My Body Confidence Journey
Happy Monday! This was initially just going to be a regular what I wore where I talk about this outfit but while shooting this my cousin brought up how I wasn’t wearing my cardigan normally. I was influenced by seeing other fashion bloggers do this when they wear theirs so I took inspiration and tried it. I kind of liked it so I went with it. Then I realized that a few years ago I would have never tried it. That kind of sparked the topic for this blog post and here we are. I didn’t really make it a goal but I did have it in my mind to explore and talk more about body confidence on my blog this year. I dabbled and did a few posts on it last year but this year I wanted to jump into it and share more of my thoughts. So here is a bit of a back story and how I grew more confident in my body and accepting it!
I’ve touched on this before and said that a few years ago I wouldn’t be caught wearing anything that showed my body on the beach and that I would laugh at you if you told me I ever would. In that post here I talk about my body confidence with swimsuits however today I wanted to talk about my body confidence in everyday outfits. The two are very different from each other and since I already discussed my body confidence and accepting my body in a swimsuit I would be open with dressing my body for everyday wear.
Honestly I’m not a huge fan of my arms. Well I’m not a fan of a lot of parts of my body or I used to be anyways. I didn’t start wearing sleeveless or backless tops until recently. Before, I could count how many times I would wear a top that showed off any skin but now that has changed. I wouldn’t be caught dead showing off my arms in public before and now I don’t even fuss with it.
It all started in my preteens. I think I became a bit more aware of my body and felt self conscious around the age of 13. In ballet class I could start to see my body was a bit different to everyone else’s. I already knew I had a bit more of a butt than everyone else but I also started to see my arms a bit floppier and my stomach more rounder than the others. My preteen mind didn’t really process such things yet but looking back I think that’s when it was starting. I guess I could see it more because I was always in a leotard and tights more often that I could see the changes more than others who didn’t dress like that everyday. I was always told that I didn’t have any body issues because I didn’t care I was bigger than the rest of my classmates.
My mom and aunts told me I wasn’t aware of that sort of thing yet and didn’t realize about it and that I was too young. However deep down I did feel horrible in my body and not knowing what you want as a teen is tough. I didn’t have a role model to look at and I just had to deal with all kinds of emotions alone. My mom would tell my aunts that once I become aware then I would learn and lose weight. They saw my body like everyone else which was curvier and not the ideal body shape which made me feel even more confused and horrible. So with that led me to hide my body. The comments of my classmates and even family made me not embrace what I had but to hide it away for no one but me to see.
Since I hid my body that made me not love to dress up especially after I loved doing so as a little girl. The fashion choices I made was because of my surroundings instead of for myself. I hardly felt pretty and wished I looked like the other girls in middle school with their short twirly skirts and their tight girly tops. I could never fit into them or if I did it would make my body look weird as it fit in the wrong places.
At that stage I didn’t know how to dress for my body and I wanted to dress like the popular girls so I was just copying their style and I couldn’t do that since I didn’t have a slender petite frame like they did. So to rectify that I decided to cover my body. I would go to school in the most baggy bell bottom jeans so it wouldn’t stick to my thighs. I would pair that with a baggy t shirt to hide my curves and lastly a white baggy hoodie that I wore everywhere and never took off. I think I lived in a white hoodie all of middle school. Even with my PE uniform I would wear it on top and try to hide my legs but gym shorts were so short on me as I was taller than average so a normal girls uniform again didn’t fit me right.
Speaking of PE and gym class, that was another nightmare for me. It was the year I was forced to change into said PE uniform in a locker room. The horror on my face when i learned about it. I still get shivers on my spine just thinking about those days. I would change as quick as possible to hide my body so no one would see. I was also embarrassed that I didn’t wear a bra yet when all the girls were as they were already getting boobs. I was a late bloomer in that area but I was curvy down below in my hips and butt area. I still remember I was changing and I wasn’t fast enough one day as I was tired and I had on a tight top instead of my normal baggy one and a girl walked by and said I was gifted in the curve department. At the time that was not a compliment but in my mind was a diss and made me feel horrible the whole day. I felt good in that top though and I do remember it hugging and complimenting my figure so if I would just have worn that maybe I wouldn’t feel bad.
That white zip up hoodie was my safety blanket and I would wear it everywhere. The bad thing though was I lived in Southern California and in a town that was in the desert so it got pretty warm on some days so I would stick it out and just sweat and put up with it to hide my body.
It carried over when I moved the Philippines but I had to ditch the white hoodie in the climate or else I wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now (aka I would have died from heat stroke a long time ago). I didn’t have a way to hid my body but I started to accept it or try to. I still couldn’t find how to dress myself as I needed to wear a uniform both in high school and college. I did have a hoodie that I wore when it rained but I didn’t hid behind it like before. So since I had to wear a uniform and had a dress code while I was studying then it limited me to discover my own personal style.
Another circumstance where I hid my body was just 4 years ago. I went to the beach to shoot a video project with my college mates. I wore a plain top and leggings and it was a pretty good outfit and one I wore pretty much through my 4 years of college. It was my go to and I just had different combinations of tops that fit me better and leggings I wore whenever I went out. The point of this story is a college mate asked me if I wanted to go change clothes because we were at the beach and of course I wasn’t really dressed for it. I denied it all day but when the sun was about to set I wanted to go in the water so I forced myself and changed into the shorts I brought. I felt a bit better but still very self conscious in them. I did enjoy my day and I wasn’t fashion blogging back then so I didn’t show my outfit but I did write about that day here if you want to read it but I don’t mention this little fact. I never thought I would.
How did I grow confidence then? A lot of factors and some I mentioned before in my swimsuit post. I did go to fashion school and got a degree in fashion styling. The professor who taught the class made it an assignment to come to class every week in a different theme or to go out of our comfort zones and some days I had a hard time and others I embraced it. That made me find what my aesthetic was and a lot of things like how to dress my body shape, what looks good on me and just made me embrace who I was a bit more. Now that I didn’t have a uniform to wear or dress code to follow I got to develop my personal style. I even now document it here on fashionxfairytale. You can see my first ever proper outfit post here from 2011 and then I properly started posting outfits in 2014 here and the latest one I took yesterday here in 2018. It is crazy to see the three together and how much improvement there is in a span of few years.
What a difference! I think I can see the change and I can definitely see how much more body confident I’ve become. It’s been quite a body journey for me and I’m so happy I can share it with you. There’s still a lot I can improve and of course I have some days where I revert back and feel bad and less than confident but it’s just a learning journey. So there are times I wear something like this and then some days where I hate what I look like and everything doesn’t fit right. It is a process and glad I could document it.
Well that was a bit of my body confidence journey. I had quite a fun time writing this blog post even though it got deep in some parts. It just shows how over time things can change. I did want to talk about my outfit a little bit though as it was so comfy and will be my go to everyday and running errands kid of outfit. I wore it in Baguio when we were driving home and I didn’t get a chance to shoot it so I did now and I can see how great it is. I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you are out there and was like me then I would say it gets better. It takes time and I struggle for a long time before I could accept my body and the one that was given to me. It is a journey and I hope you learned something from this and maybe share your story. Let me know in the comments and if you want to talk more about it you can just contact me for a chat. I’d love to be there as there was no one at the time who could have showed me so I’d like to be there for someone. So before this gets any more deeper I am going to go and leave you at!
What would you say is your best part of your body?