Top: Old Navy / Skirt: TS14+ / Bra: Just My Size / Heels: Payless US / Bag: Wild Bling
I always knew this week would be a hard one for a lot of the Aussie Curve girls (especially the newbies) but I chose this theme deliberately, mostly because it was suggested by Jo from iCurvy who has had a journey so very similar and yet so very different to me but also because I wanted to push. To push aside feelings of inadequacy, of failure, of feeling less than worthy because everyone is worth more, so much more.
You just have to own it. I’m not saying that it’s easy, it takes diligent practice every single day. I practice what I preach daily and my blog is where I share my journey with you, five years in and I’m still learning new things about myself, fashion and my own self image. Self love isn’t instant, but it can be constant.
I knew I’d have to push further, to push for those who aren’t ready to yet. For the women who’s reflection scares them even on good days. For the women who haven’t gazed upon their body in years, to remind them that they are brave, durable and wanted. That their body is their home and they should be house proud. You might be reading this thinking that it was easy for me, it wasn’t… it isn’t.
By putting myself out there on the internet it brings a lot of strangers in. 99% of the time I can say it’s positive but I know how women are, I’m sure words are whispered behind screens, in forums, at cafes. The difference is I’ve become less sensitive to the negative. I took a picture with Aidan when he was 4 months old, our very first trip the to beach and I was wearing a cap sleeve top. I was so happy and relaxed and in love and shared it in a blog post.
The very first comment left by a reader was “WOW, huge arms!!!”. My arms pressed flat to my body, cradling my new baby. I wept with anger and to this day my mind tricks me sometimes into believing that the hateful comment had value and merit, and I have to remind myself what that moment really captured, a sun filled day with my baby boy.
My arms aren’t the only things that attract attention, my knees do as well. The parts I’m “brave” enough to show, that others seem to feel a desperate need to hide seem to gain the most negative comments. I’ve learnt that their swift impulse to harshly educate me on how I should or shouldn’t dress has absolutely nothing to do with me but simply their self reflections and how they personally view the world as aesthetically pleasing. It doesn’t take into account my comfort, my activities or my personal preference. Please remember that comments are always subjective, they are never the rule.
Another thing I hear a lot from readers is “Oh I could never pull that off I have a tummy/muffin top/flabby arms/double chin/etc…” and I simply reply that I have all those things. I started experimenting with clothes, with colours, with prints and different kinds of fabric. I read magazines, watch youtube videos, made my own clothes and read a lot of blogs.
Over the years I slowly began to develop my own style and I quickly realised there were certain garments I didn’t like and then it became easier to narrow down what I did like. Unfortunately I also realised that I’m a chameleon, I liked to play with trends and change my style a lot… hello overflowing wardrobe!
So… I have the floppy c-section tummy and I like to wear larger knickers. I have multiple curves on my hips, dimpled thighs and swollen knees. I have smooth skin with stretch marks and I have arms that wobble in the wind. I have a pudgy vagina, thick ankles and breasts that have lost a bit of their lift due to breastfeeding and general size. I wore a sleep bra to show you their natural shape, something only my husband or closest friends would see.
I wanted to show you all my “flaws” so that every time you look at one of my outfits and begin to think you couldn’t wear something the way I do, remind yourself that you’re wrong… that you can.
Your body is perfect for you, do with it what you must to feel beautiful and desirable but know that only you can give yourself the validation you need. Please don’t allow your vulnerable side to overpower everything else about you, to stop you from experiencing moments worth treasuring. Clothes are just a way of expressing yourself, nothing more so don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You are beautiful, just as you are… even if you don’t believe it yet.