do you answer a woman who is overly concerned about
her physical appearance? Some worry about being too
flat chested. Others worry about stretch marks
resulting from pregnancies and childbirth. They
think that implants and cosmetic surgery are the
solution. Here is the answer given by a remarkable
mom of seven children.
Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB
Please don't think I am being prideful; there is a point I
am trying to make.
I have never been what I would call attractive by society's
standards. I'd say 'average looking' at most, but I was 5'10
and 120 lbs when I got married. Twenty-two years and seven
children later, I now weigh 195lbs. I'd like to shed about
20 of those, but my peri-menopausal body seems to be happy
right where it is.
I wear a size 14 and carry it well because of my height. I
have never smoked or sunbathed, so I look younger than my 42
Why do I say this? Because at 42, I can look in the mirror
-NAKED- and am content with what I see. My body has grown
and nourished those 7 children. I don't have the body of a
sweet young thing- I have the body of a woman. (Remember,
too--our husbands no longer have the Adonis bodies WE
married! :-) )
I look at myself- and despite the stretch marks from my chin
to my knees and the extra weight- I am far happier with who
I am and how I look than I was 20 years ago when I had the
body many women try to have today.
Last week I had someone new to our parish seek me out
regarding the specific ministry I head. He was told to look
for the beautiful tall (color of my hair)! I NEVER would
have described myself as beautiful.
I was joking about it with the parish secretary, she said
that is how everyone described me when I first arrived at
the parish- and everyone knew whom that meant. She said she
knew I wouldn't describe myself like that, but.....HERE IS
MY POINT>>>> it is a matter of HOW I present myself: she
said I am obviously comfortable with myself and happy in
what I am doing...and I radiate it. This lady who I consider
exceedingly beautiful told me she thinks I am the most
beautiful person she knows! I was floored.
Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, whoever....I wouldn't want their
physical beauty for ONE SINGLE SECOND if it meant
sacrificing the contentment I have with the person I have
grown to be and the beautiful daughter of God I have always
been- whether or not I realized it!
True beauty is within you, and you don't want any man who
doesn't realize it!
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Q & A --