Thursday, June 16, 2016

On Body Acceptance

What's that I see? A crop top?!? Doth mine eyes deceive me?

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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  1.'s the world we live in with people who do alarming things to their bodies to create a specific shape. I'm not knocking shapewear, corsets or anything like that...I'm talking about the unhealthy ways.

    We live in a world where airbrushing and Photoshop give off lies!! Women are supposed to have curves....and those that naturally don't...that's okay too!

    It's a rough road and I'm glad you have started your look fab! <3

    1. I totally agree -- women are supposed to have whatever body they have, because it's the body they have!! It feels good to finally embrace that, too. Thank you for 1) being gorgeous and doing you, and 2) being lovely and supportive and kind all the time <3!!

  2. Rock it, lady! It's hard but also exciting to take these steps in acceptance. I wore something midriff-baring to the State Fair last year and was exhilarated and terrified the whole day haha. Just have to keep pushing your comfort zones and reminding yourself you look fab.

    1. <3!! So many of the things you wrote in your post for Body Positivity Week totally resonated with me in a 'do you live in my head too?!?' sort of way [hence the link in my post], and it really helps to see other ladies looking fab and talking about how they're conscious of their own journey to body positivity.

  3. I've got a belly as well - I mean, doesn't most gals? and it's never been flat, even at my thinnest. It just kind of is what it is. I'm not always happy about it but it's just how I am and luckily, swing skirts and petticoats are SO good at hiding it ;)


    1. Comments like this are why I feel more comfortable about my body now than before I got into Blog- and Insta-world -- I hear women who look PERFECT to me saying that they feel the same things about their body sometimes that I feel, and think 'hmmm, maybe I should just CHILL OUT!' It sounds flippant when I put it like that, but I feel like it's so easy to get lost in the self-critical things that go on inside one's own head, and that's why it's important to surround yourself with people who help you gain perspective on how you're feeling and support each other to accepting and loving ourselves!