Beauty of a Woman 2014 – My Morphing Body and Mind

This post is part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman BlogFest 2014.

Closeup decorative grunge vintage woman with beautiful long hair

I’m excited yet nervous to be taking part in this BlogFest. I confess that I’m stepping out of my comfort zone big time.

Scared

As nervous as I am, I think my story is very much any girl’s story. Just change the details, incidents, and issues, but the feelings and raw emotions are similar. Tender and vulnerable. We reach an age when we become aware of our physical flaws, often thanks to someone else pointing them out to us.

I didn’t have to do eeny, meeny, miny, moe to pick which beauty/self-image issue to write about. Never mind the hairy arms and the time a boyfriend told me I had hairy knuckles. And never mind my ugly legs. I learned they were ugly at age four or five when some adults were laughing and making fun of them. There are numerous flaws from head to toe that have challenged me through life, but for this post, I’ll focus on the biggie, the one that has probably shaped me more than the others.

First, meet Lynnie. Pretty much a typical happy-go-lucky little girl with an older brother, a younger brother, and two younger sisters. I played mother hen to my younger siblings, and life was good.

My father used to sing this little chant about me that made me giggle my head off:

“Skinny Lynnie, there she goes,

walkin’ down the street like a bag o’ bones!”

He wasn’t making fun of me. It was sweet and silly, and I still smile when I think about it.

Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, children's author, Curse of the Double Digits, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon Mysteries

Second grade

At some point I morphed from happy-go-lucky to severely insecure. It’s vague as to when it happened, but I’d guess somewhere around–somewhere around . . . the “P” word. Deep breath. Just say it! Okay, somewhere around puberty. Ugh, what is it about that word that still makes me uncomfortable? Kind of telling, huh?

Lynnie on stilts

Sixth grade

Above, I was in sixth grade, I think. Gotta love those bell bottom flood pants and mismatched outfit. Never was much of a fashionista. Ah, to be so carefree.

I was a late bloomer. Skinny and underdeveloped in seventh grade wasn’t a happy scenario. One of my friends wore a size “D” bra. She was proud of her body because her mother made sure she didn’t feel ashamed of it. I had no desire to be that busty and have people stare at my chest, but a little something would have boosted my self-esteem greatly.

I might have escaped mean insults.  One time a boy I didn’t know rode past me on his bike and said, “You’re a carpenter’s delight. Flat as a board.” His laughter echoed in my head as he pedaled on his merry way. It took a moment to sink in. Ouch!

Seventh grade was a terrible year. Way before sixth grade ended, my friends and I whispered about how we dreaded going to junior high and would have to take showers after P.E. (physical education). The first shower was worse than I’d imagined. Our teacher sat up on the lockers and watched us to make sure no one skipped out.

She looked at me as I stood buck naked, skinny and flat, trying to become invisible under the stream of water. “Turn around,” she said, making a circle motion with her hand. Cringe, cringe, cringe. So much for going unnoticed.

Somehow I adjusted to the shower routine, just like the other girls did. We had different body builds, but inside most of us were self-conscious and learned to deal with it.

Some of us dealt with body issues better than others. At one point we learned gymnastics in P.E. One of my passions. I had long before taught myself how to do a cartwheel, headstand, handstand, handspring, back bend, and forward flips. I was a shining star. We had to come up with a routine, according to our abilities, to be graded on. No sweat!

Or so I thought. We were required to wear a leotard for our routine. A tight, body hugging black leotard. I put it on but felt naked. I couldn’t bring myself to leave the locker room. While the other girls went outside for the big test, I sat on the bench and cried.

My friend Tricia came back into the locker room to get me. “What’s wrong?”

I didn’t answer, but cried harder.

“Is it because you’re flat?”

Sniffle. Sniffle. “Uh-huh.”

I honestly don’t remember if I wore that stinking, revealing leotard for the test. My mind has blanked it out. Somehow, I see myself performing my routine in my P.E. blouse and shorts, but I’m not sure. I remember I got an A, and the student teacher told me to go for a team. A gymnastics team! That was one of the worst and best days of my life.

Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, children's author, Curse of the Double Digits, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon Mysteries

Age 13. Do I look like a bubble dancer?

Another ugly incident happened in seventh grade. (What a banner year.) My teacher was a man. Mr. X was considered cool by most students. One day he was joking around and announced, “Lynn’s going to become a bubble dancer someday.”

I had no idea what a bubble dancer was, but I knew Mr. X was making fun of me. I held my tears in the rest of the school day, but as soon as I got to home sweet home, I broke down. My mom asked what was wrong, so I told her.

She grabbed her purse, told me to get in the car, and headed straight for the school. Mr. X was still in his classroom. Mom chewed him up one side and down the other for saying something so inappropriate and humiliating to me in front of the class. I later learned a bubble dancer is a stripper. Why would he say something like that?

Mr. X apologized just to appease Mom, but I didn’t care that he was insincere because my mom had my back. She has always been and always will be beautiful to me, but even more so that day. She was my hero and set an example for the mother I would one day become.

By eighth grade, I still failed to blossom. Mom took me to the doctor to find out what was wrong.

“She’s perfectly normal and healthy,” the doctor assured her. Have patience.

At the end of eighth grade, Granddad passed away. My parents sent me to Pittsburgh to live with my grandmother for the summer and help her get ready to move to California.

That summer, Aunt Flo visited me for the first time. (I’m avoiding that other “P” word, period. My generation wasn’t open about periods like younger generations are now.)

Mom was so relieved I returned home with hips. And a tiny bust. Those little bumps were just big enough to boost my self-esteem and get me through high school.

Thankfully, I made it through puberty, got used to Aunt Flo overstaying her visits, and lived by a common saying of the times: “Just keep on keepin’ on.”

George and I married when I was 20. At 23, I embraced another “P” word. Pregnancy. The times they were a changin’, and I discovered the changes a woman’s body goes through are both fascinating and amazing.

In the photo below, I was three months pregnant with my first child. Still Skinny Lynnie, but not for long.

Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, children's author, Curse of the Double Digits, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon Mysteries

Age 23 – Three months pregnant.

For the first time in my life, I became plump and busty. Being pregnant made me feel beautiful. No, not because I was busty, but because I was going to be a mother, and as my body blossomed, so did the new life within me.

Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, children's author,

Almost nine months pregnant and loving it!

With each pregnancy, I plumped up, then morphed back into Skinny Lynnie a few months after childbirth.

Lynn pregnant with Susie

Wow, I got huge with the fourth pregnancy, and that dress isn’t flattering, yet still I felt beautiful!

Lynn - skinny and sickly

I remained Skinny Lynnie until age 50. Here, in my 40s, I was stressed, skinny, and sickly. Not beautiful inside or out. Stress can suck the life right out of us.

With menopause comes a whole new crop of body and mind morphing issues. They sneak up on you until one day, BAM, you take notice. I think it took two years to notice the cellulite in my upper arms. I thought cellulite only invaded our buns and legs. Ha! It can strike anywhere. Probably our brains, too, because forgetfulness nails us, beginning with perimenopause.

Another time while looking in the mirror with the light reflecting a certain way, I discovered peach fuzz on my face. Egad! Great. I had a face to match the hairy knuckles, but hairy knuckles and peach fuzz ain’t got nothing on the monstrous varicose veins snaking above the surface of my hands.

At 58, I can laugh at these flaws (usually) because, frankly, I’ve never been more content in my life. Finally, my perspective (love that “P” word) on life and beauty is what it should be. That old saying, “Keep on keepin’ on” doesn’t cut it anymore. No way.

As care giver of two of my four grandchildren, I’m blessed to view life through a child’s eyes again. So many new things to learn, beautiful family and friends to engage with, laugh with, comfort. There’s an entire wonderful, wacky world to explore (even if only in books, movies, or through cyberspace).

