There's something incredibly rewarding about doing things you've been told you couldn't (or shouldn't) do. I have no doubt that this is why reaching some kind of seemingly impossible career goal or learning to hit that high note your singing instructor swore was out of your range feels so good. Because the reality is that when we're told we can't do something, we often want to do it even more (shout out to underage drinking).
As I've gotten older, this is how I've started to feel about clothes. I know what I'm expected to wear as a plus-size woman, so I usually finding myself wanting to wear the exact opposite. You're telling me I can't show off my VBO? I'm going to show off my VBO in a red bodycon dress. You're telling me I can't wear stripes? I'm going to wear those stripes.
It's not so much about "seeking attention," (not that that's an inherently bad thing), but I do think there's an aspect of wanting to shock people. Because if certain humans are so absorbed in thinking an entire group of people can't do this or can't wear that, they kind of deserve (IMHO) to feel uncomfortable — to realize that those narrow minded ideologies of theirs won't make you lessen yourself. Won't make you feel small.
I have this weird relationship with the "comfort zone." On the one hand, I love stepping outside it. I enjoy going places totally unlike those I've been to. I like wearing fatkinis that I never would have tried as a kid or teen. But it can also be difficult. Knowing you're doing something that's going to put you on display in some way can be terrifying. But maybe that's all the more reason to do it. We can't grow or learn or experience when we stay inside our little bubbles (no matter how wonderful those bubbles might be).
And that's why it's equally important to do things despite knowing that you might be putting others outside their comfort zones. When it comes to matters surrounding any kind of hatred or discrimination, especially, perhaps the only way to move forward is to make perpetuators of these notions feel a bit weird. I know that a lot of people out there would cringe at the sight of my bottom, but if they're going to live their lives making groups of people feel bad for being somehow "different," then I have no qualms with wearing my chunkini to the beach, where they'll have to see basically every roll.
It's been a while since I've blogged, and I think that's because I've been feeling so "comfortable." In total contrast to January, much of the year has been easy. I love my job. I'm with my partner. I'm in a city I [mostly] love. But I'm going to actively try to remember that discomfort can be beautiful — and things that make us uncomfortable are usually important.
Photos: Rachel Crittenden Photography
Outfit: Zelie For She