Nah, you're not seeing things: I'm stepping wayyyy outside my comfort zone today, and it feels pretty awesome. I came across this turquoise crop top and immediately, a war broke out in my mind between the "it would match my Mary Blair umbrella skirt perfectly" faction and the "we don't show our midriff ever" camp. Obviously, the matchy-matchy contingent carried the day, so here I stand, proudly flaunting my midriff and flouting that stupid '24 Things You Shouldn't Wear After 30' post. (Not going to link to it, because she doesn't deserve it. For a much better take on what you can/can't wear after 30, see this brilliant post.)
For as long as I can remember, I've been self-conscious about my stomach. It's the reason that I avoid most wiggle dresses like the plague. Being asked if I'm pregnant a few times over the years definitely didn't do much to dispel my negativity toward my body. I honestly didn't believe I had a waist until I got measured for my wedding dress and saw that there was actually a difference between my waist and hip measurements. The numbers were (are?) larger than I would've liked, but I've worked to make my peace with that and it feels like I'm more or less there, at least most of the time.
But now? My stomach is squishy and protrudes rather noticeably, and it definitely tends to resemble the foods I eat rather than the exercises I do, but that is 100% not a problem. I really love these outfits, and if anyone out there doesn't, that's ok, because they're not wearing them. They can wear whatever they like instead. It was extraordinarily hot out when I took these photos, and that little sliver of exposed skin made the heat a little more bearable. It's also really nice to not have to worry about a tucked-in shirt becoming untucked.
The most exciting part of wearing a crop top is how I feel about doing A Thing That Scared Me But Doesn't Anymore! It might sound a little weird, but it always makes me happy to feel like I've grown as a person. For me, walking around with a bit of my belly showing and not freaking out is a major step in the direction of body-positivity and self-acceptance! I feel like I've finally figured out something important about feeling comfortable in the skin I'm in, and I just hope I can hold on to this feeling.
I haven't worn this much blue since a ballet recital when I was five or so.
Body acceptance is a journey, not a destination, and I feel like I've only just begun. I don't have anything really earth-shattering to add to the brilliant things that others have said on the subject. But it helps to see women who look like me and realize how beautiful they are, and to hear a tiny whisper telling me you can do it too.
How do you deal with negative self-talk?
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