Contact lenses make me look like a terrifying half-human half-cyborg-doll lady, and I love it ;)
While I was at an amusement park in Hong Kong last week, waiting in line for a scary-looking rollercoaster, a ride attendant walked up to me, pointed at my belly and exclaimed, "no baby! No baby!"
Yep. She was telling me that I couldn't get on the ride because she thought that I was several months pregnant.
Horrified as I was, I assured her that I wasn't in fact pregnant and probably just had a bit of a food baby going on. The ride attendant grumpily walked away without offering an apology or looking even the slightest bit remorseful.
Now, I'm not posting this here for reassurance - I know that I do not look pregnant and any suggestion that I look like I am is somewhat ridiculous. And sure, maybe I was just standing in a relaxed position with my hands clasped over my tummy, which could possibly have led to the mistaken idea that I was well into my third trimester.
But this experience led me to what I think is a much more problematic and deeply-rooted issue involving the policing of women's bodies: the idea that if a women doesn't have a perfectly flat stomach, she shouldn't wear a tight-fitting dress (likewise, the idea that any woman over a size 6 shouldn't wear leggings). If women have any fat on their stomachs, they are expected to hide it - leading to situations like mine wherein any women showing off her little belly is assumed to be pregnant rather than merely having fat deposits on her abdomen.
Think about it. Have you ever, ever seen a model with a belly wearing a bodycon dress?? Even brands that use plus size models make sure that those models are curvy in all the "right" places. We're now being told that it's okay to be curvy and to love your curvy body - as long as those fat deposits decide to reside solely on your bust and your buttocks, giving you the perfect hourglass figure.
And I'll admit that I was still sucking my stomach in while taking these photos. I also tend to only wear clothing which flares out at the waist in order to hide my stomach. Because I am a product of this oppressive thought, and part of me believes that I'll be taken less seriously and that my photos will be less liked if I show that tummy off.
This needs to change.
I want to be able to wear anything that I want, regardless of whether it suits me or looks "flattering" on my body.
I'm fitter and healthier than I've been in a long, long time. And yet, I still have a little pot belly. And this is okay and perfectly, perfectly normal. So this is my pledge: I'm not going to automatically shy away from wearing dresses which show it off. I'm going to wear dresses that aren't "right" for my body type. I'm going to dress in the clothes that I like, and focus on what my body can do rather than what it looks like - regardless of what society thinks.
And I encourage you all to do that same, whatever that may be for you. Grow your body hair long, wear leggings, singlet tops, tight pants and short skirts - do something that makes either yourself or other people uncomfortable, and then realise how much it just doesn't matter. Forgo make up, cake on make up, dress up, dress down - do whatever the hell you want. Because it's your body, and your body can do amazing things.
Dress is thrifted (originally Asos)
Shoes are from Asos
Necklace is from Tash Tash Jewelry
Tote bag is Lazy Oaf
Headband is from Hong Kong
Lenses are GeoMedical (Magic Color Violet)
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