We are always told what not to wear.
Bikinis. Short Sleeves. Stripes. Florals. Bright colors are certainly out of the question for a lot of us.
There are tons of articles and listicles of what women over 40 shouldn’t wear or what someone with a big stomach should avoid. We are a society of trying to hide, conceal, and alter what we don’t like. We are becoming less and less human and more plastic by the second with the influx of doggie filters and smoothing apps to make us Instagram acceptable.
We are afraid to try anything new out of fear of what others will think of our bodies. We fear the backlash of someone noticing that we aren’t wearing a body-shaper or that good ole’ girdle. The stretch marks on our arms or the sag of our boobs. Our real bodies are unacceptable.
We’re so worried about fitting in that we toss away all of the uniqueness that makes us so much more interesting. This may be cliché, but if we all looked like a Barbie wouldn’t the world be such a boring place?
I have a lot of conversations with my platform about body image. And, the stories that I hear are heartbreaking and shocking. Self-hate for many of us stems from childhood abuse by parents, bullying at school, and the media.
Can you imagine what would happen if we just loved ourselves without stipulations? Like if you loved yourself prior to losing ten pounds? Or if you loved yourself before the nose job? Before the makeup?
That’s why it’s so important to have conversations. Like, honest conversations about our bodies. No matter how weird or embarrassing. We learn so much more about ourselves when we share our stories, our struggles, and triumphant moments.
It’s kinda funny that as a plus-size model and body-positive activist, I still have my days. I still have that little voice in the back of my head that says, hmmm you shouldn’t wear that. You can’t wear that. YOU DON’T HAVE THE BODY FOR IT.
Fashion Nova Curve sent me this mustard jumper type deal and I was like oh that super cute n whateva. I kinda thought the material would be unforgiving, but I was feeling confident. I can do this!
When it arrived, I tried it on with excitement. I immediately noticed that it literally showed every dip and dimple of my thighs. My thighs and legs have always been problematic and it’s taken me a long time to come to terms with them. They always seem to garner attention that I don’t care for, making me feel like some kind of object. And, they are riddled with fat and cellulite.
I looked in the mirror. This would look much better with a pair of Spanx, I thought. They’d smooth out the cellulite. Smooth out my stomach and fupa. It’d make everything look good.
I love my body and learning to love it more each day, but I have my days where I get sucked into the ideal of imitating unrealistic beauty standards. Then I start ridiculing myself and blaming what I ate yesterday on my ‘today’ fatness. If only I ate less and exercised more then I wouldn’t have to wear Spanx. If only I could lose a few pounds I’d be able to wear this or that with confidence. The age-old question: why not be confident right now, in the body I already got?
When does only losing a few pounds ever satisfy us? We then get caught up in the idea that thin automatically means happy and spiral into diet culture. And as ya’ll know, it’s hard to recoup and bounce back from eating disorders and the negative effects of unhealthy dieting.
I almost didn’t post a lot of these photos because my cellulite is screaming hello! Because we don’t ever see cellulite on models or on magazines. Cellulite isn’t normal. But, every human being has stretch marks and cellulite to some extent. But, you’d never know because everyone smooths and edits now.
I’ve gotten so many compliments on this jumper without the Spanx. With the cellulite full view. And I felt good in it. And, because I feel good, that’s the only thing that matters.
My cellulite or stretch marks don’t define me. And neither should it for you.
There’s no such thing as what not to wear. Don’t ever listen to those anti-body love articles that box you into only wearing things that tuck and flatter. Just put it on and see how you feel. Let your body and mind guide you to what you wear.
Did you ever grow up wanting to change a part of your body? Have you come to terms with that part or are you still struggling? Let’s chat.