I’m not saying everything is hunky dory. Far from it in this imperfect world. I’m surrounded by so many hurting souls and I wish I could help them, but all I can do is pray and try to spread some kindness. I love the ripple effect just a little bit of kindness triggers. Those are the times I feel beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong. I can be as feisty as the next woman, but it makes me feel ugly. Who likes to feel ugly? No one I know.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I catch a glimpse of the inner beauty behind my eyes, and I smile because life is good and life is beautiful, even in the midst of this broken world.

How about you? Are beauty and body issues easy for you to talk about? What makes you feel beautiful? Do you know any women you admire for their inner beauty?

Be sure to visit August Mclaughlin’s blog to read the other blog fest posts and for fun, inspiration, laughs, and more. You might also win one of two $50 gift cards!

(Note to parents of young girls: I highly recommend the NY bestselling book Reviving Ophelia. It will help you understand why so many girls lose themselves in adolescence. You’ll be better equipped to help her, guide her, and empower her. Knowledge is power. I wish I’d known about that book when my daughters were young, so I’m giving you a heads up.)

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52 Responses to Beauty of a Woman 2014 – My Morphing Body and Mind

  1. Patricia says:

    I love this post. I was a skinny minnie, too. In the summer between 5th and 6th grades I grew about 8 inches – no joke! 8 inches in one summer. When school started in the fall, I was the tallest kid in school. And reed thin. I had very small boobs and, at the time, very long legs. I was what you’d call gangly.

    Today I’m the same height I was in 6th grade – 5’4″ but I weigh a whole lot more. Fortunately my boobs got a little bigger (not much) but the rest of my body finally filled out a little bit so I wasn’t so freaky looking. I remember thinking something was wrong with me, too, because I grew so fast that one summer. I had nightmares that I was going to keep on growing and just look ridiculous with no hips or chest. Funny how the adolescent mind works.

    Good for your mom for being your champion. And I hope you joined the gymnastics team.

    I love your school photos. You are beautiful now and then.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Aw, thank you, Patricia. Holy cow, eight inches in one summer? Wow! Must have been hard to keep outgrowing your clothes! And you weren’t all that tall at 5′ 4″. It’s amazing how everyone grows at a different pace. And there you go, calling yourself freaky looking. See how we all pick on ourselves? I didn’t even realize I didn’t have hips and didn’t realize I had them when I returned home that summer. My mom noticed!

      You’re right, the adolescent mind is a bit tweaked, thanks to the way society views us. Thanks so much for commenting!

  2. I can relate to much of what you said…and I’m calling you out, Lynn. There was a ‘little’ more to the carpenter’s dream thing than you shared here, lol. Or at least there was in my neck of the woods. And I fit the mold until I turned 14 or 15…at which point I went from flat as a board to seriously NOT flat – to the point where I got teased all the time. So I can tell you from the other side of the coin…it was every bit as bad as the other.

    I’m sorry you ever felt like you weren’t beautiful. I wish you did always. We all are, in so many ways, and we need to stop letting society determine that we are not.

    As for Mr. X…good for your mother! That piece of dirt didn’t have any business being around kids, much less teaching them.

    You know what I find most interesting about this post? Your photos of Skinny Lynnie look very normal to me. Amazing how things change through the years, isn’t it. What was considered too thin when you were a girl is often considered too fat these days.

    • Kristy, I agree the other side of the coin wasn’t a picnic either. I don’t know which would be worse. I agree that we need to stop letting society determine beauty. So many unrealistic expectations that most girls will never fit the perfectly beautiful mold.

      No, Mr. X shouldn’t have said what he said, and I wonder how many other kids he humiliated and got away with it.

