Updated: May 26
I have been thinking a lot about what to write for this article. Do I write about music festival trends or how to shop on a budget, which trust me, are both topics that I love; however, after thinking to myself, I questioned, would these topics make someone feel confident or make their day a little brighter after reading a couple of hundred words? Don't get me wrong, fashion is a great outlet for creativity and finding confidence, but it also has the power to take confidence away. Certain clothes, models, the type of lighting, etc. can make a person shut down if they do not feel at least 90% happy with the way they look in the mirror or a picture. That is why I am here to finally write a blog that can hopefully be relatable to many people, women or men, about body image, whether it be inside or out of the fashion world.
Many people have written about this topic which is amazing, but, for me personally, it has been hard to come about articles or blogs that emphasize the struggles of shopping for different body types and the negative impact that not fitting in the right size or style can have on someone’s self-image. I think everyone has experienced the frustrating moment where no piece of clothing is fitting right or feeling right on your body at least once. For someone like myself who would literally not know what to do without fashion, it was really hard for me, and it still can be. I still encounter instances where I completely hate my body in a picture or mirror in a store dressing room, but it used to be a lot worse until I accepted my body type.
Yes, this next sentence you have probably heard a thousand times, but only because so many people have actually felt this way. Growing up I was never “skinny” and am still not in my eyes, and, truthfully, it made me feel sad, confused, angry, etc. I was never fat, but I never had skinny or long legs as I saw in the movies, tv shows, or anything in the media when I was growing up; however, thankfully that has changed a little bit. I am built very stubby; I am 5’4", have naturally big thighs, short legs, short arms, knee faces and hips that I used to absolutely despise. I ate pretty healthily, would exercise and still would not see change towards the bodies of the models, celebrities, or even friends that I saw. During middle school and the beginning of high school, I noticed my confidence just spiral because I was shopping and looking for clothes that did not flatter my body type or shopping in stores that had not yet accepted that not everyone is tall and slim even if someone is still very young. I would attempt to go to Hollister to buy a new pair of jean shorts only to feel bad about myself when I would have to get one of the larger sizes or see cellulite on my legs because first, those shorts are very, very tight, and second, the lighting is plain awful in their dressing rooms. At the time, though, I did not realize those components. Times like this made me slowly develop a hatred for shopping, something that I always loved.
It was not until my junior or senior year until I realized that every brand sizes things differently. Everyone is built differently despite how much they work out or eat because of this little thing called genetics. Everyone simply is different. Most importantly, everyone should love their bodies inside and out because we are all unique individuals. I think it takes a lot for us to realize this. Maybe it is because of social media and the way our generation has grown up. Especially for current college students, we have never seen a world without television or the internet. I notice myself comparing my body to girls all the time just walking to class or at the gym and I just have to remind myself to not care or judge but to embrace not only my body but the girl’s that I am looking at and to not look at it with jealousy.
Hopefully, you are still reading because now I am going to give you some tips on how to completely accept and love your body slowly through one of my favorite things: fashion. I started by doing my research and experimenting. My mom told me to maybe start by finding a person that is similar to my body type, and she mentioned Beyonce. Yes, I know that literally no one can be compared to the Queen herself, but my mom pointed out how she had bigger thighs, hips, and was not super slim and that she totally embraced it. So I would start there. Find someone who is somewhat comparable to your body type whether that be someone famous or not that has a positive self-body image. You can find a lot of different types of “realistic” people, especially on YouTube. This helps you to see what stores they shop at, which clothes flatter them best, and to make you feel more comfortable in your own skin.
I do not think anyone argues with this next point, but I am still going to mention it. When it comes to leggings I always recommend buying a pair of high-waisted ones. They help to define and point out your abs and slim your waist, plus they are just super cute with crop tops or cropped hoodies. Jeans are what really can make me feel let down sometimes because they are either too long, big in the waist, but not go over my thighs or butt, etc. If you are somewhat built like me, turn to vintage jeans. They are hard to find sometimes, but completely worth it because they are usually high-waisted, but still give room for your thighs. If you are not going vintage, though, research what sizes mean at different stores. You might feel bigger in a size 6 at one store, but in reality, that size might mean something completely different than another 6 at a different store.
Overall, loving your body can be one of the hardest challenges when it comes to self-love. I think it is especially an obstacle for college students because we are constantly around other people to compare ourselves to. We forget to take the time to look at our own bodies and tell ourselves that we are badasses that can do anything we put our minds to despite what our body type is or how we look. We still have time this summer to fully immerse our love into our bodies. It is not going to happen overnight, but can surely become a reality once your body is completely accepted and if you have patience. Everyone has rolls, everyone has cellulite, but everyone needs to have confidence and self-love. Turn on some Megan Thee Stallion, look in the mirror, dance a little bit, and tell yourself that you are a bad b!tch!
All the pictures attached are pictures that I am not the most confident in because of some of my insecurities, but by posting them I am pushing more acceptance within myself.