Last week, when I decided to shoot some Valentine’s day looks in preparation for both deciding what I wanted to wear on the actual holiday and also making a Valentine lookbook, I had no idea just how much I would fall in love with every outfit. I originally planned to post all four looks in one post, but I think these deserve their own blog posts because… oh my word. I am not exaggerating when I say I haven’t felt this cute in months and months.
There’s just something about pink and red!
When I was a little girl I refused to let pink be my favorite color. For years and years, I rejected the color because girls were supposed to love pink and, being stubborn as I am, I did not want to follow the expectations of everyone around me and fall down the pink-lined hole that was stereotypical femininity. I wanted to show that I could just as well climb trees and play in the mud as I could wear a dress and look pretty, and I remember always wanting to be my own person. I wanted to be unique, unlike other people, not… mainstream. You could say I had a hipster heart before hipster was ever a thing.
But the older I get, the less I care what society expects me to be, or how I am expected to look, and I’ve started wearing whatever colors and patterns I please. Sometimes, these things fall exactly into others’ expectations of me, and sometimes (when I wear pants), they don’t.
One of the expectations I still struggle with, though, is an expectation I put on myself. These days, being pregnant, I often avoid full skirts in favor of bodycon silhouettes. As someone with a generous behind and thighs that have never been anything but muscular and thick, when I am pregnant I start to feel extremely wide from front-to-back as my belly grows and dresses no longer lay flat in front. Lately, I’ve avoided full skirts all together, opting instead for silhouettes that follow the body and show people that I am very much pregnant. In my head, I have to ensure that there’s no doubt any perceived width is attributed to a baby belly and not anything else.
Even when you gain self-confidence and learn that not every body has to be a thin body in order to be attractive, healthy, fit, strong, or even ideal… that silly little voice can still nag at you. Make sure people know you’re not gaining random weight. Make sure people know it’s pregnancy. Make sure it’s not mistaken for a taco baby. And lately I’ve realized just how ridiculous that voice is. It’s pretty obvious from the side that I’m pregnant, whether I’m wearing a bodycon dress or a full skirt. But even if it weren’t… who cares?
So lately, I’ve been learning to let myself wear whatever the heck I want while pregnant, and love how I look in that thing regardless of the insecure little voice at the back of my head reminding me that I was always the heavier one, the one with wiggly thighs and cellulite and a stomach that was never flat even when it “should” have been. I’ve been drowning that voice out with things like dresses that make me feel fabulous in amazing prints, with skirts that are super full and retro looking. I’ve been blasting that voice back with my own, and reminding myself that I look fabulous in twirly skirts, and pink, and whether it’s a pregnant belly or a donut-baby, I deserve to dress in a way that makes me happy. I am allowed to wear things that aren’t “flattering.” I’m allowed to like the way I look even if magazines might tell me “that makes you look too wide from the side.”
Because who cares, really? It’s my body, I’ll dress it how I want to dress it. I’m going to practice some self-love this Valentine’s day, too, and stop letting my insecurities talk me out of dressing in things I love. I’m going to do the hairstyles I used to think I couldn’t “pull off” because my face is a little too round, or the makup that used to intimidate me because only girls with big lips can wear that shade of lipstick, and I’m going to twirl in my full skirt in the tornado of “yes I can, and I look good” thoughts, and I’m not going to care what everyone else thinks.
I originally bought this LindyBop dress with the intent to wait until post-pregnancy, for the very reason that I knew the full skirt would add to my general width from the side. But after realizing just how ridiculous that was, I decided it should definitely be in my Valentine’s day lookbook and I may end up wearing it on Valentine’s day, I love this look so much!
I hope you, too, can go forth and not only show love to others, but to yourself. Whatever insecurities might be telling you, oppose them. Remind yourself that you’re fabulous and you deserve to dress exactly how you want to dress, no matter whether it’s flattering or not. Flattering is just a concept created by companies to sell you clothing they want you to wear. So forget about it.
If you wanna rock it, it’s flattering. The end.
Dress, Lindy Bop (same cut, diff print; lipstick print, diff brand) | Shoes, Seychelles (cute shoe clip for a similar effect) | Bag, Vendula London | Cardigan, Etsy | Hairbow, Lindy Bop | Earrings, vintage