Although my blog focuses on foundations and stockings, the underlying reason that I wear these things is to help me to love myself and my body. Up until about two years ago, I would regularly grab my thigh and stomach fat, wishing I looked like the slim girls I saw everywhere. My thighs would often rub together, on several occasions I have been congratulated on my pregnancy due to my belly (those were awkward moments) and my bum has always been, well large, and people haven’t been afraid to point that out to me.
It has taken me a very long time to not only accept my body, but to love it too. I know how hard it can be when you are constantly told how you *should* look. Well, having been through this journey myself, I want to say this – It doesn’t matter what size, shape, colour, age you are, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.
It is important to me that women look after themselves, so I want to share with you how I have learned to love my body.
Look at your body – Find a moment to spend some time alone in your bedroom or in the bathroom, wherever you have access to a big mirror. Strip down to your underwear and have a good look at your body. This exercise is not designed to help you criticise your body, it’s to make you look at your shape. Do you have a small/ medium/ large bust? Do you have a flat/ wobbly belly? Do you have small/wide hips? Keep on going, you need to understand your body. If it helps you, draw the shape of your body on some paper. It’s important to be realistic, I certainly used to pretend that I had a different body to the one I was living in and would avoid mirrors at all costs.
Dress for your body – Choose two parts of your body that you want to accentuate, for me it was my waist and my hips. Once you have decided on the body parts you want to show off, find a style of clothing that will emphasise them. I realised pretty late in life that big hips were not a bad thing, I was just dressing them wrong. Once I moved into the pin-up/retro/ vintage styles of clothing, I realised that the clothing from the mid-century eras were designed to flatter my physique. This doesn’t mean that you must go with this style, but it has worked wonders for me and my body type. There is absolutely no point in dressing yourself into a style that doesn’t work for your body type, as you will undoubtably feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.
Refine your shape – Some of you may have the ‘perfect’ body, unfortunately most of us need some extra help to shape our silhouette. I often refer to parts of the body that need this help as ‘problem areas’, but they can usually be fixed very easily. For example, my problem areas are my tummy and my hips (even though my hips are one of the parts that I want to emphasise). Of course, I like to use shapewear to fix those ‘problem areas’. Now when I say fix, I don’t mean hide, I would never encourage anyone to hide any part of their body. What I mean by ‘fix’ is making that part of your body look it’s absolute best. In order to ‘fix’ my tummy, I wear corselettes, girdles and corsets; in order to smooth out my hips and reshape them, I also wear girdles.
Tell yourself you are beautiful – If you don’t believe that you look beautiful, you won’t feel beautiful. Every morning, stand in front of the mirror and look yourself in the eyes and say out loud, “I am beautiful and I love my body”. You might feel silly at first but go with it.
Good friends – Surround yourself with good people, negativity wears off on people and you don’t need any of that. I have been told by so-called ‘friends’ that I look like a ‘heifer’, or that I’m “lucky I have a pretty face, otherwise I would be screwed”. I’ve ditched those friends and replaced them with awesome and strong men and women who don’t judge others negatively.
Don’t give up – You have to live in your body for the rest of your life, so make sure you maintain a positive relationship with it. Telling yourself that you look ugly (or whatever you may think about yourself) is not going to help you, so keep up the positive attitude and be proactive about making your body look the best that it can right now.
I often have bad days where my arms won’t fit into a dream vintage dress, or my hips prevent me from wearing a certain style, so I always need to remind myself of the above points.
How have you built a positive relationship with your body? I would love to hear your story!