This week, I am testing out a few holiday party outfit options. And after so many of you commiserated or posted words of encouragement about yesterday’s “back fat” post, I was thinking about another part of my body that doesn’t really fit society’s standards. I didn’t write that post for people to tell me that I don’t need to Photoshop myself or that they didn’t see what I see or that I look fine; while those are nice things to hear, that wasn’t the purpose of posting about something that I saw as a flaw. The point was to say “I have back fat, but that’s okay! I am more than my body, I’m attractive in spite of flaws, and what’s more, so are you.”
Today I want to take it a step further by breaking a few fashion rules to emphasize a part of my body that most magazine advice articles would tell me to cover up. I hope y’all don’t get too tired of my spouting off body-positive posts, but if you do, well… you can ignore the text and just look at the pictures. However, you might have noticed in that first picture that I have a fairly rounded belly, and pretty full hips. After having had two kids, both of those things are becoming more pronounced. And you know what? I’m pretty okay with that.
I actually have just started to think how silly it is that while I was pregnant I tried to emphasize the belly as much as I could, but post-pregnancy I’ve been trying to hide it as much as possible. Why? I’ve always liked my belly, and it’s never been flat. How is it so bad to have a little extra curve there, and to wear things that *gasp* show it off?
I’ve read a lot of articles over the years on how to dress your body in a flattering way. And I’m definitely not against wearing things that flatter you — you want to dress to feel good, don’t you? I know I do; that’s why my go-to outfit is a fitted top and a flared skirt. It’s what I feel best in, and it hides the bits of my body that I’m only now beginning to accept as okay. All of the advice written for my body shape, which is somewhere between hourglass and pear, would be pretty against wearing this skirt.
Don’t wear busy patterns on the bottom, they would say, wear larger prints to disguise your wide hips. Don’t wear fitted skirts that hug your belly fat. Wear spanx to smooth out those pesky bulges. Don’t wear pencil skirts, wear flared ones that hide your thighs. But you know what? I like this skirt. It’s a busy pattern, it’s a small pattern, it’s very stretchy and fitted, and I don’t even own spanx. I didn’t expect to like it post-baby, since I generally don’t go for bodycon silhouettes when I’m not pregnant and thrifted it while I was pregnant, but I do. I love this skirt on me. It breaks all those fashion rules, which I think are meant to be broken, and it makes me feel good.
I used to dread having a “mom body” in some ways. Years ago, when I was at my thinnest and ironically my most insecure, I did not look forward to dealing with the extra weight that comes after having a few kids. I dreaded carrying those extra curves and vowed that I would work as hard as I could to lose all the baby weight so that I could feel good again.
Little did I know that I would actually put on something fitted while 30 pounds heavier than I was then, and feel amazing. Even today it was pretty unexpected, and instead of making me feel uncomfortable as I had expected before putting on this skirt, I feel more at home with my shape than ever before. I feel more confident, happier, and just plain good in a skirt that my skinnier self would have felt insecure wearing.
Moral of the story today?
Break the rules sometimes. They’re great guidelines, but no clothing rule is a solid one. You can have wide hips and wear pencil skirts. You can have belly fat and wear bodycon clothes. You can have a curvy body and wear a tent dress. You can be stick straight and not try to fake curves with belts. You can wear whatever you want to wear and feel good doing it. It’s your body, dress how you wanna dress.
Skirt and top, thrifted | ring, gift | shoes, Target (old) | ring, gift | earrings, grandma’s/vintage
Chances are, when you feel awesome in something, even if it breaks all the rules, everyone is going to think you look great. Happiness is the best accessory of all, and the most forgiving form of attire.
Wanna read some great body-positive posts? Check these ones out:
Being an Average Sized Girl in a Non-Average Sized Online World – Franish
It’s All a Bunch of Voodoo (Along With Wome Thoughts on Body Image) – In a Nutshell
My Pinup Life: The Opportunities, Body Positivity, & Friends – Miss Amy May
I hope you are all having a wonderful week!