In the powerful Instagram post, she laid bare the heartbreaking reality of the crippling body image issues she's been dealing with since giving birth to her first child.
Motherhood is often portrayed as a divine and ethereal human experience that women who go through it feel the need to stay silent about its not so beautiful aspects. Sure, growing a child in one's body and giving birth to new life is undoubtedly a phenomenal achievement. However, looking past the rosy-cheeked, cherubic child in a new mother's arms, you see a woman who's been put through the wringer and struggling to come to terms with her post-partum body. While centuries of unattainable beauty standards have already left women critiquing everything from their skin tone to body shape to the number displayed on a weighing scale, these body insecurities become exponentially greater once they've given birth to a child.
Mother-of-four, Jessica Hood, recently took to Instagram to lay bare the heartbreaking reality of the crippling body image issues she's been dealing with since birthing her firstborn. Despite being a body positivity icon on social media, Hood revealed she's been unable to let her husband see her naked ever since childbirth left her body completely unrecognizable from what it was before pregnancy.
Becoming as vulnerable as one can be, she wrote: I won't let my husband see me naked. It's been 6 years. From the moment my firstborn arrived my body has been covered in front of my husband. I’m confident but not with my husband. It creates this awkwardness between us but I’m afraid. I’m afraid he will see me and run away. I’m afraid he will be disgusted and be turned off. I’m afraid everything he thought I was would disappear. I know it hurts him and although I feel like I’m accepting my body more and more every day, I’m afraid he won't accept it.
Hood clarified that her husband is in no way to be blamed for her insecurities and that he has been extremely supportive throughout these past six years. It’s not him though it’s me. He tells me all the time he doesn’t care but what if it’s different when he actually sees me? All of me? My saggy tummy, my stretch marks, my cellulite, my rolls. I’m not the girl I was when we first met, in fact I’m not a girl at all, I’m a woman. A woman who lost herself when she became a mother. Her identity. Her sparkle. Her once toned physique. I’m afraid of letting my guard down. I’m afraid of feeling vulnerable, she told her 57k Instagram followers.
We only have sex in the dark, if it’s during the day my clothes are on. We never shower together. I never get dressed in front of him. I won’t even swim in front of him. I even won’t let him see the images of me on Instagram. It’s more than just sexual, it’s everyday life. It hurts me that I feel this way, Hood revealed. She confessed that even something as small as him brushing against her stomach leaves her anxious. I hate that I got like this. I hate that the cruel world we live in has given me false ideas and even though deep down he sees through all of my flaws, my fears, and my anxiety take over, she wrote.
Hood continued: I’m a confident woman just not with him and it hurts him. I know it does And I’m sorry. I know this feeling is too common. As a woman. As a mother. As we age. As gravity takes over. As the wrinkles begin to cover our skin. As the relationship settles in and the honeymoon fades. Our bodies go through so much. Especially having children. I never thought I would be 25kgs heavier after children. The physical changes and mental changes start blending into one. The fear is real and it’s scary. However, Hood is determined to overcome her insecurities. But I don’t wanna feel this way forever. He deserves me. All of me. Just give me time. One day you will get all of me, she promised.