Her Bad Mother

Monday, March 17, 2008

Got MILF?

Monday morning post-caffeination confession: I hate the term 'MILF.'

I know that there are a lot of moms out there who've appropriated the term and use it as a term of self-empowerment, especially in the context of maintaining some pride in appearance, (which I'm all for, notwithstanding certain evidence to the contrary) but still: I hate it.

It's not that I think moms shouldn't regard themselves as - to use the vernacular - f*ckable. Moms are eminently f*ckable, and usually have demonstrated themselves as such in the most convincing way possible: by bearing the children that unadulterated, unhindered f*cking yields. What I reject is the idea - the idea that I think underscores and gives the term 'MILF' its force - that mothers, as a group, are ordinarily so obviously unf*ckable that society needs a whole separate category and term for mothers who escape that norm. To say something along the lines of 'her? Oh, she's a MILF, totally' is really to say, 'her? She's not like other mothers, who are, as a group, entirely sexually unappealing. SHE's a woman one could see banging DESPITE the fact that she's had children!'

Which, you know, is - obviously - demeaning to mothers, and to women generally. (Also? Referring to one's self as a MILF? Grammatically confusing. Unless you are suggesting that you would totally be into doing yourself - as the use of the personal pronoun, signified by the 'I' in MILF, implies - which you might, in which case, more power to you - you should avoid the term. Just say, I AM HOT. That tells us everything we need to know.) Not because it categorizes some of us as sex objects - objecting to objectification is, really, a little bit futile in a society that frames the Pussycat Dolls as an example of feminine empowerment - but because it does, simply, categorize us on the basis of our sexuality and organize that categorization according to the assumption that mothers are ordinarily not f*ckable.

Which is bullshit. I might not be at the peak of my primping powers - and I may, in fact, be too goddammed cranky these days to be sexually approached without extreme caution - but damn if I couldn't if I wanted to. I am far more interesting as a sexual being having had children - I've looked at sex from both sides nowwwww - than I was in my days of undimpled thighs and bra-optional t-shirts and forty-dollar lipsticks. So I resent feeling that I have to carry some outmoded idea of moms as asexual creatures in high-waisted jeans on the back of my psyche, and I resent even more the idea that I can only release the weight of that load if I beat it away with some titty-hoisting bra while proclaiming, loudly, to the world, that horny young men everywhere should want a piece of me. (They should want a piece of me - that, I think, goes without saying - but that shouldn't be the measure of my physical and sexual worth.)

If it's good enough for Tori Spelling, it's not good enough for me. Because, you know, shouldn't we be reaching a little higher (and deeper) than silicone and tank tops in our quest to feel good about our bodies and our sexuality as mothers? As women?

Or am I just too jacked up on coffee and hormones this morning to think straight?

Labels: ,

66 Comments:

Blogger Karen said...

seriously, thank you. I've hated that term for a while now, but hadn't gotten round to put my thinking cap on and explain my feelings to myself. Now you have saved me all that thinking, which rocks - for me.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Ree said...

Actually, I think you've got a great perspective on this whole thing! Yay you!

3:06 PM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

I don't like that term either! I let my toddler watch Family Guy too, is that worse??

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Dana said...

AMEN.

3:23 PM  
Blogger Girl con Queso said...

Preach. It. Sister.

If it's good enough for Tori Spelling, it's not good enough for me.

Best sentence I've read all day.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Fantastic post. I know a woman who has the goal of having her young son's future teenaged friends want her. What a noble freaking aim.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it seems like in the middle you don't object to objectification, and then at the end you object to it. otherwise interesting though.

3:56 PM  
Blogger flutter said...

Actually the origin of it, is from teenagers, meaning moms that are hot that they'd like to nail.

So it's not even though you've had a kid you're hot, it's "Dude, your mom is a MILF!!"

