When I saw this top up for swapping from Hannah, I was immediately drawn to it. Emily wore it in a more office-appropriate way, because she is brilliant at taking outrageous garments and making them work friendly, but me? I had to go all the way, especially considering these genuine 1960’s sunglasses that were just given to me!
Despite my adoration for the pretty housewife-ness of the 40’s and 50’s, I am always most drawn to bright, psychedelic 60’s and flowing, hippie 70’s wear the most. I have often tried directing my style more towards the housewife era, but it really never works. I love bright colors way too much, and also sometimes a girl just needs to wear a totally outrageous maxi dress, okay? So I obviously had to request the top, and I am so thrilled that it fit over my 38-weeks-pregnant belly!
I do not, however, spare much adoration for my legs, so this might be one of the very few times you see me wearing shorts here OR on my own blog. My thighs used to be one of the biggest insecurities I had, but now… well, I am not going to say that I’m working on loving them or anything like that because you know what? I’m not. I know they’re there, and I am okay with baring them in shorts in the summer because the stretch marks, cellulite, and jiggling they possess are just a fact of life and I am not ashamed of my thighs. I just don’t like them that much. It’s always really wonderful to me to see other women learn to love their less-than-loveable parts, but I prefer a more realistic confession: I am working on them.
I am working on making them stronger and more capable of doing squats without wimping out on the third one. I am working on whittling away a little bit of the fat that causes painful chafing in the summer unless I wear bike shorts or lather up with anti-chafe sticks. And yes, I am working on losing some weight in that area so that I can eventually fit a smaller size. Or at the very least, rock a shift dress without the hip area being tight while the bust area is way too big.
Somehow, I have always gotten the impression from the internet that a woman admitting she wants to lose weight or be fitter is some sort of weakness or somehow anti-body-positive. But I think there are tough love methods to being body positive, too. I want to take care of my body and ensure that it is strong, fit, and attractive to my husband. This doesn’t come from self-loathing. I am not beaten down as a whole just because I don’t really like my thighs. It doesn’t affect my overall confidence that I’ll never have a thigh gap (because what IS that anyway, like… really ladies? No.)
It comes from a wish for my whole self to be the best self that it can be, because I care about the health and appearance of my body. I don’t know how to say this without coming off as entirely vain, but I love who I am. And in that love is also a desire to always improve the areas that need improvement. I want these legs to be able to carry me up a mountain hike, or run around with my kids at the playground, or endure a long walk at dusk. Right now, they can’t really do any of that very well.
I think many people today misunderstand love to mean total and complete acceptance no matter what, and forget that sometimes love — even unconditional love — means acknowledging and improving (or helping to improve) flaws. The more you love someone, the more you are willing to be the first person who steps out and says “hey, I think you need some help in this area” if they’re doing something wrong. And that goes for my body too, in a different kind of body-positive light.
So, here are my thighs, flaws and all. I don’t love the way they look right now, and that’s okay. Because we’re working on it.
How about you? Do you think body acceptance is a love-all-no-matter-what thing, or do you think part of being body positive is being productive and improving those things that you want to improve?