I read an article the other day that said Kim Kardashian tries not to let paparazzi photograph her on sunny days because her cellulite is more evident in that lighting. This discovery led me down a rabbit hole of Kardashian/Jenner clickbait posts about the harsh truth behind their struggles with body confidence. There were clips of the girls crying over cruel comments, intimate moments (however intimate a reality show can be) discussing how horrible they’ve felt about themselves, explanations of the reasoning behind their surgeries, overall really upsetting stuff. Apparently, having all the money in the world to manipulate literally any body part is not the answer, who knew? Most of us are constantly calling out these girls for photoshopping their pictures or using layers of filters but when they don’t hide their imperfections the alternative is the rest of the world bashing them for having cellulite? Seems pretty unfair to me. I’m not defending celebrities I’m just wondering how ANYONE is supposed to express confidence on a daily basis when you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If the royal sex-symbol family of America cries over internet comments how are the rest of us to cope?
Self-love is all the rage these days and any influencer will tell you how easy it is to just forget the haters and post the pictures that make you feel good. But when we live in a world dependent on likes and follows how do we really, truly not let it bother us if our selfies get less attention than a picture of a half-eaten burger? Confidence is sporadic, situational, and transitory. For example, in 2005 when Missy ‘Misdemeanor’ Elliot sang “I’ve got a cute face, chubby waist, thick legs n shape, rump shaking both ways- make you do a double take” I WAS FEELING MY 16-YEAR-OLD SELF. I remember singing that song in front of my mirror and doing the “double take” of my own ass. This was a real moment. Guys, Missy had just sung about being chubby, she was owning it and now I was empowered, if she was confident then so was I, right?? Wrong. A year later when I performed the same song at my senior dance recital, I refused to take part in the neon sports bra and leggings combo that the rest of my class wore. I wore a shirt that comfortably covered my midriff. I was dancing to a song about how awesome it was to have curves while simultaneously hiding them. What a phony.
Fast forward 14 years and here I am trying to embrace “hot girl summer” by spending the last two Saturdays at beach bars with my friends. Like most women, I devoted about a week to deciding on an outfit for each night. I needed it to strategically cover my chubbiest body parts while also being just slutty enough to count as “summer going out clothes.”If you’re a girl and you have an event planned with a lot of other, skinnier girls but you have a solid outfit, it’s almost like having body armor. You have this sense of reassurance that even though you might be insecure about your weight, your outfit will save you. In these scenarios, the right top is a bullet proof vest. Maybe guys feel this way too? I don’t know. I’m not a guy and I’m not going to pretend for one second that I understand how a guy’s brain works. Anyway, I had two great, battle-worthy outfits lined up and ready to go for each night. Well, the universe decided that I didn’t deserve to exuberate Lizzo-level confidence and stepped in to fuck up my world. The first weekend I forgot my whole outfit at my house and didn’t realize until I was halfway to the beach. The girls I stayed with graciously offered up their largest shirts to help me put together an acceptable ensemble. After feeling like I belonged in the ocean (a whale) instead of drinking on the shore, I settled on a beach cover-up and jeans. Let me tell you, it wasn’t great but at least my arms weren’t showing. The next weekend I was going to be brave and wear mesh pants! I ordered a pair from Amazon that I was planning to wear with bathing suit bottoms. They were just sheer enough to be sexy but also hide my cellulite-ridden legs. Plot twist, when I got to the bar my friends were standing in the bay at Seacrets and I had to take my pants off. I had to stand in this cesspool of ocean water (that you know every drunk person was peeing in), totally unarmed. Also, it was the sunniest day of the year. KIM I UNDERSTAND. I might as well of been naked in the cafeteria in high school. As I stood there awkwardly with my group of mostly guy friends, I hoped they were all so drunk they wouldn’t remember what I looked like or they would miraculously go blind. I wished I was drunk so I wouldn’t care or that I had the resilience to enjoy the experience regardless of my outfit, but alas I didn’t. I’m not saying I didn’t have fun; I had a great time both weekends but like I said, confidence is sporadic.
Does anyone else ever feel like they have to start a diet or new routine on a Monday, but not just any Monday you have to wait for a Monday that falls on the first of the month? I do that a lot. September technically starts on a Sunday but the next month to start on a Monday is June and while I could probably come up with 10 months of excuses, I won’t. I’m diving back in and I know it might feel like all I do is try and give up since I’ve started writing and maybe it’s annoying but y’all have only been following this journey for a year so JUST IMAGINE how annoyed my friends and family have been my whole life. I’m trying a new approach though, I’m not starting slow this time I’m going balls-to-the-walls-all-in. I’m also going to the gym because I’ve been a real baby about refusing to be even slightly uncomfortable with my methods throughout this journey and honestly, I need to suck it up. I have a whole plan for how I’ll be approaching my 5,000thattempt and it feels like I’m ready, I know I’ve said that before but I’m saying it again, fight me. It is August 30thby the way, and I haven’t had Starbucks all month, two more days stand between me and sweet, sweet victory (and maybe a pumpkin spice latte).