Sunday, November 4, 2012

Body Talk: Secrets

I'm starting a new series on The Awkward Indie Girl Blog called "Body Talk." Every Sunday, I'll be posting about body acceptance or a related topic. Today's topic is secrets.
Everyone has secrets about their body, and it's time to end the secrecy and shame. I'm starting by posting five of the secrets I've kept about my own body. My hope is that by reading these, you feel like you're not alone. We all have downright weird thoughts about our bodies, but that doesn't mean you're the only one who is having them. If you like, feel free to post your own body secrets, even anonymously.

I haven't been able to go into a changing room at a mall or department store without crying for almost two years.

This is why I primarily shop at thrift stores and consignment shops (that, and the more reasonable prices). For some reason, at a thrift store, if something doesn't fit me just right, I don't take it personally. I blame the clothes. But at a store in the mall, I blame myself when a pair of skinny jeans is just plain unflattering. Trying on clothes is a sure way to put me in an awful mood.

Putting on a bathing suit is one of the most embarrassing experiences I can think of.

I dread swimsuit season. I just don't like feeling so exposed! I don't romp around in my underwear, so why would I do it in a bathing suit? I've gotten much better at setting aside feelings of mortification in recent years, but it's still a struggle. I've found a couple great tankinis and one-pieces that make me more comfortable, even if I do end up looking like I feel out of Lands' End catalogue. Sufficient coverage is a sure way to boost confidence.

I have a tummy.

Yup, no washboard abs here. Not even a hint of definition. Today, I'm okay with that, but other days I'm not. Acceptance is a slow process, but it's an important one. Sure, I could get rid of my tummy if I exercised more frequently and cut back on calorie consumption, but having a flat stomach is not a priority right now. I'm not ruling it out for a future goal though :)

Sometimes I get caught up on the size of the clothing, not the fit.

I have left a great outfit at the store because I was ashamed of the size on the tags. Conversely, I've brought home clothing that is the size I want to be, not the size I actually am. It's a tough habit to break, especially when you're shopping in the women's department, not the juniors'. I'm trying harder to focus on how clothing looks on and makes me feel, while focusing less on the numbers. Every store has different sizing, anyway! It's a cruel game to play with yourself, and it's one I need to stop.

I love the freckle on my left shoulder.

Loving a part of our body shouldn't be a secret! But for some reason, when we take pride in one of features, we feel ashamed. Loving something superficial about yourself does not make you superficial; it makes you human. It's not petty or self-obsessed to think there is something pretty about you, even if that thing is so small as a freckle.

So those are my secrets. I feel better already :)

Please remember you are welcome to share your own!