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Mar 22, 2016

I Dressed So You Could See My Visible Belly Outline For A Week And It Was Scary

Having visible belly outline is a huge no-no, no matter what your size is...so I decided to GO FOR IT.

by ,
Kristin Chirico/Andrew Richard/BuzzFeed

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.

Stephanie McNeal/BuzzFeed

And businesses know that women of all sizes worry about this — it's why Spanx is a billion-dollar company.

So what would happen if I challenged myself to come up with SEVEN DAYS OF FUN OUTFITS where my belly was on display?

View this video on YouTube

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Many women (with admittedly greater fashion chops) have done it before, so why not me?

Would I buy a lot of things I would never wear again? Would people still take me seriously? Would I stop myself from rejecting clothes because seeing belly fat is against the rules? Would people get hot and bothered about this in the comments (lol, probably)? WE'LL SEE!

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.

Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed

When it comes to clothes, I'm on team A-line skirt. Anything else (tight skirts, body-con dresses, and pants) I avoid like that one bathroom stall with the unflushed toilet. Hey, those are the rules, and deprogramming yourself of the rules is tough business. I vaguely wonder if I am going to end up in detention for this.

Day 1: I seriously overestimated how visible my belly would be in this dress.

Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed

When I bought this dress, I thought to myself, OH YEAH, horizontal stripes + shift dress = SET PHASERS TO GARBAGE. This here is a slam dunk for shit that is going to make my front look lumpy. However, when I tried to photograph this outfit, I was actually having a really tough time getting my belly to prominently show up — this was about the best I could do.

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:

Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed
Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed

"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.

Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed
Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed
Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed

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.

Kristin Chirico/BuzzFeed

Have I mentioned that these pants are comfortable as shit? I realize that this makes me a traitor to the International Knights Against Pants-Wearing, but whatever, they'll get over it.

Also, one of my 478,563 work crushes told me without any sort of prompting that I looked cute, which is a lie, but whatever, lie to me, I can take it. (And yes, I realize there are only 1,300 BuzzFeed employees. IT'S BECAUSE I HAVE APPROXIMATELY 368 CRUSHES ON ALL OF YOU.)

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.

For more BuzzFeed Kristin, like her Facebook page!