If you catch me without makeup on, you might think to yourself, “Voldemort 1, Schugarmama 0.”
I have a ‘Harry Potter mark.’
Right down the middle of my forehead is a jagged stripe of skin that doesn’t tan. Or rather, the bulk of my forehead has turned brown save for a lightning strike down the middle. I also have little patches that are reverse raccoon eyes (white instead of black) but those are less obvious, I think.
I’m not sure exactly when I got them but sometime during my last few months of pregnancy, they showed up.
I understand the phenomenon is called “Melasma.”
The other day we went to Toddler Time at the Rec Complex and I noticed several of the other mums had similar masks on their faces. Others had spots. Not freckles but big brown spots.
I’m not sure why, but I was fascinated seeing these women. I did my best not to stare, because honestly… swimming suits are a recipe for self-consciousness as it is. I just thought they looked beautiful.
The interesting thing about Toddler Time was that the pool was filled with all pint-sized kiddles and their folks. The parents ranged from a few years younger to a few years older than us.
There were thin mums and round mums. There were mums expecting another baby. Some mums had great arms, some had great legs, some had great abs. (How is this possible?) All of us had an extraordinary amount of skin exposed. This is the same skin that has browned and bleached, dimpled, torn, scarred and stretched, mostly as a result of pregnancy.
The crazy thing is that I didn’t feel at all out of place.
And ordinarily, I feel like the biggest person in the room. Even if that room is the whole world.
Have you ever seen Gok Wan’s show? (Carson is fine, but Gok is Divine.) He does a queue of his naked beauties and asks women to place themselves in the queue by size. They are always wrong – sometimes horrifically wrong. It is amazing to me that we can be so wrong about the body in which we live.
It wasn’t as if I didn’t see these women’s flaws. I have no doubt they were aware of mine. But somehow, with only our scraps of lycra, sunnies, and sunhats to camouflage us, we were comfortable in our skin.
And that, my friends, is a Sign of a Mama.