They will stare, and other lessons on wearing your confidence in public...

This past week I had the privilege of shooting at the Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo. As with every photoshoot I do, I love to arrive at the venue as early as possible in order to avoid people. Unfortunately for me, I had an audience of over 400 tourists streaming past in 95 F weather, giving me questionable glances as I tried to take instructions from my photographer.  Those first 45 minutes where the most uncomfortable ever. I kept asking my team why people were looking at me. The toughest part was knowing that I had just written a full article about finding inner confidence, but at this moment I was suffering from what I like to call selective confidence.

Selective confidence - The fluctuation of one's confidence based on location, company and the last meal that they ate. (I had to add that one in).

Here is the thing about finding confidence, yes we can all wake up and look in the mirror and say today I feel beautiful and want to show off all these curves and stretch marks, but sometimes the mirror is our only safety blanket. When we go into the world, people may tell us face to face how they feel about your appearance, but sometimes the silent looks say even more. I will be the first to admit that I get very paranoid when people look at me. I tend to follow their eyes and wonder which part of my body they are raising their brows, or quickly turning away from. 

On this day, my moment of liberty came when I realized that just like the animals, I was on exhibition. Heck I am on exhibition every single day - online and offline. Once we step out our front doors, or post those filtered selfies - we expose ourselves to everyone else's opinion.

Yes, I saw the lady with the minnie mouse hat look at my back fat while I tried to take a selfie. Yes I saw the couple with the cutest twin baby girls move their daughters away as I posed in front of the aquarium, and don't worry lady with the frilly orange shorts I saw you shake your head when I was trying hard to smile in front of the Giraffe exhibit. But, what I also saw was that beneath all of the silent commentary, I saw little sparks of inspiration that I was giving to those very people.

No one tells you, but confidence is contagious. When you see the girl who is ten time your size wearing a mini skirt, or the size 24 model in a bodycon dress, there is a little voice in your head that whispers; you can do that too, and you know you want to.

Rather than question my confidence, just try and catch up!

Shop That Look:

Style Notes:

Top - Yes, I am wearing a bathing suit as a top, and you can too! If you go strapless you might need to wear a bra under it to keep the girls in check.

Skirt: This skirt is absolutely adorable but the slit is super high, just hang on tight when the wind blows, or just embrace the thigh show.

Arm Jewelry - You can pre-order this by clicking on the link and contacting Orne jewelry!

Body Positive fashion and lifestyle blogger.