The Mom Bod: When We Love Our Bodies, So Will Society

The Mom Bod: When We Love Our Bodies, So Will Society

First there was the dad bod...

My mother has six large stretch marks across her abdomen. My father calls them her "tiger stripes." She earned her first two stripes at the age of 21. She was a senior in college, majoring in dance, when she fell in love. Nine months later, she got to hold her "surprise." Me.

The next few she earned a mere two and a half years later. My younger brother gave it to her. He's an athlete. She spends most weekday afternoons cheering him on at his soccer games. She did not miss a single game this season, home or away.

The final stripes came with my younger sister. My mother now spends a few hours here and there throughout the week, after work, organizing her Barbie dolls, simply so she can stand by the doorway on Saturday afternoon and watch my sister explore her imagination.

My mother has graying hair around her temples.

These silver strands came as a badge of her humility, putting her children and her husband above herself. After giving up her dream to go dance in New York City, so she could have me, she supported my father through years of school, and had two more children. She sacrificed her dream to allow four other people she loved more than herself have theirs.

My mother has sun spots on her arms.

These came from afternoons of enduring the blistering heat to cheer for her children in sports and sitting in the sand with us at the shore making drip castles along the ocean's edge. Those spots came from walking around the zoo on a hot July afternoon and taking us on walks through the parks and around the city.

My mother's life has shaped her body. My mother is one of the most beautiful women I know, and some day I hope I will be able to bear my own stripes. I hope that my body will, someday, tell the story of a woman who was confident, bold, and humble.

A woman's body is a piece of artwork; it tells the world a story. A woman's body is a canvas, painted and shaded by the colors of her life. The richest stories leave their marks. No woman looks the same because no woman has lived the same life, experienced the same world, or encountered the same people. The beauty of a girl's body, a mother's body, is in the stories that have shaped it.

If a woman who is bold enough to embrace her physical appearance, love her life, and be proud of her stripes is not seen as the epitome of beauty, then we as a society, have lost our perspective. Beauty does not come from a bottle of foundation, and beauty does not come from a number on the scale. Beauty does not come from a box of workout DVDs or from a Photoshop program on a computer. Beauty comes from confidence, a sense of humor, her stories and her soul.

So in light of the recent dad bod craze, and the movement for male body acceptance, I want to remind society that we, too, as average women, are just as beautiful. Mom bod isn't a body type, it's a movement. It's a powerful movement for female body acceptance. As women and men who live healthy, active, busy lives, we should not compare our bodies to the billboards or to the Photoshopped celebrities on the cover of the tabloids we get every month, but rather listen to the people around us who encourage us.

Our bodies are shaped by iced coffee with friends on hot afternoons, and the scar on our leg that reminds us of the time we fell while hiking in college, and when we cry laughing and it seems the wrinkles began to find a permanent place at the edges of our mouths. I encourage women everywhere to reflect, remember your stories, remind yourself what it is that makes you beautiful, to bear you mom bod, and love your stripes. You earned those stripes and no one has the same ones you do. You are truly one of a kind. When we love our bodies, so will society. We are beautifully and wonderfully made. Exalt the average body, encourage positive body image, and embrace the body that your life has shaped.

Cover Image Credit: Ave Nocturna Photography

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13 Of London's Greatest Eats

What you should eat during your travels.

London's food scene is definitely up and coming. Although they have a reputation for awful food there are definitely a few places that rival food from back home in NYC.

1. Wagamama


I know this is a chain, but it's one of the places I'm probably the most excited to eat at. I know this is a huge favorite of Londoners so it's bound to be good.

2. Homeslice

I know that I will miss pizza while I am abroad and Homeslice is the most acclaimed pizza in London. I don't know that it will be comparable, but it's worth a shot.

3. Poppies

Poppies is one of the most highly rated fish and chips restaurants in London. As London's most notable cuisine better go big or go home and get a dish from a 5-star restaurant.

4. Grill My Cheese


Grilled cheese (or cheese toasties as they call it in England) are never bad, so how could you go wrong. Grill My Cheese does it right making creative sandwiches with well-sourced ingredients.

5. Fortnum & Mason

The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason is known as the best and most classic afternoon tea experience. Even the queen has gone to Fortnum & Mason.

6. Bao

Famous for its steamed buns and drinks, Bao's simple menu is filled with foods that are sure to be good. Everything is made in-house daily keeping everything fresh and delicious. Be warned, each location boasts a different menu, meaning you'll have to hit them all.

7. Patisserie Sainte-Anne

The owners of this cafe are straight from Paris, they brought their bakery to Lonon in 2014 after over a decade of success in France. Their £ 3.70 breakfast deal and £6.60 lunch deal is sure to leave you full and happy.

8. Smack Deli

Who doesn't love lobster? Smack deli has a menu of creative lobster rolls different from anything else in the city.

9. The Great Exhibition


Known for its £25 bottomless brunch, The Great Exhibition is a pub with real food. The brunch includes a meal, bottomless mimosas or bloody marys and unlimited toast with jam as well as tea and coffee.

10. Nandos

Another well known English favorite, Nandos is a name known around the world. This is a stop you should be sure to make during your trip.

11. Bob Bob Ricard

Famous for having a "Press for Champagne" button at every table, it is arguable that Bob Bob Ricard serves more champagne than any other restaurant in the city. They take bookings three months in advance, so this is probably not a spur of the moment kinda place.

12. Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Also known for its brunch, Bourne & Hollingsworth has unforgettable decor as well. It's an experience you're certain to remember.

13. Borough Market

Borough Market is probably the most iconic market in London, not to mention its filled with good eats. Check out the Prosecco Bar for drinks, they look delicious. The market is also filled with delicious pastries, jams, and fresh fruit.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Fanfiction Is Just As Important To The Writing Community As Novels And Stories

Why we need to stop being ashamed of what gets us to write.

Starting with a definition, fanfiction is when a fan of a particular popular media (books, shows, movies, more recently celebrities themselves, etc.) writes a story that writes a different version of the established canon. There are several sorts of receptions to the idea of fanfiction, and it is largely frowned upon in society, and as a writer, I want to tell people that this needs to stop. And here's why:

Fanfiction is just as important to the writing community as E-Journals or blogs are in a several ways. It provides a supporting structure and established world for a writer to practice character building, as well as provides for challenges in fitting into a world, fulfilling plot points, and establishing character dynamics. There is also a 'stress-free' environment for a writer to practice their craft by writing about something they really enjoy.

In creating this safe environment for a writer to practice, and challenge themselves in their craft, we are given practice with critical thinking, problem-solving, and more all within a provided structure. This helps to learn what an author is good at, what they need to work on, as well as emulate authors that they enjoy.

Another reason for this is that fanfiction is everywhere. We see it on TV show adaptions that vary from books, from book series like "The Shadowhunter Pages," and "Fifty Shades of Gray." Some of these even get fanfiction of their own, which adds to the cycle of creativity and brings more and more stories.

Yes, this will add to the argument that there are no original ideas in the world. However, all stories follow a basic arch, there are only so many stories to tell.

The difference is how we get from point A to point B, and what elements of craft get you there. Writing in any medium is important, and if starting with your fanfiction is how you get your name out there, then all the power to you, my friends. Because at the end of the day, you are writing for you, and people should be honored that you are sharing it, to begin with.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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