I studied the dress on the hanger. It was bright, stripey and colourful. The navy stripes of the singlet top changing into green at waist height, then into orange as it traveled to the floor, caught my eye. I was reminded of summer and fun. But it was in the straight size section. The larger size section that I had already perused was full of boring drab colours and shapeless tunics. I wanted this dress.
The old me would have sighed, and walked away. The new me of the last few years, living on a diet of body positive blogs and books, considered. The dress was made of soft stretchy jersey, and was probably made to be oversized on a straight person. There was no harm in trying it out. I picked out the biggest size (18) and entered the fitting room.
I turned around in the mirror. I loved it. The colourful stripes were so me. The dress was comfy and soft and cute. I looked at where the material hugged my tummy. A year ago this would have been a deal breaker. Anything that showed the shape of my stomach was not to be considered. As I studied myself in the mirror, I thought “well who cares. This is my tummy. It’s round and part of me, and I don’t need to hide the shape of it.” I suddenly became aware that I was having a moment. Never did I imagine that I would be able to think of my body in this way. I grinned to myself. One step along in the body love journey.
It’s not fair that we should even have to have a mental process like this at all. But with media, society, some friends and family encouraging otherwise, it can be hard. “Only love your body if it is thin. Or you can love your body a little, as long as you’re trying to make it thin.” Screw that thinking, I say. Love your body, full stop. It’s the one you were born in, take care of it. You don’t have a responsibility to the public to look “acceptable” to them.
I bought that dress. I think I look great in it.
Do you struggle with loving your body? What do you find helps? For me, engaging with fashion and wearing clothes I love helps me. How about you?
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