Get ready for the stares.
I know that just the thought of this is causing you some stress. So let me remind you of what we know to be a fact as of right now:
- You are unique. There is no perfect. Perfect is only a perception. Think about who actually decided on what the “ideal” body is and how on earth can everyone possibly fit it when we are all designed for so many different purposes. Each generation there’s some outside driving influence that designates the ‘ideal’ look but what a boring world we would live in if everyone looked the same. Now, what an amazing world would be we live in if everyone embraced who they are and allowed themselves to share their individual talents and gifts.
- You are fighting against a culture that has ingrained this idea into our brains that we have forgotten that hating ourselves isn’t natural. Somehow we lost our instincts because when my 3 year old with a tight and smooth tummy tells me she wants the same stretch marks and scars on my tummy I have clearly lost sight of something very important. I am her hero and I started screaming in my head “why would you want to ruin your perfect little body?!?” but never said it out loud. It made me think. It made me reflect. It made me proud.
- We are part of the problem. We hide away so much that we have convinced each other that we are alone. I’m not sure what the stats are but I’m thinking that there’s a 90% chance that wherever you go you are standing next to someone who is insecure about something about themselves. In the short time I’ve had my blog, Instagram, and Facebook going I have countless people tell me how relieved they felt that they were not alone and they’re also struggling to be ok with their bodies. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We need to normalize the normal. We also need to stop vilifying hashtags like #goddess or the newly reinstated #curvy and recently approved #breastfeeding because it sends the wrong message on a very large scale.
So what is it really like to bare your tummy to the world?
It’s like being a celebrity!
Well, honestly I don’t know what that feels like but in my head that’s how I’ve chosen to approach the situation because it is a real thing that happens. Sometimes we say things like “Don’t worry about it, no one will even notice” aaaand that’s never really been true in my situation so I figured I’d be completely honest about it. Do people keep staring? Sometimes.but not often. I’ll tell you why this happens: Because we cover the truth up so much that no one knows what real bodies look like anymore!! I swear we cover up our bodies better than white covers rice and wonder why someone would be fascinated with it when they see it. I didn’t use the word word fascinated lightly either, it is a true fascination. My daughter still plays with my belly and she’s 7.
When I look at people looking at me, I look at them and this is what I’ve seen:
- Curiosity. What I assumed people would see would would bring looks of disgust and disappointment but that’s actually NEVER happened. So imagine you having something so unique that people want to know more about it! It’s awesome!
- Relief. When I look at some people they have such a relaxed look on their face. They finally get to see someone who looks like them and it’s like they have found an alley. Yay!
- Compassion. This is a strange look because I don’t actually feel bad but we’re so used to believing that anything outside of “normal” must be debilitating when it’s not. I can appreciate these folks. They mean well.
- Understanding. This is a fun one because usually they have come to the same realization you have and are comfortably standing in front of you in their own skin. It’s encouraging, exciting, and uplifting. Like when a celebrity meets another celebrity! Again, just fun speculation.
Whatever the look you get just remember the only one that matters is the look that you give to yourself when you look in the mirror. You are searching for your purpose. You have this one life to live. You have been chosen for a purpose and your body was created to do just that in the most perfect way possible.
This is me looking in a mirror that hangs on my door and being genuinely happy with what I saw in the reflection. These are the words that came to me when I looked at this picture. It has been quite a journey to get here and by no means easy but has gotten easier. Take today to do something just for yourself, even if that means looking in the mirror and saying “I am going to be ok”.