Kids Or No Kids, Round Bellies Are Perfectly Normal
Let's talk about bellies. I know dozens of women and I would say maybe I know three who love the look of their bellies. It's no secret that the American ideal of cultural beauty is a flat stomach. Anyone who has ever brought their sweaty body back into shape after a piss break in a public women's toilet can confirm this.
But most of us just don't look like the cultural ideal and never will. Not many bodies are made that way. Our abdominal muscles contain many important things, and many bodies show this by being at least slightly convex.
The next time you're tempted to hate the absolutely fine, absolutely delightful belly that nature has given you, try to keep some of them in mind:
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It is not always a matter of weight.
Some bodies, like mine, keep a fairly large amount of their body fat at the front, but even people with very little fat can have a rounded or soft stomach.
Everyone has some body fat and you can't choose where it accumulates. Sometimes something inside - like endometrisis, IBS, and many others - makes a fat-free stomach look arched. It doesn't matter why your stomach isn't flat because a flat stomach might be fashionable, but that doesn't mean it is actually "better" than a soft stomach.
It is not always a "mother thing".
It is common to refer to a soft lower abdomen as a "mother's bag", but you don't have to be a mother to get a soft belly. Weight gain, hormonal changes and abdominal surgery can change every body, every baby or not. Your formerly flat stomach can become a soft, round stomach for many reasons. You do not have to use maternity to "excuse" your belly, and you are not embarrassed if pregnancy is not responsible for your round belly.
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I had a chunky belly long before I was a mother. I don't have a round juicy butt or very big breasts. I don't have the hourglass shape that allows some fat people to find acceptance as "curvy". I have a prominent belly and a flat rear end. It used to fill me with body shame and fear, but I got past it. If I want to have experiences, I have to have them in this body. It's the only one I have, so me and my stomach make the most of every day - beauty standards are damned.
Round, soft bellies may not always be stylish, but are they normal, natural and you know what? You are totally fine.
If you are aware of your stomach, this is normal.
It is difficult, all of you. I chose self-love, but I'm just a fat woman with a good life who tries every day to remember that there is no right or wrong way to have a body. I'm not blind to the frequent criticism of chunky bellies or immune to the millions of ads for potions, devices, and procedures used to flatten round bellies. We are programmed to hate our bellies through a culture that literally benefits from our self-confidence.
In the truest sense of the word, nobody is immune to flat stomach pressure.
One day last week, on my daily cruise through Instagram, I came across a photo of a gorgeous model named Chelsea Miller wearing a long, flowing, deep orange dress. Most of her comments were positive (Duh. She's literally a beautiful model!), But one guy just had to interfere: "Are you pregnant?"
Miller's answer was simply "No, that's just my body", which was literally perfect. I love seeing people normalize every body shape!
But I was amazed that she had to defend anything about the shape or size of her body at all. Each.
This woman is a curvy specimen of human perfection. The kind of flawless that most people will never be. With a size of 12/14, she is considered an oversize model, but her body is the size of an average American. Despite all her beauty, she's not safe from ridiculous questions just because her stomach isn't literally as flat as a board.
No matter what your body looks like, it is rude when someone asks if you are pregnant.
As we talk about bellies, let's repeat this important life lesson: The question of whether someone is pregnant solely because of their body shape is outrageously inappropriate. Seriously, how often does that have to be said?
Stop asking people if they're pregnant.
Did you get that?
Stop. Ask. People. If. They. Are. Pregnant.
If your champagne-loving BFF, who's been trying for six months, rejects a mimosa at brunch with a wink and a grin on your face, just don't ask.
Not on Instagram. Not in real life. Never.
And if someone asks you, there is no reason to be ashamed. Clarify this shit and feel sorry for them being so clueless.
It's okay if you can't love your belly.
I definitely hope everyone will get there someday, but to be honest I'm not a big fan of my stomach, as much as I've retrained my mind to accept my fat body. You won't see me write an ode to it on IG or dance around with it. I accept. I love the fact that my babies grew in it and I don't let it stop me. My stomach went through it. It is unlikely that anyone - including myself - would choose mine if we had to choose everyone from the belly catalog. But it doesn't work that way. Fate gives you a body and sometimes it's not the one Instagram and magazines and runways say you should have. That doesn't mean that it's not quite as good and right and acceptable as it is.
Bellies come in so many shapes and sizes. Yours could be flat and taut, slightly soft, large and round or hanging. It can be marked by scars or stretch marks. You could have some hair. Maybe like me you have scars, stretch marks, some villain hair, and your body has decided to bring psoriasis like belly confetti.
Your stomach - no matter what it looks like - is perfectly fine. It is part of you and you are exactly right.
See the original article on ScaryMommy.com
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