TW: Talk about body image
Autumn, Winter, and Spring all have one great thing in common: you can hide your body. Wide-leg jeans, sweatshirts, long sleeves, sweaters, jackets; you name it. I am completely confident strutting around with all of my limbs covered. But once that Texas heat starts to creep in, the shorts, tank tops, and bikinis have to come out of hiding. This means showing a lot of areas of my body that haven’t been on display in a few seasons. As a curvy girl, this is probably my worst nightmare.
Over the years, as my so-called “womanly figure” has come in, so have stretch marks and cellulite. I remember the first time I was ever told I had thick thighs I was in middle school and refused to wear shorts for the rest of the summer. As a kid, I heard adults talk about their arm flab and have carried that insecurity ever since. You’ll hardly see me with my arms uncovered. I’ve constantly sucked in my stomach ever since I was first told that was something girls do.
And while the comments about being a “big girl” somehow overnight became a compliment of being “thicc,” my mindset never changed. I am still that young girl. I carry her stretch marks and cellulite, her hips, and her thighs. I scrutinize my body and wonder how I can hide the curves that everyone seems to love. I check my reflection on every shiny surface to ensure I look okay.
I’ve spent countless hours scouring the internet for “curvy-friendly shorts” but have been entirely unsuccessful. Watched TikTok after TikTok to find a tank top I felt confident in despite having to show my bingo wings. Looked on every website to find a bikini I could see myself wearing without worrying about how my body looked. But at the end of it all, no perfect article of clothing is going to fix what I’m lacking.
The standards I’m putting on myself are not ones I uphold to others. And I know this is not something only I do. I have never once looked at someone and thought “Wow, I can see their stretch marks right now that’s embarrassing.” I don’t judge others on their cellulite, their rolls, their extra fat, or any other insecurity one might have. So it’s hypocritical of me to assume others are judging me for it.
Hopefully, we can all learn to be as kind to ourselves as we are to others. This summer, one of my goals is to wear my curves proudly. I will not suffer for the sake of my self-prescribed flaws. Nobody sees the things I see on myself. They see a pretty girl in summer clothes. That’s what we all are, pretty people wearing summer clothes.