*DISCLOSURE* The following is a mind clearing, self righteous, vent-worthy post. Continue at your own risk.
How many men and women out there have a belly? I don’t mean the flat, barely-there kind. You all know what I mean. The type of belly that rolls over your pants a little. Perhaps makes you a wee self-conscious? The type of belly that makes society use an F-word crueler than an F-bomb.
Body image is a topic that society has dwelled upon for seemingly forever. It’s time all the skinny minis stop body shaming and thinking their size and shape is the norm. While I do agree that there is such a thing as being at an unhealthy weight, it goes beyond numbers and how widespread our bellies are.
I am a woman. I am a proud size 16/18. I have a larger belly than some but I am healthy. Throughout high school and all of my adult life I have hovered around the same weight. I’ve maintained. Could I lose it and be the socially acceptable 150-pound doll that everyone expects of everyone? Absolutely! Do I believe I absolutely NEED to? Not for a second.
I am a healthy, happy 30-year-old woman who’s carried a child. I grew a person! Yes, my belly was less stretched out pre-baby but I’m a tiger proud of the stripes I’ve earned. I have had all the well-checkup tests done at my primary care physician’s office and they are all within normal levels. So why should I be self- conscious? Do I really have a reason? I most definitely do not. I have maintained the same weight with a 3 to 5-pound fluctuation (which is normal, especially for women). By some scientific standards, yes, I am overweight. By societal standards, yes, I am fat. Realistically, I am not.
Should I be concerned if I have a pair of fat pants and a pair of regular pants? Nope. It’s all about how you look at it. My everyday jeans are comfortable and flattering and I could where them whether I was bloated or not. My so-called “fat pants” are never referred to as so. I like to look at them as “my comfy pants”. EVERYONE has a set of comfies that they turn to when they are sick, or being overly casual. Outlook is a major factor in self-esteem. Look at yourself with a positive demeanor.
I will not be ashamed of how my body looks because of social standards that are outdated! I could make the same body image argument about babies but no one picks on them when they aren’t the “right” size. I think any parent would agree that the sizing for baby clothes is beyond inaccurate. The sizes almost never fit as stated. For example, when your 2-month-old infant is wearing 3 to 6-month sized onesies and pants. Why should older children and adults’ sizes be looked at any other way?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone any studies that prove weighing too much can have adverse effects on your health. I believe that is absolutely true. However, I do also believe that within a certain range the size of your belly is less than relevant. Society needs to be less rigid and narrow minded and realize that just because you aren’t a size 2 or if you don’t have a flat stomach (because there are women my size who simply do not have a dangly belly) that you aren’t just as beautiful as model behavior.
So, stand tall, be confident, and own it! We are all beautiful—body, mind, and soul.