On my social media lately, I've been posting a lot of summer looks and outfits that I've been wearing or had worn during my recently trip to Hilton Head Island; outfits that make me feel beautiful, carefree, and feel comfortable while going about my day.
While posting this content over the past few weeks, I've noticed a common thread of comments that have been popping up from other women, "I love how you don't hold yourself back", "I love that you wear what you want" and "love the arms". Once those comments started trickling in on several posts and videos, I noticed it popping up on the feeds of others, too. One woman I follow posted something along the lines of, "I'm bravely baring my arms again for the world to see today!"
Now, this isn't something new I've suddenly heard. When styling my clients, I regularly hear about different things each woman feels self-conscious about: thighs, arms, stomach, feet, knees, legs, necks, breasts, and bums. Arms in particular is something that comes up frequently once the warmer months arrive and the need for layering decreases. But when and why did showing our limbs become a bad thing?
Now I know many of us, myself included, don't have the most slender or sculpted arms and shoulders, but does that make our bodies shameful? Does it make them unworthy of showcasing, or in-need of hiding?
I'm happy with the body and arms God gave me. It helps me enjoy life, hug those I love, type this very post, style women to be more confident, carry things, and much more. Why should there be shame around any such gift?
Women I've worked with from sizes 00 - 24 have all told me something they wish something about their arms or body was different. I get it, we all have insecurities.
I have insecurities too.
The difference is, I don't let that negative self-talk run my life -- and you shouldn't either.
Each time you speak negatively about a part of your body, you'll feel the need to conceal that part of it. You're going to feel worse about yourself. From there, you'll begin to compromise your style and what you deep-down really want to wear in order to accommodate an irrational fear. Because it is irrational.
But it won't stop there.
Eventually, that negative mindset will grow and will find a new 'imperfection' to focus on. And the cycle will continue until your self-worth about your body becomes incredibly low.
I don't want that to happen to you.
I want you to embrace your beautiful body and dress in a way that brings a smile to your face and lights a fire in your soul.
The next time you feel the urge to criticize your arms, or any part of your body for that matter, catch yourself and say, "no". Switch gears. Instead, look in the mirror and send love to your body. Send love especially to the parts that you want to critique or camouflage. It may feel false to send love or 'woo-woo' to send loving energy to yourself in the mirror, but I promise you, overtime, your mind will catch-up. Your inner critique will slowly begin to fade.
Because that's all that's holding you back, your inner critique.
So next time you see a beautiful tank or sleeveless dress you want to wear, rock it proudly. I promise, no one in the external world will be there to critique you. In fact, you boldly wearing what you want may give another woman permission to-do the very same.
Embrace your body. It's perfect just the way it is.
If you struggle knowing how to dress your figure in a way that's flattering for it's shape, consider taking my online class on how to find and dress your shape. It can be an instant confidence boost when you know what to look for when getting dressed and shopping!