Yesterday my grandma gave me a wonderful collection of things for my birthday. Included in the gifts was a framed picture of me on my first birthday, sitting in a high chair and putting the last bits of a pink and white cake into my open mouth.
Why my grandma would choose to give me a framed picture of me on my first birthday, well, I’m not quite sure but I think it’s adorable and a nice reminder that I was once a baby.
Of course everybody was a baby at the beginning of their lives. It seems that the older we get the easier it is to forget that though.
As a sweet little one-year old blond haired, blue eyed baby I had no qualms about eating my birthday cake and this year as I celebrated my twenty-second birthday the same was true.
This weekend my middle sister made strawberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting. They were seriously amazing.
So, of course I ate one. Well, actually I ate three. I had at breakfast with no frosting, one before dinner and one after dinner. It was my birthday and I have no shame.
I’m not just saying “calories don’t count on your birthday” or something of that nature, but the important thing is moderation with sweets. Although this is obvious to some, I haven’t always been one to take it to heart.
Seeing the baby picture of me eating my birthday cake caused me to briefly remember past birthdays and other people’s birthday parties when I felt guilt or shame in enjoying dessert. In reality I had no reason to.
I have always been a relatively small person, but like the majority of women in America I have struggled with accepting my body. When dessert would get passed around I would wonder if I should skip it and often end up feeling guilty if I ate it any way.
Thanks to my supportive boyfriend, a loving family and almost especially the feminist literature I have been reading lately, I don’t have as many of those types of negative thoughts any more.
In the past year I have gained some weight, going from a size small to my slightly fuller size medium figure. That might not seem like much but it has made a bit of a difference to me.
Unfortunately fat shame is everywhere in our society and the idea of thinness being good is prevalent. As a thin, middle class, white woman I am a privileged person in society and although I am still not considered fat I am no longer the thin ideal and I am allowing myself to be okay with that.
This may not seem like much but it is one of the ways I am taking baby steps to accept my body, end fat shame and help women with bodily acceptance.
I want baby Erin to be proud of me for not being too preoccupied with what I eat and I since I know I want to have kids some day, I want my future baby girl to be happy with eating cake on her birthday too.
In an daily effort to accept my body I know that means making healthy food choices and allowing myself to not feel guilty about enjoying delicious sugary foods as well.
Sometimes a girl should just have cupcakes and be happy, especially if it’s her birthday.