My blog post of September 20, 2015 attracted a great deal of attention and I’ve been asked to write another post about body acceptance! In today’s post, I’ve extended my discussion of body love to include the HOW TO’s in terms of changing the way you view yourself. A big part of this includes the creation of a personal style that you love–from lingerie beneath your clothes to the coat your wear over them!
One letter said,”Your thoughts on body confidence and being true to yourself is something we not only agree with, but try to cater to as well. With our plus size styles we create designs that not only promote confidence but accentuates a woman’s curves. With that being said, we’d love to get your further thoughts on the subject.”
In response to the requests I have written a post regarding the way in which I embrace myself as I am. Here are the tools I use to “SEND OFF SHAME” and to affirm the beauty of my body.
Above: Mia in Adore Me Marcella Cami & Pajama set
EMBRACING MY PERSONAL STYLE
What plagued me was the underlying belief that no matter what I accomplished, or how kind and sweet and thoroughly wonderful I was, it was all disqualified by the fact that I was fat. Even before I gained weight in my thirties I lived in fear of fat. I had a boyfriend in my early twenties who said he was attracted to petite Asian women, and although I was not petite or Asian, I struggled to make my body fit this criteria. My mother, in her Hospice bed from which she couldn’t rise and in the final stages of lung cancer, asked me how my diet was going. It was one of our last conversations. And her focus on a thin body as representative of a beautiful and successful woman did not come out of nowhere, it was imposed on her by society, as well.
I have never been free of society’s shaming, and though I sincerely hope that the world is gradually changing in the direction of wider acceptance of people’s differences, there comes a point where I need to choose my own feelings about myself. About my beauty, about my self-worth, about my size.
It is time to stop the dieting, in favor of healthy and satisfying eating. It is time for chocolate to be “good” again. It is time for me to move my body because it is fun and makes me feel good. It is time to KNOW I am beautiful and worthwhile
just because I am.
It is easy to say “I’m going to accept myself the way I am.” It is easy to tell myself, “I am a big beautiful woman.” But how do I rise above the past fifty years of having had the image of the “perfect” size 2 or 4 or 6 body stamped into my consciousness as the only right way to be? How do I un-hear the slurs that have compared a large body to a house or a large sea animal? How do I do this? I cannot not care. I’m a woman who enjoys fashion and makeup and presenting myself to the world in a way that makes me feel attractive and beautiful.
So, in order to love and accept myself just exactly as I am, I have decided to embrace and love my own personal style. Style is important to me, and finding a style I like that works with my body is essential to my self acceptance.
I have accomplished this using several steps.
1)I have created several Pinterest Boards that I refer to often. One is called “Plus Size Beauty” where I pin pictures of mainly beautiful plus size women (but I have a number of beautiful plus size men, as well). I try to post a wide variety of women. I think that we (society) are highly influenced by what we see in advertisements, and if we never look at beautiful large women of various races, and are constantly shown only very thin pale women as representative of our standard of beauty, we will not begin to view any large body as a beautiful body.
I have another Pinterest Board called “Plus Size Fashion” where I pin plus size women wearing outfits I love. My favorite items of clothing are torn jeans and preppy shirts and leather boots, and lots of plaid flannel. Underneath my preppy/cowgirl exterior I like to wear sexy lace and silky camisoles as the contrast intrigues me. Creating this board has helped me to focus in on what I want to wear and how I want to look and feel. And I have another Pinterest Board called “Self- Acceptance” on which I pin positive self-affirming statements about how I choose to see myself and the world.
2) I turn the volume off or change the channel on ALL of the dieting commercials I see on television. When I was cleaning my closet, a weeklong event if you look at my September 20 blog post, I put the television on so I had something to listen to as I worked. I have to tell you, I heard more commercials from featuring Marie Osmond and Oprah Winfrey encouraging me to try out the amazing diet they support than any other type of commercial. I also became aware of what a huge business weight loss is, as many of the other commercials featured ways I could walk and climb away the pounds. So I can finally be happy.
I turn these off and tune them out.
3)I made a few rules to live by: Look for the beauty in all people. Appreciate the differences in people. Do not compare myself (physically or otherwise) to other women.
4)Associate with people who share my values—I find that I enjoy spending time with people who are not all about what they eat and which diet they are on and how often they work out, but who focus on they types of things that I find interesting and stimulating, like books and social issues.
5) Dress in what makes me feel sexy. And then go ahead and feel sexy. (AdoreMe.com’s beautiful lingerie helps with this!)
6) I take note of plus size women in the news. Right now I am very excited by the beauty and style and intelligence of presidential candidate Bernie Sander’s wife, Jane.
7) I constantly challenge myself to find new online styles and new online stores that offer clothes for all sizes. This is a way I can enhance my personal style and embrace myself, as I become aware that the fashion world is starting to see larger women and create fashion to please us.
This list continues to grow every day as I find ways to support myself and to support other plus size people. I’d love to hear how YOU embrace yourself and your style!!!
Mia Kerick ❤