Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm Not Barbie, and That's Okay

Recently we went to my brother's wedding.  While I was there, I saw an older woman who used to be one of my childhood teachers at church.  I've always really loved her, and she's the sweetest older lady.  She informed me that she had just turned 90!  Hard to believe.

Anyway, I was thrilled to introduce Kevin to her.  She cooed at him for a moment, and then she patted my belly and asked me when the next one was due.

We're not expecting another baby.

Yet, anyway.  We do want more kids, but I'm not pregnant.  I simply have left-over-baby-belly.

I wasn't offended, but she was really embarrassed when I told her that.  She then made the comment, "You were such a skinny child."  She's right.  When I was eleven, I was a skinny child.


However, my mom often tell the story that when I was in High School, she came downstairs to wake me up, grabbed my wrist, and to her surprise, found that she couldn't close her hand around it.  It wasn't that I had become obese, my bones had just thickened.  I became very dense.  I'm not talking about being stupid, I mean literally.  I have very dense bones.  I weigh a whole lot more than I look like I weigh.  When I played soccer in High School, I was called The Bull. When I charged, people usually decided to get out of my way.  Tank is a very appropriate last name for me.  If they didn't get out of the way, usually they ended up getting hurt because once I got my momentum going, I had a really hard time stopping.

My favorite soccer story involved one time when I was on defense.  I had the ball, and two girls were running straight toward me.  I pulled my foot back and kicked the ball away just as they hit me.  I stumbled a bit, but both of them fell backward and down from the impact.  One had a bloody nose, and the other was in pain.  I was left standing over the two felled girls.  Sometimes it's awesome to have a little more weight on your side.

The perception of the world today is that everyone should be skinny.  Girls are supposed to be the equal of men, but look like Barbie.  How does that work?  How can someone work at the same speed and ability of a man and have no body fat or muscle?

I'm really strong.  Less so since I had a baby because I had to recover from a C-section, but I still can outwork a lot of guys.  The other day when we were moving, I was carrying my 20 lb baby plus boxes up and down stairs for several hours.  My brother-in-law, Havelock Tank, got tired before I did. 

I am a woman, and I'm proud to be one.  I'm a strong woman.  I'm 5'7" and I weigh almost 200 lbs.  My husband is stronger than me.  He can pick me up.  I find this very attractive.  My husband and are are partners in our marriage.  We have different roles, but we work together to make our home work.  He provides for the family and I nurture our child, keep our home from falling apart, and look forward eagerly to my husband's homecoming.  I enjoy my life.  

I"m not Barbie, and that's more than okay.  I like being me.  I like being strong.  I need to lose a little weight, but I still feel good about the way I look.  And that's the most important thing.


  1. I love you so so so much. Thank you for writing this!!

    1. You're welcome! I miss you and love you too!

  2. Your husband is strong! I think he could have lifted our piano up the stairs by himself, but he let the other guys help so they didn't feel bad.

  3. Even though it I agree that you are a one-of-a-kind-strong-beyond-belief woman. I noticed that you never said you feel beautiful. So I'm going to say it...You are beautiful. You have such a pretty face and nice eyes and sweet smile. I agree with everything you said and I also believe you don't have to look like a Barbie to be beautiful as well.

    1. Thank you. That's very sweet of you. Did you know that you are one of my heroes?

  4. I identify with this a lot. I have bigger bones than my mother and sisters. Because my mother complained about her weight a lot when i was growing up, and actually weighed less than me (and is 3 inches taller)it actually has left me feeling badly at times. I struggle feeling oK about myself & my weight even during pregnancy and that's a load of crud :) I mean, I can also work alongside my husband doing things like stringing fences, and I can hike 17 miles when I'm 14 weeks pregnant. That's pretty awesome! I also have some baby belly to lose, but it's not the end of the world. And having legs with muscles big and strong as a man's is also pretty awesome. None of these toothpick legs. Jeff and i are both pretty strong and similarly proportioned. Thanks for this post... I needed to read it....

    & btw. I want to compare hands with you someday. Your dad and I have hands that look almost exactly alike. And I suspect you and I do as well :) Was tempted when I came out to return the car but thought it might be too weird.

    1. Nah, it's not weird. It would take a lot more than that to weird me out!
      Feel free anytime.