The weather has just been glorious in Colorado Springs for the past week. So when M and I went to brunch, I wanted to show off some of my new warm-weather clothes that I had only been wearing around the house with sweat pants (I coined the term “sweat pant chic” in college cause ya girl lived in sweats, even in the sweltering Oklahoma summers).
As I put this outfit together and tried it on, my heart sank to my stomach. I did not look like the traditional idea of American beauty. I loved the outfit but couldn’t get over the feeling of a breeze on my tummy and my back. I felt so exposed. Physically and emotionally. It felt too wild for little ol’ me to wear, especially after months and months of sweaters, boots, and cold weather gear. But as soon as I recognized this feeling, I just said, “Fuck it.” Fuck the idea that thin women are healthier. Fuck the idea that people in large bodies should not wear crop tops. Fuck the idea that women deserve to be cat-called, sexually assaulted, etc. because of revealing clothes like these. Fuck the negative self-talk which is my same narrative, old story. But this time, I fought it. After chanting my mantra to myself, “our weight is not our worth”, I felt ready to take on brunch with my tummy and huge cancer scar showing, traditional beauty standards be damned!
I did so well through brunch even when a couple with dogs started talking to us about Atticus (cause he’s just so damn cute and polite in public). I was so proud of myself until an old friend appeared with her girlfriend and the cutest puppy in tow, all of whom were so stylish and chic. Even their dog had a fashionable harness/leash situation. I was not prepared to let people I know see my outfit/exposed body. I was not prepared to stand up and expose myself to people I care about. I was awkward through the whole interaction, and it’s solely because I was thinking about how my body looked to my friends. I remember that my body immediately went into the I’m not taking up much space posture. You know the one, shoulders rounded, back hunched, eyes down, don’t look at me. It took me several minutes afterwards to regain my composure, to again be comfortable with taking up space, and to rescue my “fuck off, I look damn good” attitude.
There’s something deeply satisfying about the “fuck off” attitude in the face of self doubt. Have you tried it instead of falling into the dark pit of negative self-talk? It’s working wonders for me not giving a shit about what other people think of me and my body.