Clothes and Curves

This weekend, my husband took me shopping. It was very sweet , actually; he tricked me into thinking that we were shopping for him, when in fact he wanted to buy me some jewelry for Valentine’s Day. But that’s not the point of this story.

I tried on a pencil skirt. I’ve never tried on a pencil skirt before, on account of my hips, but I always liked how they look on actresses, and even my sister.

But I’m curvy. And short.

There are a thousand websites for women like me, ones that tell me what I can and cannot wear. But none of them agree. Some say that I can rock the pencil skirt with a peplum top (a look I love), while some encourage me to play it safe in fit-and-flare dresses. Some of them tell me to avoid horizontal stripes; others tell me to defy “the man” and wear them anyways. The mixed signals leave me confused. I want to try new things, but I don’t want to look stupid or draw attention to unflattering areas. So I tried the skirt.

And, you know what? I didn’t hate it.

I didn’t love it enough to buy it, but I didn’t hate it, either. I even bought a pair of skinny jeans (which require a belt, given my wonky proportions).

That got me thinking: I don’t need to be afraid to try new looks. The worst that can happen is that I try on an article of clothing, hate it, and then don’t buy it. I may not be a little girl, but I’m still healthy, overall. I don’t like hating my body. I don’t like looking at websites, magazines, and other women and saying, “Oh, that outfit is so cute! It would look like crap on me, though.”

I hate that having “healthy body image” means that I am constantly insulting my body and wanting to change it–or trying to hide it. So what if I’m not ideal? I could stand to lose a little weight. I have a big butt and wide thighs. My feet are possibly my best feature. My hips make small spaces difficult to maneuver. I’m a size 12 petite, or a 15 in some juniors sizes.

But you know what? I may be squishy, but I like who I am. I like how I feel when I’m writing or reading. I like the way I look and feel while swing dancing. I like the way I treat other people, overall. I even like the clothes I choose to dress myself in.

How I look is important, and so is taking care of my body. But why take care of something that you don’t even like? Today, I choose to not only accept my body, but learn to like and appreciate it. I won’t be ashamed anymore.


I didn’t like this picture initially, because of my stomach rolls. I’m okay with it now. Credit: Annmarie Swift Photography 2014


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