A couple weeks ago I made a call to my oldest sister at 1am in uncontrollable tears. It was the first time I had actually considered walking away from the blog and all that came with it. Not because It was too much work or that I was bored…but because a familiar feeling had crept up on me. I felt heavily insecure with myself, my body and my confidence.
There were a couple of things that led to this feeling. A few weeks prior, I had shared a photo in a gorgeous pink dress that I loved…and a reader had asked me if I was pregnant. This wasn’t the first time I had dealt with such comments. When I was much younger, adults would playfully refer to my bulging tummy as a pregnant belly. Fast forward to my adult blogging years, I have had people wish me congratulations (bless your hearts), and people ask me in the sweetest way possible if I had any good news to share.
Here is the truth. I am not pregnant, I am just not skinny either. I WAS just confident enough to wear my flaws with the same level of class that I wear the clothes on my back.
My tummy for years has been my biggest insecurity, but I was learning to live with it. In my early blog days, I would have on two or three spanx just to conceal it. But one day I realized I actually couldn't keep hiding it...so I stopped and started to embrace it. But that is when I kept getting asked. I have always been insecure about my tummy. I don’t let anyone get near to it, no one is allowed to tickle it. It was so sad that the photos that had gotten me those comments online, and probably even more offline, were my attempt at being confident. Those photos were my attempt at teaching women by example that you can embrace your flaws.
So why was I failing at my own lesson?
After the gentle trickle in of comments, for days on end I was very aware of my stomach. I would wear only baggy tops, and skirts in an effort to keep the eyes away from probably the same tummy I had weeks ago. I would stand in the mirror in the morning just looking at my tummy, and holding it, molding it into weird shapes and practicing holding my breath to see how many inches I could shave off. As I planned looks for my shoots, I made sure that everything was baggy. But the saddest moment came when I began to research online to check if my insurance would cover a tummy tuck.
Everyday I felt like I was losing, and my insecurities were straight out winning over me.
Now, am I over all of this? No. Every now and then, I still find myself asking people (in a joking way ofcourse) if I look pregnant. While on photoshoots, I have axed photos because I had forgotten to hold my breath in between shots. And all this kind of sucks.
But here is the thing, I will get better at this. I will get over this, and I will rebuild that confidence. But my deepest level of transparency is in an effort to illustrate the base level of what comments can do to people. Even with the toughest skin, and the most admirable confidence, comes a point of weakness that can tear someone to pieces.
Thank you for reading.
Body Positive fashion and lifestyle blogger.