How many times do you look at your self critically when you pass a reflective surface? Me? Oh, just about most of the time. And, even if you won’t admit it, you might do it as often as I do.
This past weekend, I went to Vegas for the first time. Well, I’ve been there before, but this time I was old enough to do things. You know…things. And I was super lucky to get to go with a really chill group of friends that I made during my time at school. And the whole weekend, like I wrote last week, I was panicking about by outfit choices. Obviously, I did what I could and made things work. But I still was afraid of not being “enough”.
I realized, after talking to a friend who would not be considered plus size, that all of us have our hang ups. Her? Well she has her own insecurities. But then she asked me about mine, and I honestly panicked. And I lied. Not my boldest move. But I’ll be honest now. The thing I am most insecure about on my body is my stomach and my arms.
When I was growing up, I was so ashamed of the way I looked that I would wear sweaters all day. Even if it was hot, I would swear up and down that I wasn’t. And I would go about my day, not liking the way I looked and wishing I looked different. A lot of that translated to my adult life. Eventually, I decided to say, “F*** it!” and I started wearing what I want.
Luckily, I’m not wearing sweaters is hot weather, but I’m still insecure about my stomach and my arms. But I haven’t let that stop me from wearing what I want. Well it has, but I’m working on it.
Back to the idea of not being “enough”. While it seems like such an external factor, this is all really in our heads. Even though we would like to say that we are not paying attention to media, it has long been ingrained in us. And this is what leads us on the vicious cycle to attack ourselves.
I’ve recently started to accept the way that my body looks which is incredible for a plus size woman, or any woman for that matter, in a society that really only includes women who meet the long list of criterion. But this has taken so long and I’ve been trying a lot of different methods.
For one, I started to wear clothes that challenge me. A great example would be the bodycon dress that I have makes me want to wrap my arms around stomach and hide. I wear that and it makes me feel sexy. Another would be wearing shirts that don’t have sleeves so that my arms are able to be free.
Another thing that I’ve tried is sleeping naked. A friend of mine once told me that she did this and I was in shock. Because why would you want to sleep naked?! In my mind it was like exposing yourself to the public. Recently I realized that was me basically shouting to the world that I was insecure about my body. And by me sleeping naked, I’ve slowly been more appreciative of the body I have. And that change doesn’t have to come from a place of hate, but rather love.
And finally, I started to saying kind things about my body. It seems so easy to pick apart all the things that we don’t like about ourselves, trust me I know. But it can get a bit out of hand. So I started countering every negative thing I say about myself with a positive one. This is so hard, because I want to keep the positive comments superficial so that I focus on my outer beauty. Even though it’s what is on the inside that matters, how you see your physical body is just as important.
So take this into consideration when you look back at your own body image. Be ind with yourself because you can always make a positive change. Whether it be internal or external, having a positive body image is all up to you.