Time and time again when I ask clients about what they’d like to highlight and camouflage on their body stomachs come up as a place that they dislike and want to make disappear. Most of the time these are normal stomachs. I see a lot of stomachs in my job as an image consultant and personal stylist and I can tell you that women’s stomachs are supposed to curve outwards, that’s completely normal, we have extra internal organs than men do (think about it) that fill out extra space down there.
Before anyone attacks me for encouraging dangerous adipose tissue that is harmful to health, I want you to know that these stomachs that are so disliked are on healthy weight women. Yet so many women seem to think that even the slightest curve of their stomach is distasteful and that it makes them unattractive.
Only the other day I was shopping with a gorgeous client, who was worried that a dress she was trying on made her stomach look fat. To me she looked sexy and womanly, and very attractive in the dress.
Why is it that a stomach that looks something like the one pictured left (without the airbrushing) is considered to be so hideous and disfiguring? And that stomach doesn’t look like it’s been through a pregnancy or two either (which most of us know tends to stretch our skin out and it rarely returns to a taut state). Whether you look like the picture above or have a more pronounced curve like the majority of women, they are still normal, natural and right.
It’s time that we shifted our thinking and started to love our stomach rather than hate it. Appreciate that it’s a part of us and what makes us uniquely us and that the curves women have naturally make us feminine, attractive and sexy. We need to remember that most images we see in the media are all digitally manipulated, hair, cellulite and wrinkles removed along with moles and any sort of blemish. These images are not real. As a model friend of mine once said when I asked her if I’d seen photos of her anywhere “You wouldn’t recognize me, I don’t recognize me in photos with the amount they manipulate them”.
Given that even the genetically blessed are altered by digital means to ‘perfection’ for public consumption, please, give yourself a break and accept that you are normal as is your body. We come in all shapes and sizes and that makes us interesting and beautiful, not hideous or disfigured.
I’d bet too, when you talk to people you’re looking at their face, not their stomach (bottom, thighs, hips etc.) and they are doing the same to you. You’re not obsessed with those parts of their body, so why should they be obsessed about yours? We want to look at eyes and faces, they are the communication center of our being.
Absolutely if it makes you feel better learn to dress your body in the most flattering way (and there is lots on this blog to help you do that), and create a flattering focal point while you’re at it. But get your body image into perspective rather than imagining parts of your body are much bigger, more noticeable or even unattractive than they really are.
It’s time to remind yourself that you are beautiful just the way you are, no matter what your size or shape. Stand naked in front of a mirror and say out loud to yourself that you are beautiful. Do this every day as you get in or out of the shower, it’s really good for your mental health.