      You’re right about how the standards as far as what’s thin is concerned. I don’t remember a single friend having anorexia or bulimia back then. So those stupid standards have taken a toll on our girls. 🙁

  3. Dear Lynn, it’s so wonderful to get an insight into a side of you we rarely see. It’s terrible how body image (and everybody else’s idea of what is and isn’t good) can blind us at that crucial time to the obvious truth. You were and still are such a beautiful soul. I love that picture of you at age 13, but what awful teachers you had!! They’d never get away with such things now (at least, I hope not!). Anyway, thanks for being brave and sharing this with us. I’m not so brave, but I will tell you I’ve always been a Skinnie Lynnie, and while everyone seems to want to envy that, I concur that there are plenty of drawbacks. Such is life. As you get older, thankfully, you start to care less! xoxo

    • Thank you, Alarna! You look just right, not too thin and not overweight. But being healthy is the important thing, for sure. And it’s so true we don’t care as much as we get older. I never would have written this post five years ago. And, no, Mr. X wouldn’t get away with a comment like that nowadays.

      Thanks for stopping by. Take care! XO

  4. Oh bestie! Thanks for being so brave and telling your story. I love you! You were beautiful as a child, even more lovely as a teen, gettin’ gorgeous as a woman, and RAVISHING now.

    I was always too tall, too small (like you), and too shy. BLEH!

    I have tried to make sure Ivy is confident, but she likes a boy at church and he does NOT like her back. So I’m going to get that book. Love you! SMOOOCH!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Aw, thank you for such sweet words, Robyn. Yep, each of us had issues. Those growing up years were rough! Yes, get that book because it explains so much, and Ivy is old enough to read it and all that knowledge will register with her and empower her. She’ll do fine because you’re her mom. Best mom ever! XO

  5. I forgot to say, “Go Lynn’s mom! YEAH!”

  6. I guess my body issue is that I’m short, and I’ve been made fun of because of my height, but nothing like you’ve had to suffer through. I cannot believe the teacher watched you guys shower after P.E. and made you turn around as though you were on display. That is abuse, plain and simple. The school has no right to dictate whether you have to do that, in my opinion.

    It’s so sad that girls in our society are made to be so self-conscious about their bodies. I just hope that that will change one day so that no one will ever be teased or belittled because of something they can’t help.

    Hugs!

    • Most of my family members are short, but I don’t think being short is a problem. Other family members are sensitive about it. It’s especially rough for a male to be short, thanks to the way society judges people. Seems like no one gets off easy, huh? Whether we wear glasses or braces or are tall, short, or in between, there’s always something that bothers us. And often it’s caused from mean comments made by others.

      I think it’s much worse for girls today than when I was young. My daughters had a harder time with mean kids. It’s the pressure society puts on them to look beautiful or they’ll never be happy. That’s what I loved about the book Reviving Ophelia. It addresses what our girls deal with and it has answers and ways for parents/adults in a child’s life to head off those problems before they can do some real damage. Thank you for your comment, Teresa!

  7. What a wonderful post, Lynn. I had the same uncomfortable issues. Communal showers horrified me even up to 16 at TKD events. You don’t realise at the tine that those who were rude were probably jealous of something annd trying to take the focus off themselves.

    • Catherine – I was so glad showers weren’t forced on us when we got to high school. Except when we had swimming. I hated having to wear a school issued ugly one piece suit that didn’t fit any of us right. They don’t do that anymore. When my kids had swimming, they wore their own swimsuits. My one daughter freaked out when it was time for swim class. She didn’t want to wear a swimsuit, since PE nowadays is co-ed! I would have freaked, too, if we’d had co-ed P.E. for swimming!

      You’re right about kids who are rude and cut others down. They’re insecure themselves or they wouldn’t act that way. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  8. Lynn,
    I’m so sorry you ever felt anything but beautiful. Because you are – inside and out. I hope some of these posts are seen by girls and young women struggling with how they look. I wish I’d had something like this back when I was young. I don’t think any of us escape the “we are less than” times. It’s absolutely reprehensible that any adult would add to the insecurity of our youth. I would like to think that adults today are more aware of the damage they can do…
    Hugs and love,
    Rhonda

  9. Rhonda, thank you for the kind words. I think I got off pretty easy compared to lots of kids. Things were just plain vicious by the time my own kids went to jr. high and high school. It killed me when my kids got bullied or ganged up on. I have to give them props for getting through those rough years because high school was a piece of cake in my day compared to when my kids attended and it’s probably worse these days. The humiliation some kids are subjected to over the internet is unthinkable to me. It’s good the bullying issue is being addressed. I think every kid gets bullied or does some bullying at sometime, but when it becomes a chronic thing and isn’t addressed, that’s when something has to be done about it.

