Let’s not give more power to outfits than we have to.
It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, and I was hanging out with a bunch of friends in a quaint cafe just outside town. A lovely breeze was caressing the exposed skin around my tummy, reminding me for the umpteenth time that day that I had worn a crop top.
This was a big deal because all my life, I’ve bordered on the side of being overweight. Only recently, during the lockdown, did I start working out daily and lost about 10 Kg. I’ve never had the confidence to wear something that reveals the area around my stomach. But now that my belly was flatter than it had ever been, I finally gathered the courage to wear a crop top.
And yet, here I was, conscious of my exposed skin each time the wind touched me, afraid to slouch because that would mean the flab bunched around my waistline and made me look “fat.” As if all the working out I’d done in the past few months was just a sham.
It was terrifying! My insecurities were back to haunt me.
Why should I be ashamed of the excess fat just because movies and popular culture tell me being thin is the only acceptable way to exist?
This is especially surprising because when it comes to writing about body positivity and the need for women to be confident in their own skin, I’m always so eager to write about it online. If it were my sister, my friend, or even a random woman voicing the same concern, I’d have told her to hold her head high and behave like the queen that she was.
But now, that it involved me; why was I so unsure of myself, always harsh to judge?
I felt terrible about my double standards.
And then, the realization hit me as if I’d walked into a glass wall that had always been there — only I’d been too blind to see it.
We give way too much power to clothes to define our beauty.
I’ve read so many articles about not giving our clothes the power to make us feel bad. I’ve watched so many poetry performances and TED talks, and yet, when it came to practicing it myself, I found my old insecurities crippling me again.
This realization lasted only a second, but it left me strong. I relaxed and sat back on my chair, letting the layers of flab on my stomach settle on top of each other. The flab is a part of my body as much as my brain is. I’m never ashamed of my ideas or my thought process. Why should I be ashamed of the excess fat just because movies and popular culture tell me being thin is the only acceptable way to exist?
Self-confidence is a much more valuable asset than cuteness.
It’s silly that the crop top that was supposed to empower me had left me feeling so constricted. That I’d let an item of clothing dictate my posture and how comfortable I felt in my own skin.
“Clothes should mean what we want them to mean, not the other way around.”
At this moment, I realized that:
- Inherently, clothes have no beauty. It’s the way you wear them that makes them look good.
- Your body size doesn’t dictate what clothes you get to wear. If you feel confident in something, go ahead and buy it. Don’t listen to social media and fashion magazines that say you need to be a specific size before considering wearing a certain item of clothing.
- Focus more on “feeling comfortable” than “looking good”. Don’t give an outfit the power to make you sit or hold yourself in a certain way.
A lot of these insecurities may be related to the way my gender has always been taught to feel about herself. But it’s 2021 — isn’t it high time to change that? Isn’t it time we educate ourselves and stop assigning so much value to clothes and instead assign that value to ourselves?
There’s power in self-love. It’s time we dug deep into our souls and embraced it like an old friend.
Yes, all our lives we’ve been taught that despising ourselves is “cute”, but self-confidence is a much more valuable asset than cuteness.
I create content in many different forms related to self-improvement, body-positivity, and feminism on several other platforms. Join my email list to make sure you don’t miss out on anything new.