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My Son Thinks I'm Pretty

I can’t shop in Forever 21 anymore. I’ve tried. Just last year around this time I could run in there, grab a medium shirt and run out without hitting the dressing room. Everything’s changed now.

With advancement in my career comes a low point in my physical activity. No more running back and forth for six hours a day refilling coffee as a waitress; I am officially a professional now. And more round.

RELATED: Forever (And Ever) 21

I have to actually watch what I eat. I went on a sugar detox just to become aware of how my sugar intake was impacting my body. I have to walk daily for an hour-and-a-half just to feel human. My clothes (or what’s left of them) don’t fit. I’ve reduced myself to wearing stretchy items that cover everything, and when a camera snaps, I hide.

I’m getting older. I had to stop using those four-year-old pictures for my social media profiles. My face doesn’t look like that anymore. My eyes aren’t radiant like they used to be. There’s a bulge in the front of my pants now. I used to wonder how women got those, but now I see. It just happens, I guess, naturally.

I should smile my REAL smile all of the time—you know, the one that shows off my overbite.

I didn’t want to feel sad about my body’s changes so I set out to celebrate me being me and getting older in the process. I decided to take new pictures out and about in Hollywood. I was in a great mood that day. I wore my favorite dress, a new scarf and my favorite perfume. I felt the jiggles in my belly as a friend and I walked around back alleys looking for picturesque backgrounds, but I didn’t mind the extra padding for some reason. When I finally saw the pictures I had to smile.

What was I thinking? I look pretty. I should get dressed up more. I should wear makeup more often. I should smile my REAL smile all of the time—you know, the one that shows off my overbite. I should show my skin more; I have great shoulders and great legs, too.

I may not be young anymore, but I’m still pretty.

The best part about taking new photos was sharing them. For the first time in a long time I changed my profile picture to an actual photo of ME instead of a joke picture where I tried to hide behind making people laugh. I received 87 likes on my picture. I couldn’t believe how great that made me feel.

I emailed the pictures to my sons and the next day I received a reply: You look very pretty, mommy.

RELATED: What My Daughter Taught Me About Body Image

I sat there with a goofy grin on my face as I read that sentence over and over again. Of all the men who catcall me, of all the times I’ve been told I’m beautiful, of all the days when I stared at the pictures from my youth and wished I had appreciated being young more, this is the day I felt perfect. His compliment meant the most to me.

My son has great taste and a grateful mommy who he happens to think is pretty. I agree.

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