Body awareness – be kind and be honest with yourself!

I’d like to start this post by saying this: short shorts are VERY hard to pull off. VERY few people can do so. If you’re not one of them, please do not wear short shorts. There is nothing more unflattering than wearing something you can’t pull off or something that doesn’t fit right. But don’t beat yourself up about it! Like I said, very few people can do it. Join the masses. It’s okay.

It used to just gall my soul that I couldn’t wear anything I wanted to. That I couldn’t just pick anything off the rack and have it look good on me. I felt like I was a failure and like my body wasn’t good enough. And then I grew up and realized that everybody has their strong suits, their own shape. I’m an apple body shape. I will likely never have a flat stomach no matter how hard I work out or what foods I forgo. I have a stocky frame – my ribcage and shoulders are broad. I’d have been a linebacker if I were a boy. And named Evan in case you were wondering. I have no waistline. My last rib and the top of my iliac crests of my hips are very tight neighbors. What I do have is a nice butt (aw yeah, baby), long legs (for someone who’s 5’3″), and the ability to be strong and toned.

Knowing all of that has made me aware of what I should and should not wear (not that I don’t slip up from time to time). For example, short shorts are not for me. I have decent legs. I like my legs, but short shorts are not something I should wear. Neither are skirts or pants with a drawstring. The last thing I need to do is add anymore bulk or attention to my mid-section. I’m now smart enough to avoid these things and opt, instead, for things I know will work. Things like wrap dresses, flat front skirts and pants, clothes that highlight the small area just below my bust. It’s taken me quite a while to get here. It sickens me to think how much money I’ve wasted over the years on clothes that were never going to be flattering no matter what size I was purchasing them in.

What started me thinking about this today was the outfit my friend Laura had on when we met for coffee. Her tank top was so friggin’ cute! It would have been obscene on me. It’s not that I have huge hooters, but I would have been a scene in that top. She looked adorable.

Working at a university I see young girls constantly trying to work the trends regardless of body shape or size. Things like girls squeezing themselves into a size four pair of skinny jeans when what they should be wearing is a size eight pair of straight-legged jeans that would make them look amazing! Anytime you wear something that makes you look like a sausage spilling out of it’s casing, it’s time to change. It’s all I can do not to walk up and say, “Sweetie! No, no, no! You’re not doing yourself any favors. Please, just take some time to get to know your body and accept what will and won’t work. It’ll save you time, money, and frustration.” But then I’d be that creepy old woman (33 is still ancient when you’re 19). And this is really a lesson one must learn on their own. And once you do, ah the liberation!

But then there are the women who never learn it, and then it’s just sad. And, on occasion, funny.

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