (or were too young to remember). On that note I'm always amazed when I talk to women who say they would hate to see a woman get her breasts out in public to feed her baby and yet have no issue with their husbands reading men's mags or visiting strip clubs... ??
- After birth belly. Believe it or not, once you've had your baby your tummy kind of resemble a basket ball slowly deflating. It is soft and wobbly and squishy. It doesn't bounce back to flat in a matter of days or even weeks like the celebrities would have us believe.
- Women wearing cold cream face masks. I miss that 'beauty eternal' image of ladies wearing a cold cream mask (picture Elizabeth Taylor). It was a classic sign of pampering and caring for your skin.
- Openly accepting stretchmarks and cellulite and generally accepting all the differences and changes in women's bodies, shapes and sizes. We are more concerned than ever about healthy vs unhealthy - which is a good concern to have. Yet we need to understand that we're all different and that is ok, in fact it's normal. In fact we NEVER see images of cellulite in women unless it's to make fun of them for having it!
- Having groups of women help other women who are struggling with children, marriage, work or life. These days women tend not to admit they're struggling let alone ask for help and sometimes they feel put down if advice is offered. Pity because it's a wonderful thing being able to help another woman in need.
- Cooking from scratch has almost become a rarity - buying ready made foods has become a lifestyle choice. I miss those days when women cooked in groups; such as cooking scones together for morning tea or making large batches of pasta sauce.
- Ageing. Yet another thing that happens, and yet it is shunned and shied away from and it's a pity because we've because so obsessed with youth and beauty that it puts the older women into some limbo category. Becoming older and ageing is treated like a bad thing and yet there is beauty and wisdom in older women.
- Seeing other women give birth would have been normal when we lived in smaller communities. We watched and learned how to do it, how to breathe, when to push, when not to push. We learned that crying out because it's painful was normal. We learned that each woman handled birth differently. These days we've got bunches of women who boast about how they went through birth without any pain killers as though it's a competition who can 'take the pain' the best. We've got bunches of women wanting to have cesareans because they don't want to experience a normal birth. We have situations like mine where when I started making loud noises during my labour the midwife told me to stop yelling and my husband thought I did a 'bad job'. When did pregnancy and labour go from being a normal natural wonderful thing to being a competition about who can do it best?
The reason I think we should see more of these things is because many a new mum / parent is struggling with things like breast feeding because they've not watched many (if any) women do it. Many women body shame because they feel bad about imperfections (theirs and others). Many women struggle with raising their children because we no longer have a community of women around them to help.
Do you do or experience many of these with other women? Is there something else you'd add to things we should see more of?