I used to regularly limit myself by believing that there were certain things my body wasn’t small enough to wear. Don’t show too much cleavage you will look easy, only women with toned thighs should wear shorts, crop tops are for people with flat abs…and the one that stuck with me the strongest…no one wants to see flabby upper arms. Time and time again I would see an outfit that I would want to replicate – but I would hold myself back, covering my curves because I didn’t think I had “earned” the privilege of a body that could wear anything.
Once I officially started my self-love journey – I began exposing more of my body as an act of self-acceptance…..starting with my arms. It was scary at first and I can literally remember having obsessive thoughts in public where I was sure everyone was looking at my fat and thinking about how disgusting my arms were. But the more I regularly wore things that I thought I “shouldn’t” – the more routine it became and the less I cared about if and what other people might be saying. And then something clicked… A friend told me she thought it was so brave when I showed up to a party with both upper arms fully exposed. She said I looked great and she would love to be able to wear a shirt like mine too…… suddenly I realized that my “bravery” could be the only example my friend had of a body that looked like her own wearing a trendy “small girl” top.
She didn’t get to see this magical feat in movies or on tv or in the pages of her favorite magazine…but she saw it on me and it made her rethink what was possible for her own body. The wheels were turning….she started considering options that she hadn’t before.
I decided right then and there that I was going to wear clothing as a form of activism. As an f-you for those who want to make fashion an exclusive club where only certain bodies are allowed. As a daily protest against a culture that shames women into believing they are less than and a mere sum of acceptable beauty. As a visual reminder to all my sisters that we create the culture we cultivate and I am cultivating the freedom that comes from normalizing WOMEN OF ALL SIZES WEARING WHATEVER THEY WANT…and looking DAMN GOOD while doing it.
So this is me with naked arms. Ladies with arms of any size can choose to not cover them for any reason.
I want every woman to realize that #YouCanWearThatToo, not just specific ladies with “acceptable” bodies (I guarantee those women have hang-ups too).
Whatever outfit your heart desires #YouCanWearThatToo. And not ten pounds from now and not only if you hit your gym goal for the week and not if you could just look like that women from your work…#YouCanWearThatToo NOW.
I challenge you to join me in normalizing size diversity by posting a photo of yourself in something you’ve been told your body doesn’t deserve to wear. Tag the image #YouCanWearThatToo and then tag three friends and CHALLENGE THEM TO DO THE SAME.
It’s time to create the representation that we have been needing for too long. Let’s become inspirations for each other instead of waiting for popular culture to finally give us the size equality we deserve.
#YouCanWearThatToo babe. Just put it on and start the change.