I knew I would be writing a post like this sooner or later. I have always had a passion for advocating positive body image, no matter what size or shape you are. No matter if you are trying to lose weight or gain weight, if you’re curvaceous or stick-straight, if you’re short and stubby or tall and lanky, if you’re perfectly proportioned or off balance… it doesn’t matter. I’ve always wanted to encourage women of any and every size to accept the shape they are, not be afraid to say that they love the body they have, or work towards positive goals they have set for themselves. Bodies are amazing things, but the media’s pressure towards perfectionism has skewed what “real” beauty is.
I am not a stranger to lack of confidence where my shape is concerned. Growing up, I was flat chested until fourteen, and extremely jealous of my cousin, who developed much, much earlier than I did. Then, I started to fill out, I had bad eating habits, and by eighteen I was all-around plump at 180 pounds and 5’6″. But, as my mother predicted, I started to lose the babyish weight, thinned out about the face and waist, and I was okay with my upper half.
My lower half, however… was an entirely different story.
See, ever since I started to fill out as a teen, I’ve had a bubble butt and thighs that rub together. And I have always been conscious of that. I learned to dress myself and downplay those areas that I was uncomfortable with, I got married to a man who appreciates the squishy parts I’ve never liked, and I fell into an agreement with my lower half: you behave and don’t get any bigger, and I’ll pretend I love you.
But we’re being honest here: I’ve never loved the hips. I never wear figure-skimming clothes because I don’t like to emphasize that part of my body.
And then a funny thing happened: I got pregnant, and the world changed.
Suddenly, I have this belly that balances out my hip area, and in a time when I’ve noticed that most women begin to lament the fact that they’re getting bigger, I’ve started to love fitted clothes. I want to emphasize the belly, and I like the way my curves look in dresses like this. Genuinely like.
Pregnancy certainly is a game changer.
And who knows, I might start to gain weight (I haven’t, yet) and begin to hate the hips again. But right now, I just want to say: if you’re pregnant and lamenting the added curves… don’t. You’re pregnant. You’re supposed to gain something. Celebrate it. Find clothes that emphasize what you love, and marvel in the fact that you’re growing another human in your own freaking body. I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty darn amazing.
And if you’re not pregnant, what is it about you that you find beautiful? Think about it. God gave you that body for a reason, what are you using it for? Why not be okay with it? Why not take care of it, find what you like about it, and make friends with the not-so-perfect parts? After all, nobody is perfect. You’ve seen what photoshop can do, right? You know those celebrities only look that good on the red carpet because of spanx, stylists, personal chefs, makeup artists, airbrushing, insanely strict diets, copious amounts of money, and personal trainers, right?
Pregnant or not, my point is — and always will be– you are you, and that’s pretty amazing. Your friends love you, your family loves you, your significant other (if you have one) adores you, and God made you specifically the way you are. Don’t get hung up on the fact that this celebrity or that blogger is so much thinner/curvier/more beautiful/has better hair/whatever it is you want but don’t have. Focus on what you do have, because that’s far more precious!
Dress: ASOS Maternity
Heels and belt: Thrifted
Earrings: Fred Meyer
This is really a lesson I could continue to learn myself.
In other news, this dress is something I saw Southern (California) Belle wear and had to have. (Sorry, Ashley, it was way too cute to resist!) It is basically a really long tee shirt. Seriously, so comfortable!
And this morning, as I was waking up laying on my back, I noticed that my stomach was totally and completely lopsided to the right, and I felt the baby strongly kicking for about thirty seconds. The lopsidedness stayed for a really long time, though; I took pictures, but you can’t really tell on camera as much. Also, my bellybutton is fading fast.
I cannot wait to find out the gender of the baby! Everyone I know, strangers and blog friends (so far) included, thinks it’s a girl. I’m starting to refer to it as a girl, even though we won’t know for 2-1/2 more weeks (merely because that’s when my midwife is scheduling it…). I have some plans on how we’ll reveal the gender. So excited!
I hope you all have a fantastic Monday!