    I have the same hopes you expressed, that kids will read these kind of posts and know they’re not alone, that most of their peers are going through the same thing. Books like Reviving Ophelia are a huge help for parents and it’s great if kids read it, too, so they can absorb all that knowledge and understand how messed up our society is in how girls and women are viewed. There’s a book titled “Raising Cain,” I think that addresses raising boys. I haven’t read it, but it sounds similar to Reviving Ophelia. Our boys need help, too.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and expressing your opinion!

  10. Yvette Carol says:

    Aw, Lynn, what a sweet, beautiful, honest post. I couldn’t stop reading! Girl, I don’t know what your family was laughing about – your legs are awesome!! I agree with what Teresa said about abuse, that shower scene made me cringe – you poor thing. But how wonderful that your pregnancies erased all of that. Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    • Thank you. Yes, being pregnant was wonderful. I didn’t think I’d ever want to stop having kids, even at 80, but that’s why our kids grow up and have grandchildren! Thanks for your sweet words!

  11. I got picked on all through school, because I was short (still am), awkward, and the most unathletic kid in my grade. Thank God I never had to suffer the gym showers – I think we had separate stalls – but being always the last kid picked was awful. I never had much self-confidence until a year or so after I graduated from college! Meeting my husband was the best thing that ever happened to me, because among other things, I’ve learned how to not give a rip what other people think and not take crap from them. 😀

    • Yay, Jennette, that you got a break from the gym showers, but boo for being picked on and getting picked last. That is awful. I’m so glad your hubby brought out your self-confidence and helped you put everything into perspective as far as the stinky things other people say. Sometimes I just don’t get why some people are so mean. You come across as very confident, and your novels rock. You’re one of my favorite authors!

  12. Pingback: The Beauty of a Woman BlogFest III: Original Edition | August McLaughlin's Blog

  13. I just wanna hug you! I love this post, Lynn — it’s so insightful, honest and relatable. Whether we’re deemed overweight, underweight or otherwise “flawed,” these issues are far too familiar to most woman — and many men. I’m so glad that you can laugh at your perceived imperfections…though I’m pretty sure others see more beauty in you than may realize. 🙂 You conclusion gave me chills.

    Thank you for participating in the fest and for using your voice and story in such an inspiring way.

  14. I love this post. I remember going from nothing to way too much over the summer between 7th and 8th grade.

    • Hi Kathryn! Thanks so much for stopping by my site. You did a lot of growing that summer. Isn’t it amazing how fast some kids grow and how others take years? And how those years affect us. From the comments I’ve received and from those I’ve known through life, it’s clear that almost all kids deal with insecurities through those adolescent years, yet each person’s story is unique as to how it unfolds and how it shaped the people we grew into. So nice to meet you through this blogfest!

  15. Lynn,

    I didn’t start developing until after I was 13. My best friend was voluptuous by the time we were 12.

    We were referred to, in school, as The Rocky Mountains and The Great Plains. Not particularly flattering, to either of us, and it became such an ingrained part of my life that I never realized when, at about 16, I, too, became voluptuous…

    I honestly think that maybe the best thing I’ve done for my own daughter, who, at 9.5 has very mature hips and a developing chest, is to have opted out of sending her to school.

    Her group of friends encompasses many shapes, sizes, shadings, senses of style, and ways of being beautiful. More than that, everyone is much more focused on what fires their passions.

    And that is a beautiful thing!

