For lots of men and women, loving our bodies can be a lifelong journey full of trials and tribulations. Though some days are worse than others, there are things we can remind ourselves on the bad days, and tools we can set in place to bounce back from negative thoughts or self-talk.
Through years of unfair media scrutiny of our bodies and what they should be, people have struggled among all things to keep their belly “flat.” Women were once squeezed into tiny corsets that eventually damaged some of their organs, and this was considered the norm. Flash forward to modern day life, Instagram models and celebrities are making money off selling things like “Flat Tummy Tea,” and we see “fat loss” surgeries like liposuction advertised through social, print and street media regularly.
It’s not that I have an issue with the way someone chooses to display their body, whether getting surgeries done or other modifications. I have a problem with advertisements and a lifestyle that encourages body dysmorphia and unhealthy habits that contribute to disorders physically and mentally.
Here are my own particular ways I learn to love my belly, on the good and bad days; stretch marks, rolls and all.
I wear pants that fit
I know this sounds silly, but I always used to squeeze myself into jeans that would be tough on my tummy! I’d end up with button marks and creases on my skin, and it’d be so uncomfortable to sit down in. Now I make sure I’m showing my body and the space it needs with respect, giving it room to breathe and exist.
I moisturize my tummy
Is there anything cuter than a soft belly? Often, especially where I live, my skin tends to get super dry on my legs and mid-section. I moisturize with sweet almond oil which leaves my skin super soft.
I don’t beat myself up about the stretch marks
It’s super easy to get down on ourselves when a change is happening to our body, especially something like cellulite or stretch marks because they are generally considered unattractive in modern society. When I noticed the stretch marks, I felt a little upset inside. Then I realized my body is just growing, evolving with life, and there’s no reason to be angry at this body that only wants me to live and thrive. Stretch marks are normal, and I will not feel wrong about them.
I take risks with my clothing
Some clothing I own shows off my belly a little more than I may be comfortable with, but on the right days, I love to push the boundaries of what is socially acceptable when it comes to the female figure. We are given these certain ways to dress and not to go in any territory that doesn’t “flatter our shape.” Letting a little pot belly have her chance to shine is kinda cute, right?
These are simple things I do and remember to show my belly love in a world that wants it gone. I hope you know that fat is beautiful, healthy and essential. Appreciate yourself, each of us is full of so much beauty and even what is considered a flaw, is just as beautiful too. Remember, society has told us what is ugly and what is beautiful. You don’t have to abide by rules that someone else made up when acknowledging and appreciating your own body.