Summer is here! So my future should involve pool days, sweating profusely on public transport and embracing more scantily clad fashion.
Crop tops are very much having a moment, and as a plus-size woman, I am so into this trend. Who doesn’t love to feel the sun on their tum? (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)
Honestly, learning to embrace crop tops has been a really empowering experience, because it’s helped me make peace with my non-flat stomach.
Watch Mamamia's Clare Stephens review non-family friendly fashion. Post continues after video.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to have a flat stomach. I grew up in the early 2000s when Paris Hilton was a sex symbol and Raven-Symoné was considered fat, and the Olsen Twins were fashion icons.
It was a time of low-rise jeans and singlets that ended at your belly button. I was round, filled with hormones and looked nothing like Ms Hilton - and it made me feel completely excluded from the fashion of the time.
Thankfully, I grew up, but I didn’t get less round. But I have learned to enjoy my body and fashion. Something I’ve learned over the years is that if there’s a part of your body that you feel unhappy and insecure about, you need to embrace it and be kind to it.
This sounds pretty abstract, but what I mean by that is start finding ways to enjoy the part of your body that you feel most insecure about. Stop allowing that inner voice to constantly criticise it.
If you don’t like your arms, find an activity you enjoy that involves using them. Perhaps it’s tennis, stretching or just reaching for the television remote!
It really doesn’t matter, just find a way to see value in your body exactly as it is, stop hating on yourself and your bits and concentrate on how it’s actually working for you.
I hate to be trite, but loving ourselves a bit more is a great place to start.
Find clothing that makes you happy. Perhaps it’s a glittery long sleeve shirt that makes you realise how gorgeous your arms look wrapped in glitter and makes you feel sexy (I’d recommend the label Dyspnea if you are looking for said 'fit). Find a way to enjoy and accessorise the part of your body you most dislike.
Believe me, if you do this, with time you’ll begin to feel better and better about it.
In my early twenties, I began to really hate my stomach because it wasn’t flat and it had the ability to bulge over all types of clothing. Basically, it looked nothing like Lara Bingle’s stomach so it wasn’t good enough.