So since I am participating in May the Month of Lingerie I thought it would be more than appropriate to make a post about my own body confidence and how the two relate.
I am happy to say that as I am nearing the end of my teenage years I have become a lot more confident in my body then when I began. Like most teenagers I was plagued by thoughts that I was far too big and that I should try to diet and exercise my way thinner. And like most teenagers that ended up manifesting itself in much more unhealthy forms. I think it was definitely due to vintage styles that I became more accepting of how I looked.
My journey into the vintage style began with clothing. I learnt that I could highlight my small waist and hide the legs I hated beneath which I loved. Between the ages of 13-18 I showed my bare thighs a maximum of perhaps 3 times. I made swimsuits with full skirts like the dresses I loved so that I was okay with swimming. Vintage styled clothing just suited how I felt about my body at the time. As I became more confident in swing styles I would dare myself to try wiggle dresses and skirts and to my astonishment I soon was comfortable wearing them. They were so easy to wear during Winter and kept me a lot warmer. However I still struggled. I hated my stomach and would frequently wear shaping underwear as well as a girdle on top to try and flatten it down.
At the end of my final year of high school I became slightly larger by a few inches. It was kind of difficult for me to handle at first. I desperately tried to get back to my ‘old body’ I wanted my 25 inch waist back but my laziness (read:depression) turned out to get the better of me. But a year and a half after that I am totally okay to rock my body in whatever proportions it decides it wants. I took part in May the Month of Lingerie last year, and I will be writing a blog post talking about my feelings on both soon. But I can definitely say there have been some big changes and I am a lot more happy.
I do edit my pictures. And that’s because there are some parts of me I am still not comfortable showing to the entire world. Yes I feel good in my own skin, but that doesn’t mean I love every inch of me. Most of the time I edit out scars I have, as well as my dark stretch marks. I do leave in a lot of imperfections though. Cellulite? Hell yeah! Every woman has this, it’s just a different type of fat which lies beneath the skin and this is how you see it from the outside. There was a point when I would have rather died than let people know I have cellulite. Also I like how it looks on a body, I’m not a fan of the whole photoshopped smooth look. People have texture and that’s cool. I have plenty of light coloured stretch marks around my hips and I leave those in too.
Now I am going to talk about comments from other people. Of course I adore people commenting on how ‘gorgeous’ I look in a photo or using a heart eye emoji. Seriously everyone who does makes my day. I don’t need to be reassured that I look good, because I think I do and I feel good. But it means so much to me that people would be so kind. Unfortunately then there are the other kinds of people, usually men, who make comments you just really don’t need.
Recently I posted this photo on Instagram –
I do my daily lingerie posts on here and then my weekly roundups here on my blog. One of the comments I got from someone was “Don’t get to use this word very often but you have a Rubenesque bottom. Your hips and buttocks make a nice ° almost.” I could assume what the word meant but I needed to google it to make sure. Most of the results at first glance revealed ‘attractively plump’. Well how nice of them to say I was attractive! – I thought. But then I realised that it wasn’t a compliment. The word Rubenesque (I would first like to point out I look NOTHING like the women of Peter Reuben’s paintings) is filed under the Wikipedia page for Big Beautiful Women as a synonym. Most of the websites were saying it refers to fuller figured or plus size women. I was offended, and not just for me. Sure I’m not the slimmest girl ever, but goddamn it I normally wear a size small in clothing whenever I buy it. Sure I have bigger hips but I am by no means ‘plus-sized’. And if you see me as a bigger woman, then how are you going to view actual ‘plus-sized’ women? I think I know.
I actually found a post on Urban Dictionary which totally described how I felt :
“The women in Rubens paintings were often very plump, with large round hips. While it was once a compliment, now it often a criticism or back handed compliment.
‘Don’t call a girl Rubenesque if you have never looked at Peter Paul Rubens paintings’.”
And I understand the comment wasn’t made to make me feel bad intentionally, but it did. He could have meant it in the nicest possible way, but it didn’t apply to me at all. Also why they felt the need to comment on the shape of my body I don’t know. There are also the accounts who follow me who have pictures of objectified women all over their accounts which is also very uncomfortable. Like you like to take pictures of women in lingerie, but not show their faces? Seriously?
Now I shall leave you with a couple of pictures of me feeling happy in body and in my lingerie!
(Warning – one of them shows a bit of a nip)