"In this age of Photoshop, fad diets, and unhealthy models, I think it's easy for any woman to feel self-conscious about their appearance. However, when I got pregnant, I learned the real meaning of feeling self-conscious about how you look.
Most of the time, I'm proud of my baby bump. I am growing a real life healthy human being, and that's a huge accomplishment. I like having my baby girl with me wherever I go, and my big tummy is a sign that I'm doing something amazing. But it has also thrown my self-confidence for a serious loop. It's weird watching the numbers on the scale go higher than you've ever seen them before (30 pounds higher!). When your favorite clothes no longer fit, and you have to buy clothes that look incredibly gigantic on the rack, it can be tough. Not to mention, my face and fingers have swollen up along with my belly, leaving me feeling large all over.
I remember crying when I got my first little stretch mark by my belly button. I felt like my stomach would never be beautiful again, and that I was starting down a path to lasting ugliness. I had to look myself in the mirror and tell myself that this stretch mark means I'm growing a healthy baby. It's a good sign, and it's a sign that my body is doing something beautiful. It's not ugly at all. When I think about this, and focus on what's really happening behind my swollen belly, I feel confident in myself. I wear clothes that embrace and show off the bump, not try to hide it. And you know what? Since then, my pregnant self has felt like my most beautiful self of all. "
- Brooke from Silver Lining
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