4:03 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I do object to objectification, actually - I just think that it's become a complicated issue, now that so many women regard some forms of objectification empowering. So, who am I to deny those women their stripper poles or whatever? My point here is that there's a difference between that kind of thing and embracing a term that forces a divisive (and demeaning) objectification upon women who might not want it. If I call myself a MILF (bad grammar notwithstanding) in order to celebrate my own sexuality, I'm basing that celebration upon a set of sexual categories that divides mothers into 'fuckable' and 'not-fuckable' (as in, '*I* am a mommy who is fuckable, as compared to all those who are not'). Can't we all be fuckable (pardon my language - sexually desirable)? What doe shavign children got to do with it? In which case, can't we all drop the 'mommy' qualifier?

So - wanting to be sexually desirable (all issues of objectification aside)? Fine. Wanting to be sexually desirable when considered against a pool of women who are universally regarded as undesirable because they are mothers? NOT fine.

make sense?

4:05 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Flutter - thanks. Tho' I'm not sure that it makes me feel any better.

In any case, I'm mostly bothered by the appropriation of the term by grown-ups who should know better. That said, maybe I shouldn't expect Tori Spelling or the writers of primetime soaps to know better...

4:07 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Thanks for explaining your thoughts on this term. I've disliked for a long time but have never been able to explain why in any coherent fashion, which you did beautifully.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous sparkle said...

rah! you got it on the nose for me. i've always disliked that term, and know many people who really do like it. not only for the reasons you stated above, but it really *sounds* bad. it's not an attractive noise. i sort of think of someone snorting soda out their nose.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Miss Merry Sunshine said...

The thought of one of my son's friends wanting to fu...I can't even say it...makes my gag reflex act up. It's just gross. I agree, just because I'm a Mom doesn't mean I'm not doable. I hate being put in any kind of category. I fall into the trap too...I mean who doesn't preen when someone exclaims how good you look for having 2 kids??

4:55 PM  
Blogger Don Mills Diva said...

Ack, I find the term and the whole thing kinda amusing really. Do I really care if a teenager thinks I'm sexy? No. Do I like to joke about being a MILF? Sure, but I'm not hanging my self-worth on it or anything. Anyone who does is in big trouble...

4:56 PM  
Blogger KrisUnderwood said...

so glad I'm not the only one that hates the term MILF.

Love the post-especially the tori spelling bit.

5:15 PM  
Blogger zellmer said...

here here.
and well said.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Viv said...

Word. I think you nailed it on the head why I hate the term (but couldn't articulate it clearly).

8:12 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

Oh, thank you for articulating precisely WHY this term has grated on me for so long. Not only does it make suppositions about motherhood as a fundamentally unattractive state, I find it demeaning even where it's supposed to be a compliment -- as if to suggest some kind of charity is being extended to certain women who otherwise would be untouchable because their bodies have been used for something other than playtime.

If you are jacked up on coffee and hormones, it seems to be working! :)

9:43 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

Great post. This term bothered me when I first started hearing it, but I'd become sort of inured to its ubiquitous presence after a while and stopped really thinking about it.

10:06 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I'd say you are thinking pretty straight.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

You are right on. I LOVE your blog.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous child auto insurance said...

Absolutely right. Nice Blog. :)

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Becky said...

I'm with Flutter on this one on the original meaning of the word. The "I" in MILF is a teenage boy who wouldn't normally fancy his mate's mum. I think it's probably fair to say that kids under 16 don't normally have the hots for people of their parents' age... so in this context, I think it's also fair to say that a "milf" IS "escaping a norm".

However, I also agree with you that the way it's been appropriated has added a whole new annoying meaning.

And finally I have my own point to make. I think it's easy as a mother to forget that the vast, vast majority of women in the world are/will be mothers. They're not a minority group. So actually I don't agree that there are (that many) assumptions about MOTHERS as a group, so much as there are about WOMEN, and specifically, how a woman fits in with the Pussycat Dolls image of woman.

9:11 AM  
OpenID heartfull said...

The first time I heard this term I was at the country club pool with my SIL and she was laughing that the teenage lifeguards had a list of the MILFs at the pool. She had to define it for me and I thought it was hilarious because the women on the list *were* totally hot. And I would have assumed that teenage boys would fantasize about them. This was just putting a name to it.

It was cute then. It isn't cute, though, when it is totally taken over main stream media. When grown men start talking about MILFs it gets offensive, per this post.

So, I agree with Flutter above and would add that in its original context I wasn't offended and actually laughed at the term. Not so much anymore.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous emma said...

