Flattering or not
Women are taught to appear attractive through the lens of men. We grow up being sold the idea that ”sex sells” and if we aren’t a certain size or pretty enough, we won’t find love. I subconsciously held on to this programming and throughout my life I was always trying to be appear as attractive as I could possibly be so that men would love me and give me the validation I was seeking. A shift started to happen almost 4 years ago and I began taking ownership of myself and my body. I’ve written about how I stopped wearing make up and I’ve recently given up something else too—not always wearing clothes that are flattering i.e make me look as skinny as possible.
I know this sounds weird— not wearing clothes that are flattering. Do I wear clothes that are unflattering? In what ways? Well, I have become more interested in what I like even if doesn’t make me look the skinniest version of myself. I love flowing clothes that are baggy and drape in a way that feels beautiful to me. However, I have a curvy frame. I have wide hips, boobs and a butt. Wearing clothes that don’t “show off my figure” can make me look bigger. But you know what? Who cares?? If I really like the way something looks, feels, etc I’m wearing it. I realized trying to always wear things that flattered my frame/made me look skinnier often meant I wasn’t wearing things that TRULY felt like me. I was often told items that really spoke to me didn’t look good on me because I have wide hips or a curvy frame. I listened for a long time and it felt like I was trying to be who I thought I was supposed to be versus who I am. It also means I’m no longer solely worried about whether men think my outfit makes me look more attractive or not. instead I’m trying to play with my style, get a little weird, be playful with clothes and try new things. I’m really stepping away from viewing myself through the lens of men and now viewing myself through the lens of me.
This isn’t to say I only wear baggy clothes and shun form fitting items because I still like the look of tight jeans or a tight crop top. The difference is when I wear those pieces I genuinely like the way I look in them and how they feel versus trying to be more attractive by wearing them. The change of lens so to speak feels very freeing and like I’m taking a step closer to authenticity. In fact, these tiny shifts in the way I dress, deciding to forgo makeup on most occasions and really retaking my ownership of my self are ways I’ve stepped up my self worth. These shifts raise my self worth because I’m no longer putting my opinion last and instead making it the only one that truly matters. I’m no longer seeking outside validation from men or anyone. If I feel beautiful than that is what matters not wearing the most flattering outfit.