Last month at the Joshua Tree Music Festival, I was eying a sweatshirt in a vendor booth. It was adorable, but was cut so that my belly would show. The owner said “Trust me” and thrust it over my head. I fell in love. I couldn’t believe that it fit, that I loved it and how sexy it made me look and feel.
Last night I couldn’t figure out what to wear to go explore Downtown Riverside. I tried on a dozen outfits, all the while my little short sweatshirt sat patiently getting longing looks from me. Finally I just tried it on. It was the perfect fit once again. Only this time, I didn’t have a shirt underneath. It’s getting really hot here in So Cal, so I was hesitant to wear a sweatshirt. Yet, when I put it on, I didn’t want to wear anything else. My belly button was showing, all its stretch marks in a star pattern from my two children and a previous belly button ring, the little dimples of cellulite, the curves of my failed diet attempts. But for some reason, I felt brave. I asked my size zero cousin… She hesitated, but then, she said, “It looks good actually.” My cousin and I have made a deal to be honest with each other, and I knew her hesitation was genuine and so was her comment. But still, I decided to wear it to the grocery store first to give it a trial run.
Decked out in our heels and jewelry, my cousin and I make quite the show, yet it is always her stick thin body that I feel people staring at. This time I felt all eyes on me. It was bizarre, scary, but encouraging as well. I found my sexy. My size 12 body found a sexy that was against social norms. I noted all the women with much smaller abdomens, covered up, as if there was something to hide.
While I was out, (spare shirt in tow just in case I chickened out) I only overheard one negative comment, but I blew it away. It didn’t matter. I felt sexy and I decided that my tummy was going to come out of hiding, it has been in jail for long enough. It might be a little battle worn, and maybe I’ll actually put some work into that 30 day crunch routine I got from Facebook… Buy on this night, my belly got to shine.