On occasion, I’ve been overwhelmingly praised for my confidence. For inspiring other women. For sparking a change in their lives. For helping them feel more comfortable in their own bodies. For being a rebel. For being fat when fat isn’t considered beautiful by the media. By men. By other women. For wearing less clothing than a chubby girl should. For showing off my curves (and my rolls). For not doing what is expected of me. For wearing a bathing suit. In public. And taking a picture.
“Don’t change your body to get respect from society. Instead let’s change society to respect our bodies.” -Golda Poretsky My bikini arrived just in time for our impromptu adventure to #PureMichigan. I'm joining my friends @domesticpirate and @uncustomaryart in sharing #myswimsuitstyle. This is the first two piece I've bought in 5 years. have a thing for polka dots, so I totally dig this #swimsuitsforall suit! #curvesinbikinis @swimsuitsforall #the30daychallenge
For that praise, I am immeasurably grateful. To be referred to as an inspiration is incredibly humbling. And certainly not something I ever expected to be. But it makes me want to be better. It makes me want to try harder. I want to be an advocate for people to feel comfortable in their skin when they need to most. To put on a bathing suit and go to the pool with your children, to relax on a beach with the love of your life, to wear shorts when the weather is sweltering, to be in the pictures instead of just taking them.
If posting a picture of my yoga body, neither long nor lean, lithely moving in one of my beloved pairs of bright and colorful yoga pants can encourage someone to step on their mat every morning, I’m all in. I’m proud of the things my body can do, despite my back injuries, and the fact that I am now limited in my yoga practice. My body is strong.
If sharing a carefully posed image of myself in a two-piece bathing suit or a sports bra pushes someone to strut their stuff on the beach, then by all means yes! I’m your girl. I bought a two-piece bathing suit because I was inspired by others, and it made me feel fucking amazing.
But don’t — not for one second — believe that my highlight reel is anything more than anyone else’s daily existence.
I fight with myself every day. To be the confident girl you see in pictures. To be the highlight reel. And some days, even if it’s only for a minute, I’m that girl. Other days, I’m insecure girl. I’m jealous girl. I’m change-my-clothes-five-times girl. I’m stare-in-the-mirror-and-project-hate girl. I’m paranoid girl. Are they looking at the way my boobs pop out of my shirt? Is he staring at the cellulite on my thighs in these shorts? Is she watching me eat this cheeseburger and thinking what a fatty I am? Do they think I’m disgusting? They’re staring at me, right?
90%* of the time, the answer is NO. It’s all in your head. The other 10%* of the time? Assholes. Go ahead and judge them right back. Or don’t. And be the bigger person.
Do I love myself? Fuck yes. I think I’m fantastic. Some of the time. Do I look at myself in the mirror and think I’m beautiful? Sometimes. It’s all a part of who I am. I like to think if I loved only myself all the time, I would be a complete asshole who didn’t care about others. One who couldn’t empathize or sympathize. I’d be a robot.
Instead, I choose to spread love. And kindness. And passion. To support my friends and join them on their beautiful journeys. To live and love unabashedly with my boobs and cellulite and cheeseburgers.
Does that mean I’ll always be happy with my body the way it is? Probably not. If given the opportunity to have liposuction or a tummy tuck, would I take it? Absofuckinglutely. But…that doesn’t mean I’m going to sit on my ass waiting for it under several layers of clothing while I hide behind my computer.
Instead, I’m going to create a highlight reel.
*I mathed in a fictitious land called, “Chrissy’s World” and make no promises as to the accuracy of any numbers used in the making of this post.