I posted the picture above on my Instagram and Facebook page, which I didn’t think twice about at the time. It is from my maternity photo shoot when I was pregnant with Maicen. But after a few minutes, it got me thinking……what is now culturally acceptable?
I grew up in a British Indian household during a time when wearing short skirts was frowned upon. And here I am today posting this maternity photo of me in just my underwear. What has changed? Is it now culturally acceptable or is it just that we care less about other people’s opinions?
I remember the days when reputation was everything and you wouldn’t want to be the one to taint your parents’ or grandparents’ good name in the community. Wearing short skirts and going out clubbing was a no-no, although I did both, with my parents knowing. I’m sure I was seen as a “bad person” by some people.
These were probably the same people whose daughters were out doing the same but behind their backs. Or the people who had younger daughters and thought that their children would never do such a thing. Now that they are, it’s because “times have changed.” A quote that I hear all too often, sometimes even from my own siblings and parents, which really gets to me. I’m not sure exactly why, but it really does. Maybe because in my eyes, either something is right or it is wrong. And for it to be wrong, it would have to be detrimental to yourself or others.
None of the things above have ever been bad and time doesn’t change that. It’s now acceptable because it has to be. Because even the people who would comment on other people’s behaviour have to think twice before speaking, as their own family members may well be doing the same. And to be honest, I respect that. I think it’s a much better stance to take than to be commenting on others and to remain blind to what’s going on under your own roof.
So all this stemmed from a semi naked pregnancy picture. I posted it because I am proud of my body. This 5 foot nothing frame has carried two children. It has served me well.
When one of my maternity photos was posted by the photographer on Facebook 4 years ago, it ruffled a few feathers. But those feathers will always be ruffled for one reason or another. I refuse to live my life trying to please others because there is no pleasing some people. They will always talk. This is something that most people have now realised, resulting in a lot more being acceptable than once was.
Some people may look at my photo and say “Did you see her? She wasn’t wearing anything. Everything was on show.” Well if that’s what they take away from my picture then more fool them. If that’s what they see, rather than a mother embracing her body and carrying her child then they are not people whose opinions matter to me.
For me, my picture is acceptable. We have come so far to break so many “cultural” taboos and I won’t stop doing things that make me happy for someone else’s benefit.
So well done to all the people out there who have pushed the boundaries to normalise once forbidden behaviours. Who live their lives to the fullest; who are open and honest and who do not judge others. You are the people who inspire and thank you for having the courage to do so in this sometimes ignorant culture.