Not pulling a shirt down to hide my belly for Me-Made May!
About six months after I had my daughter in 2010, I was shopping with a friend for some new clothes to fit my post-baby shape. I was feeling pretty awesome about having my waist back and rocking some more hourglass-style looks... until a salesman congratulated me on my pregnancy.
"I'm not pregnant," I told him. "I had my baby six months ago!" I was hurt and offended and he was apologetic—but why? Why was having a belly instantly lovely and wonderful the second I was publicly, officially, happily pregnant... but totally unacceptable the second I was not? (Also why do "old weird secrets for a flat belly trick" ads chase us around the internet?)
One of the reasons I love Me Made May is that it's an excuse to feel fancy and to think a little more about what I put on. And to dress every day the way I WISHED I actually dressed every day of the year. And to practice a little self-appreciation and feel good about my style and my body.
But as I go through and edit the photos I've snapped to find my favorites, I find myself wondering: why are women supposed to hate our bellies? Why do I find myself choosing what is "most flattering" by whether or not my belly might look as squishy as it actually is?
When I was pregnant, I remember feeling this huge sense of relief — a break from any body image anxieties that might have plagued me for the past 30 years. No sucking it in, no control garments under clingier dresses, no avoiding lots of front gathers or staying away from knit pencil skirts.
I've worked very hard to love my shape and not talk myself down (especially in front of my little girl—who is thankfully incredibly self-confident and pleased with her beautiful young self!) but why SHOULD that have to be such hard work? Why should I have to go look at photos of Christina Hendricks in her Joan outfits from Mad Men to calm down my nasty inner critic?
Your thoughts appreciated.
So my sub-resolution for Me-Made-May is to smile for my selfies, stop picking apart my appearance and stop taking SO many photos for each day, even if I don't LOVE how I look in each picture. And here we go:
Me Made May 1: Candy-Striped Tiramisu
Dress: Cake Patterns Tiramisu, me-made - blogged last summer
Necklace: red coral from a booth at Renegade Craft fair ages ago
Shoes: Tsubo Aftenia fashion sneakers (ignore the bad reviews, they are AWESOME)
Me Made May 2: The "Sewing Through the UFO Pile" Dress
Dress: Cake Patterns Red Velvet Knit Dress, me-made - blogged last summer
Necklace: 1928 Jewelry vintage inspired pen necklace
Shoes: Camper Kim black Mary Janes (similar)
Me Made May 3: Stripes and Denim (with Photobomber)
Top: old ready-to-wear from fast fashion place I now avoid. Want to draft a copy though!
Skirt: Cake Patterns Hummingbird, me-made - blogged here
Necklace: made by a friend
Shoes (see top of blog post): Ahnu Karma flats (that won my comfy flat shoe showdown last year and are the BEST and comfiest shoes EVER)
Happy Me-Made May, everyone. LOVING looking through the Flickr group to see what you all are coming up with—so inspiring!
P.S. Edited later—I almost forgot to include this political cartoon I drew ages ago about this very topic when I read about plastic surgeons offering post-delivery "Mommy job" packages... "Your Yucky Body: Mommy Makeover Edition":