Barren But Beautiful *… Now I know this is a novel concept, but stick with me. There’s substance here.
What’s one of the first things that flies out the window when you are diagnosed with infertility? That’s right! Your self-esteem. How can it not?
We’ve all seen (and experienced) the negative connotations and responses associated with the infertile condition. When was the last time you saw an infertile woman or man depicted as anything other than bitter, suspect, semi-crazed, unworthy, or downright mean? These are hardly warm and fuzzy associations.
Infertility delivers an ego blow — no doubt about it. When we’re beaten and feeling down we can’t help as infertiles but to internalize some of the negative associations. Mostly because we don’t know any better. Where are the role models to show us another way of looking at ourselves? To convince us that we do have beauty, value and great worth?
It’s become abundantly clear to me that we’ve allowed society at large to reinforce these nasty and unappealing attributes. What we have here is a classic perception problem.
I’m in marketing. I know how this is done. So I’m here to do some image repair. Anybody want to join me? I’ve created a new category here to capture posts that portray infertiles as the beautiful and worthy people that we are. As anyone in marketing will tell you it’s all about the message, and reinforcing the message with credible and consistent positioning and examples. We gotta walk the talk. There are a few steps to get this campaign off the ground.
First, and I know this is a big step, (it’s taken me a few years to make the climb) you have to relocate your self-esteem. In order to convey the message successfully we have to BELIEVE it. And I do, damn it! Come on. Repeat after me: I am Barren AND Beautiful.
Stay tuned for more on this image repair effort in subsequent posts …
And I’d also like to put in a plug for Mel’s Creme de la Creme compilation… and for those of you in need of some great holiday music, visit JJ’s blog. She’s created a CD of her favorites. Order your own.
* Feeling can vary somewhat depending on where one is in the hormone cycle…
December 5, 2007 8:04 pm
I’m in, of course!
December 5, 2007 10:40 pm
I like this idea!
I may need to find my self esteem first. Perhaps reading others post will help me relocate it.
December 5, 2007 11:09 pm
Sign me up! Barren and beautiful! Infertile and fabulous! Child-free and lovin’ it! Sexy and stretch-markless!
December 6, 2007 12:21 am
Hi, my name is Summer. I’m barren. And I’m beautiful.
December 6, 2007 5:07 am
Hi, this is not quite what you are looking for but I thought I’d mention – the book
Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff
verrrry interesting. I read it this summer. Basically it talks about what are the enduring things that women find attractive in men, and men in women. So ok, the down side is that some of these are “fertility signals” like having a small waist & big hips, but the really interesting side is that a woman who has had a child would overall be less attractive than one who has not. Pregnancy causes changes in the body which are just considered less attractive. the waist thickens, breasts go south, etc.
Thus, women who have never had children, objectively, are more beautiful & sexier as a group than those that have.
This book was also really interesting because it had a chapter on fashion that gives me the first clue on why fashion is of interest to many people (I am not a fan of fashion, shopping, clothes -this was always a mystery to me).
I realize this doesn’t actually address the whole self-esteem part (the most important) – and also that, when you want to get pregnant, none of the above actually matters to you. But in a measurable, scientific sense … there it is – the IF are just more beautiful!
December 6, 2007 5:35 pm
Brilliant, Andie! Thanks…
December 6, 2007 6:43 am
Love this idea, but waiting to see how it comes to fruition! Breath baited for next post…
December 6, 2007 4:43 pm
You know Im with ya! Its gonna take some work on my part, but Ill say it: Im Barren But Beautiful=) Thanks PJ–Ive struggled with feeling not-so-desirable lately as we struggle with trying to keep the spark alive!
And thanks SO much for the CD plug=)
December 6, 2007 6:01 pm
Having just gotten a BFN I am still bitter and my self esteem is not going to be boosted for a while, but when I feel better, I will keep this in mind!
December 7, 2007 10:04 pm
Girl, if I had a problem with my self esteem before, infertility beat what I had left into the ground. I felt cheated by my body and then after enduring all the discomforts and side effects of the medications and cycles, I felt incompetent and unfeminine. And it’s a long, steep climb ahead so I appreciate any positivity along the way!
December 7, 2007 10:23 pm
I love it and I’m definitely in! As I read through other blogs of infertile women, I see an amazing amount of beauty. Now I just need to work on locating that self esteem I misplaced…
January 6, 2008 12:44 pm
You know… I think self-esteem should come out with a black box fitted to it as standard issue. Just when I think I found mine, some wayward comment from an unthinking fellow human being beats it senseless and into space again.
Barren but beautiful hmmmm, I promise to say it a lot to myself till it gets stuck! 🙂