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Let’s Talk About Body Confidence

body-confidence-web

We all have a body story – a mix of what people have told us our bodies look like, the figure we see in the mirror, our emotional past, etc. I have one, and most likely, you do too.

I can thank my Psychology 101 class freshman year of college for teaching me about the Looking Glass Self. I won’t go all Freudian on y’all, but basically the theory is that a person views himself or herself based on what people perceive him or her to be. We develop an identity based on how others perceive us. It begins while we are young, and since we never stop redefining our definition of self, it continues throughout our lives, unless we cease all social interactions (read: we become a hermit).

Considering I’m half naked half the time on this blog and my social pages, I’m surprised I haven’t talked about body image yet. Why now? Well, someone asked me recently where I get the confidence to pose almost nude. I laughed. In all honesty, I don’t think anything of it. I just make sure I do my sit-ups the morning I take photos : )

Here’s my body story. I always been petite. Growing up, I was a gymnast and then a cross country runner. For both, I was a “casual athlete.” What do I mean by that? I participated and was good, but no chance in hell that I was going to the Olympics. When my mom passed away, I had a brief bout with anorexia. It wasn’t about losing weight, but about dealing with a loss. Luckily, I channeled it into a healthy addiction. Until she was confined to a wheelchair, my mom ran 4-6 miles every day, usually along Ft. Lauderdale beach. As a tribute to her and as a commitment to my health, sanity and happiness, I do the same. I run/jog/walk every day. In the past 10 years, I’ve probably missed less than 10 days.

There are a handful of women I view as the epitome of confident and aspire to be. Brigitte is one of them. It was my first day as an intern at Urban Outfitters when I met her. She was tall and had brown hair and freckles. She was a bitch, but in the best possible way. She knew what she wanted; she also knew what looked good on her. She had an impeccable and unique style that nobody but her could pull off. I remember a particular outfit – a red, circle circle about midi length paired it with a white, eyelet top that had a bib with ruffle detailing around. It was one of her staple outfits, and every time she walked into the office with it on, I thought, “Damn, I would look like a loony if I wore that.” 

I could end by preaching, “We only have one body! Treat it right! Eat healthy, excercise, limit alcohol. Yay for body confidence!” On most days, I’d say 80% of the time, I believe that, but let’s be real. There are those days where I hate my thighs, think I have Madonna arms, yada, yada, yada. Even as petite as I am, I still have those thoughts. You know what gets me through those days? Most people are so wrapped up in their own lives and what they look like that they don’t give a rat’s ass about your arms, thighs, butt, double chin, chicken cutlets or whatever body part you hate. 

5 Comments

  1. Reply

    Susan Petry

    Great post. Good for you. As a dancer/choreographer/teacher of college dancers this is highly relevant. I follow your blog because of my interest in clothing and the body/awareness/presentation, etc.

  2. Reply

    de DIY Diva

    An important topic! It’s great that you honour your mother by running everyday. I always think when I see your pictures: I would never dare to pose in my underwear. Respect!

  3. Reply

    The Sewing CPA

    Great post! I definitely agree that most people don’t care about the parts of our bodies that we dislike.It’s more important to focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not worry about what others think.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Amen to that! I’m good with that mentality most of the time, but still have days where I’m just “ugh” about my body.

  4. Reply

    Aunty Maimu

    I don’t work out. I even hate the idea of it. I love my natural flab. Even thou I am what most people refer to as “skinny bitch” I am not that. Yup, you can see my ribs on the torso and on my chest; my arms look like they could belong to a 12 yo boy but that does not make me skinny. That’s how other people want to see me.
    I do try and stay active. I go to dance classes twice a week. Belly dance. And I get a lot of shit (for the lack of a better word) for it because I AM SO SKINNY and I don’t have a belly so what the F am I doing dancing belly dance….
    It’s because what those people see of me on daily basis are my arms, my neck. .. wearing size 36/8 clothing does not make a person skinny. Skinny is someone who in my eyes has minimum fat above their muscles and is fit and firm. That’s not me.
    I like the way I look. I try not to hate my cellulite, because I haven’t done anything to prevent it. I look past my flobby double chin in the making and focus on my lips, bc they are lovely.
    I will keep belly dancing because it makes me happy! I feel great in performance outfits, all done up with flowers in my hair and wearing my tribal bling. Eff the body shaming I get! I am happy (on most days) in my body!!!

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