    By the way, I think you are lovely. I always look at eyes and smiles and warmth – and you’ve got all of those! =)

    • Shan, that’s awful that your best friend and you had to endure those comments for years. I’m so sorry you went through that. I completely understand why some people homeschool their kids. I think it’s great that we have that choice, and I love that your daughter and her friends are focused on what fires their passions. That’s the way it should be and it’s truly a beautiful thing! Thank you for the compliments and for stopping by!

  16. Katy B. says:

    I enjoyed reading about your “journey through the Ps” very much ! Like you, I was leggy and awkward as a kid. I think becoming more feisty helped me overcome it, though, and don’t consider that a bad thing. It was a matter of coming into my own and not taking anybody’s crap any more. Maybe we just define the word differently than each other. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Kathy, “awkward” is a perfect description for most of us during those years. The awkward years. Feisty can be a good thing if it helps you become empowered and assert yourself when you need to. Like my mom was “feisty” in the best way when she was my advocate when the teacher humiliated me. I guess what I meant was being feisty when it’s not called for, letting something tick me off and acting on it when I should have just left better off alone. I was way more than feisty as an advocate for my own kids when they were treated unfairly. Sounds like you got your act together at a young age, and I say yay for you!

  17. Kate Wood says:

    Moving post, Lynn. Though most of us women have experienced the pain of being judged by how our bodies look, or don’t look, it still hurts to read or hear of it spoken. Our very uniqunesses make us beautiful. Even menopause can be beautiful, if society would let it! I wish you much love, happiness and joy, sister!

    • Kate, how nice to see you here! “Our very uniquenesses make us beautiful,” I love that, and I feel the same way. Yes, even menopause can be viewed as beautiful if society was tweaked, but many menopausal women have gained a whole different perspective by that point in life and know society’s standards are completely messed up. Reminds me of the Red Hat group, and I think there’s a group that wears purple hats, something like that? It’s been a while since I’ve read about them, but they don’t give a rat’s whisker about what society thinks about how they dress or look, so hooray for them!

      Thank you for the sweet wish of love, happiness and joy. Right back atcha, sista!

  18. Raani York says:

    This is a very special – and to me very emotional blog post, Lynn. I know what you’ve been going through, believe me!
    Thanks for sharing this!! You’re strong and brave – and believe me, I know what I’m talking about!

  19. Hi Raani! Oh, yes, how well you know. I read your BOAW post and will never forget it. What you’ve been through left quite an impression on me, and I was telling my oldest daughter about what you grew up with. She was ticked just hearing about what you were subjected to. The best part about your post was the ending, knowing you’ve found happiness the past few years, and that’s comforting for your readers, believe me! Wishing you all good things from here on out.

  20. And this is what makes you a beautiful woman, my friend. Your strength in telling your story and realizing the beauty was there all along is empowering, is it not? I was a little the opposite, not fat as an adolescent or teen but not thin enough to be included in the “in crowd”. And it got much worse after children. It took me along time to come to terms with my body issues but when I entered my 50s over ten yrs ago, my attitude began to change for the better for many reasons.
    I’m happy you’ve found your happy place and wish you remain there the rest of your life! Hugs, Lynn!

    • So nice to see you here, Marcia! Yes, it’s taken a lifetime to realize there was beauty within all along, and it is empowering to realize it. What a shame it takes some of us until we’re in our 50s to reach that point and cut ourselves some slack. You’re such a strong woman, Marcia, and I admire you for that. I hope we all find that happy place and can hold onto it forever! Hugs back atcha!

  21. No wonder you related so well to my post, Lynn. We had some very similar experiences. Pregnancy also helped my body image.

    I love your dad’s little song!

    • Yes, Kassandra, I could relate so well to your post. That’s wonderful that you felt the same way about being pregnant. It must feel good to have had the career you had and know you helped so many people work through their insecurities and problems. It takes a very strong person to counsel others day in and day out. Glad you like my dad’s little jingle. He still comes up with some funny stuff!

