Hi, I'm Kristin. I'd like to talk about something that stresses a lot of people out: having a visible belly outline (when your tummy rolls are visible through your clothes).
While it's become socially acceptable to have fat deposits in your ass and boobs, it's a (mostly) unspoken rule that you must do your best to hide your belly fat.
So what would happen if I challenged myself to come up with SEVEN DAYS OF FUN OUTFITS where my belly was on display?
First, I went shopping to buy a lot of skirts and dresses that I assumed I would have a series of one-night stands with and then never call again.
Day 1: I seriously overestimated how visible my belly would be in this dress.
Finally, I ended up literally having to gather this dress in the back with a hair tie in order to get my stomach to really pop.
Day 2: I set out to really torture myself, but ended up having a good time, because life is a nonsensical hayride.
Day 3: I got a little overconfident and wore a body-con dress.
However, I forgot that my body is sort of a weird optical illusion, so I went back and took additional pics from the side so it's clear I'm not cheating:
"Yeaaaaaaah," I tell a friend after I look at these photos. "Hoookay. Not gonna wear this dress again." She kind of gives me a sad look and replies. "Maybe it's because I'm taller than you, but I feel like I'm not seeing this dress as badly as you're seeing it."
She has a point. You might see photos like this and think, Ugh, girl, no, I'm sorry, but no, you shouldn't do that. But why do you think that? And do your reasons for thinking that have anything to do with who I am and the work I do and the friend and partner I am?
I'm not saying these biases don't exist in the world and that I can just jiggle walk them away, but the least we can do is quietly acknowledge that, the world we live in aside — our worrying that something is "not cute" is a really stupid reason to not do something.
Day 4: I wore a skort and realized how much I have trained myself to try and look my best in photos:
And even though the picture on the left is how it turned out, the one on the right is how I definitely see it.
Day 5: I do pants, my most dreaded of enemies.
I also gave a presentation for some BuzzFeed humans, so that I could really make sure my belly was at eye level.
Day 6: I had no idea how to style these motorcycle pants, so I just threw on a giraffe shirt.
Day 7: I maybe went a bit overboard with my tightest pants.
So, after the week was over, what did I end up learning?
1. I was wrong about never wearing any of this stuff again — a couple of these things have made it into my regular rotation.
2. It doesn't make sense to not even try on a trend you like just because you're worried about your stomach — there might be a better than good chance that you feel more comfortable in your clothes than you think.
3. Dressing so that no one can see any belly lumps is a rule because we allow it to be a rule. Nothing novel is OK at first, but the more people see it, the more they realize that it doesn't matter and it doesn't hurt them. People used to complain about seeing ankles, too.
4. Life is short. Wear shit you like. Love people for doing the same. And believe your work crushes if they give you compliments.