I actually posted this photo for last year’s February Photofest 2018, when I was focusing on the theme of “parts of my body I don’t like.” I wanted to re-post it for a few reasons. One, because I don’t dislike this photo at all. In fact, I think it’s a rather flattering shot, and even though I haven’t learned to love that mommy-tummy, I have come to terms with it. This is part of me now…a part that made me a mother, which is a big part of who I am now. I’m not just me…a daughter…a wife…a lover. I’ve given life. And that life has, in turn changed mine forever…and continues to do so.
The other thing is that just because I became a mother doesn’t mean that my sexual identity ended. In fact, even though I very much struggled with merging my roles at the beginning of motherhood, I’m beginning to realize, a mere 11 years in, that motherhood actually adds a different flavor to my sexuality. I think it has made me softer, more pliant, and stronger. There is an elastic to my body and my being that didn’t exist before I was a mother. There also was not the protective ferocity that exists now to protect my child…or the fear that I cannot.
This photo reminds me of images I have seen of the fertility goddess. Full-breasted, naked, strong, and proud. And it is evidence of my changing self-concept.