Um, sorry to be so clueless, but what does MILF stand for? Based on your blog and comments I'm guessing "Mother I'd Love to F*ck" but that has too many words, to me, to be a proper acronym.
Help!

9:25 AM  
Blogger All Adither said...

I'm ignorant too. MILF? Is that MILK with a type-o?

Angie
www.AllAdither.com

10:13 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

I have to admit, it never really bothered me all that much. Hell, when American Pie came out I laughed fit to pee over that whole Stiffler's Mom storyline.

That said, interesting post - even if I myself am not all that worked up over it.

10:16 AM  
Blogger kgirl said...

I normally hate it too, but I swear to Gloria Steinem that if I were called that right now, I'd like it. Just a little.

10:18 AM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

I am far more interesting as a sexual being having had children

Agree totally. My "M" status has augmented my "F"-ability.

(Coincidentally, we watched American Pie last night.)

11:45 AM  
Anonymous wright said...

AMEN! So true. Thanks for a great post!

11:47 AM  
Blogger MamaMo said...

Well said. I've been reflecting upon this very thing alot this week, especially after the "truthiness" challenge and the lengthy anonymous response you received. It's a very deep question/puzzle, and I hope to stew in it a bit and share some reflections next week. In terms of the "is objectification ok in some contexts", here are some interesting thoughts from Chuck D of Public Enemy (who I have IMMENSE respect for - one very deep, wise thinker there)the first and last thirds of this quick interview are about women: http://www.cbc.ca/thehour/video.php?id=1479
my favorite line, "celebrity is the drug of America".

12:02 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

It honestly doesn't bother me so much. However, I wouldn't go around using the term. I have to say, though, that when I had two kids under four and was deep in the throes of feeling like my wholesome wheaty Mom side had taken over my fun frosted side, I wouldn't have minded someone else calling me a MILF.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Redneck Mommy said...

The hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I hear someone use that term. I find it degrading and derogatory.

And then I hitch up my mom jeans to under my armpits and try and straighten my oversized stained sweat shirt and waddle off while muttering something under my breath about 'other people's children.'

12:53 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Emma - you're right about what the acronym stands for. And, yes, it's not, strictly speaking, a complete acronym. But again, I don't grammar is a big concern of those employing the term.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to stick my neck WAAAAY out here and offer a different perspective.

Men, especially young men and teens, do NOT view mothers as sexual critters. Most men in my experience have a very narrow definition of a “sexually attractive woman.” While different men may have their preferences as to what approaches women may take to being attractive, all of them have one thing in common: they take time and effort to appear attractive to men. Thinking waaaaay back to my teens and young-man-hood, my friends moms just didn’t do that.

I remember a lot of neutral colored sweaters, stretch pants, and comfortable shoes enclosing bodies carrying about 40 – 50 extra pounds, topped off by hair pulled back in a pony tail and no makeup. Zero effort to be attractive. Attracting men just wasn’t on their radar. We didn’t have the term MILF in my circle in those bygone days, but we did occasionally remark on Hot Moms. From when I started noticing girls (I was about 11) to when I graduated high school (about 18), the number of Hot Moms that hit the radar of me and my circle of friends could be counted on one hand.

I can give you a contemporary example. One of the central ladies in my life has recently had a wonderful little girl. She's now five months old. I know for a fact that there's been no sex in her life for over half a year.

She's either nursing, changing a diaper, or asleep at all times that she is not furiously catching up with housework, financial or professional commitments.

She makes zero effort to be attractive. Don't get me wrong. She's always clean, neat, and cheerful. But skirts and high-heels are now in the back of her closet, if she has any at all. No makeup, hair pulled back in a ponytail, and sweatpants are the couture of the day.

Is this a bad thing? No, of course not. She's got a minimum amount of time and energy, and more important things to do that be attractive to her husband. But she's dialed the "sexy" dial down to zero and not looked back. And this has been the typical approach to motherhood that I've seen.

Babies and young children will absorb ALL the time and energy you are willing to devote to them, and always seem to need a little more. Having only anecdotal data, I’m not prepared to defend the case that “most women” sacrifice their sexuality on the altar of Being A Good Mother. But I’m willing to say that a significant portion do so and of their own choice.

