All through high school, up to maybe 20, 21, I had a washboard stomach. I was never self conscious about going to the beach or wearing shorter tops that showed my stomach when I lifted my arms to reach for something. I never felt the need to suck in constantly.
Now my stomach is a little squidgy and I feel conscious of the looming summer days. I’m fighting with myself – torn between wanting a flat stomach and knowing that I only want that because of the way media and advertising shape what we believe beauty is, that all bodies are beautiful and I should be okay with my squidge. But knowing these things, being cognisant of what’s influenced these thoughts, doesn’t take them away, doesn’t make me feel less self conscious about my stomach.
Probably the way to best fight these thoughts is to keep reminding myself that all bodies are beautiful but this feels like rolling shit uphill when everything else seems to be telling you otherwise. At the same time, I feel that the beauty ideals portrayed by media are changing – I see a lot more ads and posters with girls of different shapes and sizes. I love it. More celebration of different body types please and thank you.