There's No Such Thing As Ugly

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

There's no such thing as ugly

Whilst the world coos over baby Prince George's first forays into the spotlight, there are cheers resounding up and down the country heralding Kate a hero for not Spandexing in her post-baby bump.

This stole the limelight from young George far more than anyone would ever had anticipated. Or had we? Are looks and figure so important that it would detract from the future King's first appearance? Of course they are.

For weeks now, scrap that - it's months and probably years. Scrap that again. I have probably gone through most of my life feeling ugly, fat, frumpy and useless. I know that I'm not actually that bad. I think my eyes are okay. And I thought I was fat when I was a lovely, lithe size 8/10 mum of three - what I wouldn't give to be back there now. For years I have worn the same old 'mum-uniform' of black trousers and top. I'm too embarrassed to draw attention to myself in anything else.

As my daughter Stephanie says: "You're like a cartoon character where they open up their wardrobe and have several outfits in the same style!" That's me, it is.

But lately I feel worse than ever. I find it increasingly harder to shift the weight and my grey hairs are coming through thick and fast. My post-baby bulge is a belly-dancing entity in its own right. My legs are pale, having not seen sunlight in years, yet decorated with a London Underground-type map of veins, thoughtfully bulging in a biological version of braille. That may be useful some day in the not too distant future with my ever-diminishing vision.

So you see, I feel down about myself. And some days I feel really down and I have to stop myself and make myself think, you know, I'm actually not that bad. I have a brain, have developed businesses which have paid bills and put food in our mouths (too much of it at times, my expanding waistline tells me) and I try - I do try - to be a good person overall , though missing sainthood by a great, not-small-in-the-slightest margin.

Yet I am aware that I have daughters who may feel the same about themselves and I know that if they hear me putting myself down they may feel that this is how things are and, quite simply, this is what we do and how we should feel about ourselves. I don't want to be responsible for that.

And I really don't want my daughters to feel that everything in life is dependent on how you do or don't look. I also don't want my sons to be blinded by superficiality and I want all my children to realise that beauty is only in the eye of the media. And their definition of it changes every day.

We are all beautiful. We are all special. We are all wonderful and we are all pretty amazing in our own, unique way. Even us mums, with our greying hair, post-baby bulge and London Underground mapped legs are marvellous creatures who quite frankly spend so much of our time considering everyone else that we do need to stop once in a while and remind ourselves that we are amazing. We don't have to look like somebody else to be attractive. We are more than fine the way we are. Who is to say otherwise? The magazines? The latest celebs? The papers?

Jo Swinson recently wrote an article in the Huffington Post stating that: "Our Children Shouldn't Grow Up Thinking That Looks Are the Most Important Things in Life". She says: "Girls are under more pressure now than ever. They shouldn't constantly feel the need to measure up to a very narrow range of digitally manipulated or cosmetically-engineered shapes and sizes. I'm not against celebrating beauty, far from it, but I am against young girls thinking they can't achieve their goals and dreams in life because they don't look a certain way. None of us want that for our children: I certainly don't, and I will continue to campaign to stop it."

Yes, I agree completely. But let's face up to it's not just the children who suffer low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. We adults are just as bad at putting ourselves down too.

So whilst we can point the finger at the media for being responsible for the way our children see themselves, let us not forget that we too have a duty to show our children that beauty comes in all shapes and forms and we are all beautiful, even if it isn't what is in vogue today. Our faces, our bodies, our outward image is worth nothing if everything it carries with it is ugly, and there is nothing more beautiful than a confident person, an intelligent mind and a kind, loving heart.

And if that doesn't work, well this video might help show how the media's definition of beauty is created to fit what they believe it is. Our children should definitely see this.

Larger Family Life was created to offer an insight on life in a large family and to promote and encourage family life. Tania and her husband Michael currently have 12 children ranging from 20 years down to their latest addition born in November 2012. Their 13th child is due in early 2014.

Twitter: @largerfamily


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