And that makes Hot Moms unusual, so it’s not surprising that teens and young men have a special term for them.

Lamont

1:45 PM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

Amen.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Liz@thisfullhouse.com said...

My husband thinks I'm totally f*ckable and that's a good thing.

People complimenting me because I feel good about the way I look AND I'm a mom, AWESOME!

Knowing I'm a mom, thinking I'm hot anyway and wanting to see where the babies came from...ewww!

2:03 PM  
Blogger LD said...

Amen sister.

4:33 PM  
Blogger LD said...

oh-- and it's even worse when little sorority girls wear it around on their shirts-- you know to show their "family" trees. blech.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Dee Light said...

Loved the post!!

I found the term MILF funny in the "Ameican Pie" movie, used in that context(and I was prepared for the movie to be a little off color). But that was a movie, not real life.

I think you're right there are a lot of assumptions about moms (ie Mom Jeans, Mom Car's...). I recently had to get a MiniVan (my worst night mare), but you know what, it's not that bad. I've decided, Im proud to be a mom and if I need to drive a miny van that's okay. Being a mom, and doing mom stuff, doesn't make us less sexual. Being a mom is embracing life. I don't know about you, but my husband is still interested (and isn't that what realy matters)

I think wanting to be a "MILF", is the equivalent of a guy wanting to be a "Dirty Old Man". Really, who cares if a teenager "wants" you, isn't that a little sick!!!

5:21 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Sing it!!

5:22 PM  
Blogger Jen M. said...

I always thought it was a trashy label.

Like my neighbor with the bad boob job, too young/tight clothes and the frosted hair. All that at 44.

I am so fatigued with living in a world that still insists on defining women largely on their looks/f*ckability/ and youth...

5:51 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Want to hear something funny and mostly unrelated? Yesterday my mom sent my husband an email signed "Your favorite MIL". He didn't know it was an abbreviation for mother-in-law and thought she had left the F off of MILF. He was more than a little disturbed. LMAO.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, and lets get rid of "yummy mummy" while we are at it

6:41 PM  
Blogger Ally said...

Good post. You've articulated perfectly what's been bothering me about MILF. I just couldn't pin down my thoughts and then articulate them like this. Well done, you.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Lotta said...

Ok, as the leader of the the former "Future MILF" club I have to speak up. Though I am quaking in my boots to do so.

When I first started my weight loss club I named it The Future MILFs. Because the idea of MILFness struck me as hilarious. It was very much a sarcastic usage of the term. The idea being that losing weight can be such a chore, that we should all have a laugh at the idea that we're supposed to get to some perfect MILFy size.

But recently I ditched the club name. Renamed it to Gin In My Apron pocket for a couple of reasons. I felt like some of the members (and everyone who found me via google) didn't get the sarcastic empowerment of it. And I just can't get behind the term as a realistic goal/label.

And I found that all of us were getting better/smarter/wiser in so many other ways than just looks by supporting each other. So I wanted to open the group up for anyone that's working on some kind of self care.

That's all.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Tere said...

I'm so with you on this one. Hate the term; hate what it stands for.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Phoebe's Phriends said...

Your blog is great - I love the way you write. I'm not a mom but I am in my mid-30's which, I imagine, removes me from the "ILF" category...and that is fine with me! Do I want to be attractive and appealing? Yes - to my husband! Do I care about or need the approval of a teenaged boy? NO. And for those who do - that's pretty gross.

8:30 PM  
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9:00 PM  
Anonymous Abby said...

I've always been extremely annoyed by that term, too. The term itself, as well as the women who strive for that label. It does bring to mind plastic surgery mis-haps and "accidental" nipple slips. Ew.

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Jo said...

Um. The statement that mothers are sexually more interesting is just as offensive as the suggestion that they're not.
Mothers are women. Childless women are women. There's no "winner" but there seems to be this divisive battle going on, particularly in the blogging sphere. Problem is, I don't see any non-mothers claiming superiority in the way I see mothers doing so.

5:21 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Huh, I thought the term was used more by adult men than teenagers. The term doesn't bother me per se, although I wouldn't go around wearing it like a badge.

