This will be a bit of a rambler post – apologies in advance. I’ve been musing on this for a while and haven’t quite found the flow to write about it… so I think I’m trying too hard. Here are my thoughts in all their un-finessed glory.
I was first challenged by this post titled “I’m not pregnant. It’s just my belly.”
I can relate in that I have a body type that fits some “beauty standards” (hourglass figure and a full bra size); for the most part I’ve always been happy with my shape. I’ve also always carried some extra pounds. The confidence in my curvy figure or honesty about my health have varied over the years. Still, I’m generally pretty comfortable in my skin.
But even on a good day, I don’t think I could manage her final thought:
“After some time and a few breaths, I smiled and unwrapped my jacket from my waist. I decided to let my little belly be. I wasn’t confident the whole time, but I was honest. And if you ask me, honesty is damn sexy.”
My response to the article had me confused. I wanted to be all “body confidence, yay! I dress for myself not anyone else. One person’s dumb comment doesn’t need to ruin my day. *quietly repeats calming mantra to refrain from poking out eyeballs*.” In the moment, I think that’s exactly how I would have responded.
But because I lived the story in private through another’s writing, the immediate impulse to put on a brave face didn’t happen. Instead I wanted to cry. I mentally tied that jacket around myself and hid.
My reaction confused me because it was honest. Raw. Vulnerable. Even weak. The list of people who see this part of me is short and I don’t open up easily. The post served as a mirror and what it showed me was uncomfortable.
Maybe it has hit me stronger because I’m particularly aware of my body lately. It is spring, after all. The tank tops and skirts are coming out while the magazines urge me to slim down for summer. It’s probably the hardest time of year (because once the summer heat and humidity hit, I don’t care so much how I look and just about staying cool).
This thought process is showing me that personal confidence and courage are not the same thing, and most importantly, that honestly trumps both.
If you made it through my rambling, high five!