Body Confidence: “Flattering”

As I have been gaining weight the last couple of years one of the most troubling words for me has been “flattering.”

When an outfit is flattering it is emphasizing the traits that other people think are beautiful in a woman. When I try to pick out a flattering outfit I immediately think of how other people are observing my shape.

For those of us who are not up to society’s standard of beauty we are told that:

  • Black is the most slimming color.
  • We shouldn’t wear prints or bright colors because it draws attention to the unattractive, larger areas of our bodies.
  • We should wear one-pieces, shirts, shorts, and/or cover-ups when going swimming.
  • Longer and baggier shirts and dresses hide the weight gain.
  • Large breasted women should never go bra-less.
  • Dark wash jeans are the most slimming for women with large legs.
  • Cellulite and stretch marks are ugly and should be covered up.
  • We should wear heels to make our legs look longer.
  • We should wear a waist-trainer or shape wear to look thinner and smooth out our unattractive lumps.
  • Wide leg jeans will only make us look like we have tree stump legs down to our feet.
  • Stripes make you look wider.
  • “Sorry we don’t carry that size.”

I have been told all of these things and there are probably a million more things that have been said and thought by women all over the world. Honestly, just writing this makes me a little emotional.

For years I have dressed myself the way that I thought other people would consider most “flattering” on my body type. I would dread shopping because the popular clothes just didn’t fit me the way that they fit my skinnier friends. I would buy all black, boring clothing just so I wouldn’t be noticed.

I’ve slowly been changing the way that I shop and the clothes that I wear and I have seen a very positive change in myself.

From now on I don’t want to buy things simply because they make me look thinner. I want to buy clothes with patterns and colors that make me smile! I want to wear clothes that have fun shapes and cuts and make me stand out. I want to push myself to be confident in the crowd and appreciate the way my body looks in a variety of clothing.

To help me with this, I’m changing the the word “flattering” in my personal dictionary. Instead of it being an outfit that is slimming, curve accentuating or pleasing to others, it will be an outfit that is pleasing to ME! I will wear what makes me feel confident and happy, no matter what other people think.

There will always be people that think negatively about the way that we look. But when I think about the most beautiful people in my life I realize that they are that beautiful because they are confident. I want to be like that.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more body confidence posts.

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