One part of your post I disagree with:
"that mothers, as a group, are ordinarily so obviously unf*ckable that society needs a whole separate category and term for mothers who escape that norm."

I don't see it that way. There are lots of terms that reference "hottie" women in general. This doesn't mean that women, as a group, are obviously NOT HOT.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Jo. I said that *I* was sexually more interesting, as compared to my pre-maternal self. It was a personal reference, not a universal one (although I would argue that sexual self-awareness and maturity does make one more interesting as a sexual partner generally. This, however, does not apply exclusively to mothers.)

The fact is - as one anonymous commenter above makes abundantly clear - that mothers, as a group, are generally universally regarded as asexual or unsexual by the culture at large, and certainly by popular culture. If you can point to an example of childless women being characterized, because of their childlessness (other than the stereotypical aging spinster, who is so categorized because of her age - and now mostly supplanted in the culture by the 'cougar' - which, also offensive) I'd be interested to hear of it.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Shannon - obviously, women in general do get categorized according to levels of attractiveness. But usually that's done with some reference to personal preference, rather than to group characteristics. My problem with MILF is that it implies that one needs to distinguish attractive women *within* the category of mothers, which to my mind further implies that there's something about *mothers*, specifically, as a group, that suggests sexually unattractiveness unless otherwise specified. I mean, can you imagine if there were terms distinguishing members of other groups as 'f*ckable' or not?

It's the difference between expressing like or dislike toward individual persons versus expressing like or dislike (or attraction or unattraction) toward members of groups on the basis of membership in those groups.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

So, I'll admit that I think the whole MILF concept is pretty funny to me. But, I think it's cause we have a long-running joke at work about it. I firmly believe you cannot apply the term to yourself (except in jest). But, really, if we're discussing MILF's I think most people think Angelina Jolie - and I'm sorry but Tori Spelling could never, ever fit into that category.
I hated her on 90210 also, and she's just gotten more and more annoying.
The funny thing about her is that because her character of Donna was a virgin she's made SUCH a point of telling the world that she's not a virgin. Weird weird weird.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous pkzcass said...

I don't care for the term, mostly because I have two boys and I shudder at the idea of either of them classifying anyone as a MILF, ever, regardless of their age. It's degrading to women. But I guess I'm just fooling myself if I think they'll never think a degrading thought about women ever in their lives. Ick!

4:35 PM  
Anonymous PA said...

Of course there are many hot moms out there, but as I am about to become a mother myself, I have to admit that there are many parts of motherhood which might make a woman less sexually desirable than her pre-child counterpart.

First, there are the changes that often accompany pregnancy and childbirth. Many of these changes (I hear) remain permanent in many woman

Then, there is the problem of (as I hear it) much less time and energy, in general, to devote to exercise, clothing, and appearance. Also, there is a focus on the child, rather than the mother as an individual.

Mothers tend as a group to be older than non-mothers.

I agree with much of your post, but the idea that IN GENERAL your average mother can be expected to be less sexually appealing to the general populace to the same woman pre-child is not true.

I, of course, hope to be an exception but I am prepared if I am not.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

pa, I really don't think that there's ANY reason for mothers to be thought less sexually appealing. Yes, the body changes, but not necessarily in ways that make it less capable of sexual captivation - and every woman's body changes, regardless of whether one has had kids. Sure, most moms go through difficult phases where they're less likely to wear lipstick regularly, but again - so do most women.

If anything, moms have demonstrated their fertility by - yes - having children.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous crunchy carpets said...

Hur..I have that as a fridge magnet. A FEMALE NON MOM gave it to me.

Was I offended no.

Dh and I bandy it about...it is meant lightly and if he states I am looking milfish or soccer momish...I laugh and say thank you.

I DO get that the term more conotates a mom who doesn't look 'mommish,' but whatever.

Sweats ain't sexy. We all know that.

And yes blah blah..our 'inner' woman and all that should be sexy enough..but not in pop culture world and not in shallow just for looks worlds either.

