For some reason, we've developed a culture of consistently comparing girls against girls based on appearance. Just look at Fashion Police and fashion magazines with their segments on "Who wore it better?" Does Fashion Police still exist? I don't know, because I stopped watching when it simply became a façade for bullying. That's a whole different blog though.
My mom used to do it to me all the time. She'd compare me to other girls--not maliciously, but it was always things like "look at her nice long legs, too bad you didn't get those genes." It sounds horrible, because it is horrible. But that's probably how my mom was raised, whether it was her mom that did that, or other people and the society she grew up in, who warped her brain to thinking like that. It's not like she ever said to my brother, "look how nice and smooth his hair is, too bad you didn't get the nice hair genes." I always think to myself though, if I ever have a daughter, I never want to speak to her like that. I never want my daughter growing up thinking she is inadequate and should match herself up to other people who are completely different than her.
Recently, I posted a photo that was meant to be funny and inspiring. I bought a beautiful, sexy, chic, red one-piece bathing suit from "For Love & Lemons" and it had sold out twice before I knew I had to just buy it and stop drooling over it. I carefullly checked the sizing chart to be as sure as possible that it would fit, because you never know with online shopping. And there were no reviews yet to help me out.
When it arrived I wa so excited, I tore apart the plastic wrap and slipped it on, clumsily figuring out how to tie it. Then I ran to my full length mirror and started laughing. It fit me like a wedgy--literally. I turned to my husband and told him that in future, I'll need to remember that my butt is twice the size of the model's. It's a good thing to note, because I see some swimsuits online and think, that one will look like a diaper on me...when in reality it would likely actually fit just right!
I took a photo and sent it to a few of my close girlfriends, along with the one on the website so they could see how it was supposed to fit and how it fit me. I couldn't decide if I should size up or keep it and flaunt it. If I size up, there's a chance it won't fit well in other places--a common issue with buying clothes for a small waist and big bum. Besides, I thought, thong suits seem to be more and more a regular thing, and I was planning on taking this to Europe with me where they bare their bosoms on the beach, so what's wrong with baring my bum on the beach? Not to mention, I've been really coming into my body and truly loving and embracing every curve, so I was kind of feeling the whole wedgy look. Plus, if you think about it...tanner butt! So, I decided to keep it and couldn't wait to wear it on the beach.
As one does these days, I contemplated sticking this on Instagram and writing a positive, inspiring post. I was really scared to put my butt on the worldwide social media monster--not so much for fear of haters, but for fear of sickos. Let's face it, there are a lot of sickos out there so it's best for all of us to be smart on social media.
When I got back from Europe, I finally mustered up the courage and words to accompany this photo. My intention was to poke fun at a common problem many of us ladies face when it comes to online shopping...or shopping period. Then I thought, why not take the opportunity to also send some positive body image messages out there? Because what's the point of putting your butt out there if you're not going to do both? I'm proud of how I take care of my body, and proud of the educational journey puberty and womanhood thrust me into to learn to embrace every bit of my womanhood. My intention was not to compare myself to the model. Of course, I put our photos side by side so it innately looks like a comparison. However, that was just so people could see that I probably wasn't supposed to wear it like a wedgy, and it was a funny moment for me so I thought I'd share the funny moment. I'm sure we've all had moments like that where we had one beautiful, sexy expectation, only to find you fit like a bulging potato sack.
I received a lot of positive feedback, which is wonderful. I also received several comments on how it looks better on me, which is really sweet and flattering, but I wanted to tell everyone to "stop!" That's not the purpose of this post. It's not a "who wore it better" competition. How the suit looks on me, as opposed to how it looks on the model is irrelevant. The model is beautiful, and the suit looks sexy as heaven on her, which is why I was so in love with it in the first place. Her modeling it is what helped attract me to it.
I don't resent anyone who made that comment/compliment, because I'm grateful if that's what they really think. Plus, I know I've done the same before, probably more times than I realize, which is why it made me think about how and why we are so wired to compare girls against each other, we don't even realize we do it, because often times we don't mean to be malicious about it. In this case for example, I know everyone meant to be encouraging and loving. And I definitely felt all that encouragement and love. I love that women are more and more embracing bodies of all shapes and sizes now, too. And I don't think anyone was saying that the swimsuit didn't look good on the model, I think people just more and more appreciate seeing someone that isn't your average sample size modeling clothing, because we're not all 5'10" and a size 2.
So, if you're reading this and you told me the swimsuit looked better on me, THANK YOU! It always feels good to be encouraged and empowered by the support of others. Keep that positivity coming, because your positivity fires me up and I hope we can always fill each other up with that kind of energy. Let's also all make the effort to remember that comparing girls against girls makes no sense and doesn't help to create a positive road forward for us. It's also irrelevant when we're all different and meant to be such. We probably have centuries of social stigmas and customs to undo this behavior that has become so natural to us, but let's raise girls who know their stand alone value.
BIG LOVE & HUGS