I can still remember the first time I became self-conscious about my body. It was the summer before 10th grade and I was at band camp (insert "One Time, at Band Camp..." joke here). For any of you who were in Marching Band, you know that a lot of the work is done in the Summer as you learn drill, music, color guard routines. A lot of time is spent outside in the hot sun. It's fun but somewhat grueling.
This particular day, I was in athletic shorts and a sleeveless top. Nothing special. Just trying to stay cool (as in temperature-wise. Not popularity-wise). I was talking to a few friends when one of my guy friends popped over (it's always a boy, isn't it?!), and jiggled the underside of my arm in passing, saying, "Cellulite! Cellulite!"
Looking back, I'm sure I had a great body in high school. I'd definitely take it now! I've always been an average/athletic build, and even though I was most likely slender by society's standards in high school, I was aware that many of my friends were SLIM. They were buying size 00's, 0's and 2's, while I was in a higher range by several sizes.
I think all women have experiences like mine, where they were made painfully aware of their body in some way (even if it was far from truth). To this day, I hate baring my arms. I hate wearing tank tops and sleeveless dresses unless I can wear a cardigan over it.
Then I was killing time at the Mall last week with Bug, and saw this top at a new store called Francesca's:
Love, love, LOVED it.
I loved the cut, the pattern, the fabric. I started making new outfits in my head using this as the piece de resistance.
I didn't buy it.
Why? Because the cap sleeves had ruffles on them. So how could I wear it with a cardigan? How could I possibly bear my arms? All I could hear over and over in my head was the voice of a high school boy taunting me:
I posted a picture of the shirt on the CSHM Facebook page. And the overwhelming response was to buy that shirt and to embrace it, arms bared and all.
So I'm going to.
And I'm going to challenge YOU too.
I think that we need to get over being self-conscious of our bodies. Women come in all shapes and sizes. We all have parts of our bodies that we are painfully aware of; those parts that our eyes are immediately drawn to in pictures and make us cringe. Even if in all reality your body is amazing, those parts are still very real to you.
I think it's high time we stop obsessing and hiding our bodies.
And start celebrating them.
Hubby reminded me that it's not someones body shape that makes them attractive or sexy. It's the confidence in which they carry that body.
So friends, can I challenge us?
Let's rock our bodies.
The Challenge: To go out and buy a new article of clothing (or shop your closet). This article of clothing needs to be "out of your comfort zone." Maybe it's a sleeveless top that bares your arms or a pair of shorts that accentuates your legs. Something you would normally opt NOT to wear because you are too self-conscious.
I want you to find that article of clothing and ROCK IT THIS WEEK. Bare those arms! Free those legs! Embrace that tummy!
Then I want you to snap a picture of the piece of clothing you are ROCKING YOUR BODY with and share it on the CSHM Facebook Page. If you are brave enough, share it on your personal page (make sure to tag CSHM!) or tweet it with hashtag #RockYourBody and tag @DonnaReedSteph.
This week, we are celebrating that we are BEAUTIFUL WOMEN with BEAUTIFUL BODIES. And that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
Rock that body, girl!
Now I'm going to head out and GET THAT SLEEVELESS SHIRT.
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