I’m often asked by other women, and sometimes men, about how I became so self-confident and body positive. Before I got here, I used to wonder the same thing about other women. We are all looking for inspiration and guidance because this is new territory for so many of us. I always have three main answers; selfies, sizing, and surroundings. By surroundings, I mean that you should try to surround yourself with other body positive people, even if you are only able to do so when you are online. It will also really help your body positive journey to have a wardrobe full of clothes that you love to wear, make you feel good, and that fit perfectly. Since wearing clothes that fit well and that are your style can make you feel confident, they also tend to make you look great.
Learning to love our curves and our unique bodies is a long process, not a quick overnight journey. For me, one of the things that helped me a lot was finally going out to shop for clothes that I truly loved but that also fit my body perfectly. I needed to find items that didn’t constantly remind me that I had gained weight because I was squeezing into clothes that no longer fit. For a long time, I had avoided shopping at all, because I couldn’t find things that fit in the size I thought I should still be. I essentially had a maxi dress, 3 empire waist tunics, and 3 pairs of leggings that I rotated through twice a week. I was so uncomfortable in my body that I wanted to hide it and go unnoticed. Everything I wore was flowy and barely touched my body. My arms and tummy were always covered, always.
I started falling in love with by body by taking a couple of simple selfies, that turned into a lot of selfies. Eventually, I made it out to shop again, late last summer. In fact, I highly recommend you check out my Selfies For Self Love page and my The Power of Lingerie Selfies blog post for more on my radical body love journey. The selfies, both clothed and in lingerie, really helped me to get to know my body and to learn to love it. This allowed me to take a second step and to get out there and try shopping again. I knew I would be shopping in stores I had never been in before, but I wanted to have more options. The funny part is that shopping for body positivity is cyclical in that the more you find clothes that fit, the more you actually want to shop. Which of course means you end up with more clothes that fit and soon you have built a fabulous wardrobe of fatshion.
I learned to stop focusing on the size on the label and instead decided to focus on how it made me feel and how I looked in it, regardless of what the size was. Sure my body looked different from the last time I had spent this much time shopping, but even I had to admit that it looked good in these new clothes. Clothes that I was only finding by branching out and trying new things, in new sizes, from new stores. I was trying on things that I would never have tried before, things that broke all of the fashion rules for plus size women. I even tried on jumpsuits and body-con dresses. Just trying on the clothes in my true size was helpful to my self-esteem but getting home with clothes I loved and actually wanting to get dressed in the morning was a huge step forward. Having a diverse wardrobe full of options instead of one single silhouette, made it exciting again.
Shopping is an activity that many plus size women have come to resent or avoid altogether, but brands like Tess Holliday’s mblm collection from Penningtons make a concerted effort towards welcoming us back into their stores. I understand that there is always going to be feedback about the affordability of certain brands, especially those with a celebrity attached to it. I get it, not everyone can afford to spend money on clothes when they are full price, or even at all, but I think when you make use of sales and second-hand shopping these items can become much more accessible to many. In fact, the Layered Tunic Tank Top that I am wearing here is currently on sale for $17.99, down from $50 because of a 40% off reduced items deal that is on until July 17th. I would love to hear if you purchase anything from the collection or the sale in the comments.
Layered Tunic Tank Top from Tess Holiday’s mblm collection for Penningtons
Cut-Out Leggings from Tess Holiday’s mblm collection for Penningtons
Jeweled Shoes, “Flawless” Clutch, & Faux Suede Belt from Torrid
Circle Sunglasses & Bracelets from Ardene Accessories
Penningtons is currently offering free shipping on orders over $120, click here for the coupon code. Plus they are currently offering an extra 40% off all sale items.
These photos were taken, all SelfiesForSelfLove by yours truly, on location in downtown Timmins, Ontario. This website contains affiliate links, when you click on them I may receive a small commission if you choose to make a purchase.