But whatever.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

I just find the term tacky. The same way I find wearing the word "juicy" across your butt tacky. I'm a big fan of symbols of uber-femininity - i.e. Marilyn Monroe, the stilletto, Barbie (I like Barbie) - but there is a fine line between the powerful feminine (including sexuality) and taking sex to trashy levels (i.e. Pussycat Dolls).

I thought the term humorously outrageous in American Pie and then annoying once it became widely "accepted". So I made my own MILF t-shirt... it stands for "my infant loves farts".

And personally, I think there are a lot of men out there who consider mothers much more sexy than we consider OURSELVES. (I've wondered how that might add to the communication problem.)

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Alison said...

i am searching high and low, but find no explanation or definition as to what this mysterious "MILF" stands for ... is that cos I'm British that I don't understand?? Is it an americanism? Help! I'm lost!!! But would love to have an opinion on the subject!!!

4:36 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Alison - I think it was outlined in the comments above, but if not: Mommy I'd Like (to) F*ck.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Carmen said...

Thanks for this post...it needs to be said over and over, I think. There is such a specific and narrow standard of sexual desirability for women, that many of us do not meet. A sexually desirable woman (one a man would like to f*ck) is no larger than a size 8, with firm breasts. And certainly no belly flab or cottage cheese thighs, right? The changes that pregnancy and breastfeeding bring to our bodies also bring us further from that standard of desirability. And that's what makes me so angry. I, like you, feel that motherhood has made me more sexy. I feel I've truly realized and claimed my beauty as a woman. I'm more comfortable in my skin (even though there's extra skin on my tummy.) The stretch marks on my belly and the bit of sag to my breast are evidence of the great journey I've taken and still take as a mother. They make me more beautiful and interesting, I think. I feel this truth inside, but the voices I hear and the images I see every day do not support that feeling. The media and most men would say I've become less sexy, I believe. Sure, we women can bear and raise children, but to remain sexually desirable our bodies must remain perky and slim. It's not easy. And not typical. And thus the term MILF. And thus my anger. This narrow definition of attractiveness is destructive to womens' spirit and self-worth. You've reminded me to listen more to that inner truth...
Thank you for your post, and for your insight...Rock on, hot mama!!

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Sandra said...

It might be my complete and utter lack of self-actualization but if I am really, really honest, I am not as "sexually empowered" as some of your commenters because I believe that motherhood has made *me* fell, look and think less sexy.

It's not just about looks and silicone and tank tops for me. It's deeper than that. It's how I've come to see myself and how others in my life have come to see me too. I *should* feel good about my body as a woman who happens to be a mother. I *should* feel empowered enough to feel sexier as a woman who happens to be a mother. I get that intellectually. I agree with it too. But I am not always able to draw from that well of knowledge when I need it most.

So although I find the term MILF is an objectification (that the feminist in me finds totally offensive), I'll admit if the term was ever thrown at me, I'd see it strangely as a much-needed compliment.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm late to this conversation, and to so many others, principally the one on beauty and sexuality. I've never been intriuged by a hard body, chiselled chest, refined features till the mouth opens, and some parts of the heart exposed.

Motherhood is laden with layers of complexity, and contradictions. I wouldn't want to be viewed as purely an object of lust, but also, quite maddeningly, long for some acknowledgement of my physicality; the way it was, and will no longer be.

We are inundated with the celebrity mommies parading their lithe, toned, bikini clad figures post-baby creating illusions that run counter to realities of fat, dimpled thighs, sewn parts, leaking breasts.

I remember running my fingers down my mother's stretch marks as a child, being nestled within my gradma's saggy but ample bossom.

These, to me, are the MILS - Mothers I'd like to See.

We do not escape the emotional ravages of life, why seek escape from physical marks?

MILF seems to be a term appropriated from the pages of celebrity culture by teenage boys, men whose views of womanhood centre on one plastic image. A mother who is desirable has somehow managed to retain her pre-baby beauty and fits that stereotypical view: thin, perky, flawless.

But at heart, what is more comforting, more reassuring, indeed more sexy, than a strong body, marked by childbirth, childrearing, by life itself, that continues to nurture, and love in many ways.

Views pictures of ebony skinned African women juggling water and food on their heads with children in tow. That is strength, and that is sexy.

3:14 PM  

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