  22. What an awesome way to reflect back and realize how much you’ve grown! You rock, and so does this post.

  23. Mathair and I love your post, Lynn. I was a skinny child, but when puberty hit so did the pounds. Of course, the plumping was biased and focused on areas I wasn’t too happy about. While my stomach got fluffier and my arms a bit bigger, my chest remained the same. Go figure. LOL. The problem was years of being fed whatever I wanted as a skinny child, hadn’t prepped me for a life of watching calories as a bigger adult. Luckily, Mathair had gone through similar things and when I was ready to take the plunge she showed me the right way to eat and introduced me to the beauty of running. I lost more than a hundred pounds and have been happier than I’ve ever been… because I feel better inwardly. I still have to watch what I eat, but I have a better appreciation of food, myself and the world because of it. Great post and thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. Happy BOAW

    • Inion, this is an awesome comment. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I spent a lifetime not worrying about what I ate because I had trouble gaining weight, so now that I’m 20 pounds overweight, I struggle to eat the right foods. How awesome that you lost more than a hundred pounds and are living such a healthy life and are at such a wonderful place in your life. I’m happy for you, and I hope I can get a grip on the healthy eating lifestyle soon! Take care.

  24. Eden Mabee says:

    The history of Ps…. It’s amazing how little words can be so powerful (another great P word). But you waded through the hard words, the critical looks, even the lewd suggestions (yay to your mom!)… and you glow, Lynn. Since I first read your posts in the WANA group over a year ago, I thought you just glowed.

    On to you experiences though… What I have to wonder is “how did we get to this point?” How is it that we’ve had generation after generation of young people (and older people) who’ve felt so hurt by their own insecurity that they seem driven to trample anyone who isn’t like them? (I read Reviving Ophelia, and it’s good as far as explaining what actually happens, but how to actually prevent it from happening…. not so much.)

  25. Eden, thank you! To say I glow is to me an awesome compliment. Wow, that means a lot to me.

    I, too wonder how our society has evolved to the point it has. It seems to get uglier and uglier. The book Reviving Ophelia does offer parents some advice in heading off those problems their girls will face, but it’s a delicate balancing act and each girl and each family is unique in their circumstances, so the issues need to be dealt with on an individual basis. Changing the way society judges and accepts us is what needs to happen, and that’s not an easy fix. Not at all.

  26. Kourtney says:

    Lynn this is such a great addition to the blogfest. So glad I stopped by and read your amazing story. 🙂

  27. Just love this Lynn!! You’ve clearly found the secret to true beauty and happiness. It shines through your photos 🙂 And I so relate to some of those childhood woes. Ah, to be young again… no thank you. haha! Happy BOAW Fest!

  28. nutschell says:

    What a great post, Lynn! I’m so happy to get to know more about you. And I agree with Robyn, you’re so brave for telling your story. Love it!

    BTW, I nominated you for an award on my blog. 😀 hugs!

    Nutschell
    http://www.thewritingnut.com

  29. susielindau says:

    I can so relate to your story Lynn! Love this!
    I was the skinny Minnie of my family and friends and a “late bloomer.” I remember when I got my period in the 8th grade after going to a Saturday matinee. My mom was very little help. She seemed just as embarrassed as me. The whole mess was very awkward. I went from wanting my period, to fearing the arrival of the dreaded red spots.

    I grew to love getting my period especially as I got older. Then cancer struck and I went on Tamoxifen. I don’t know whether they stopped because of the medication or menopause. I don’t miss the mess, but the more normal hormones and the youthful feeling of it. Oh well. At this point, I’m really just thankful to be alive!

    • Thank you, Susie, for sharing your story. I had pretty much the same build as you until about 50. And I know what you mean about the youthful hormones! I didn’t realize how much of a difference going through the change would make. That’s probably why it took me a few years to notice what a number the hormone change was doing to me! I’m thankful you’re alive, too, and your bravery through the whole mastectomy and recovery gave me a whole new outlook on it. If I’m ever faced with something like that, I have you as my role model. I think your posts have helped so many women besides myself. You truly rock!

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