I, by no means, have a lot of a tummy. I have a bit of a tummy, and if you’re reading this letter I’m sure you’ll know what I mean by ‘a bit of a tummy’. I have the ‘bump’. That all consuming when you look in the mirror that’s immediately what you see bump. I’m also petite and relatively thin. 5’2 and a size 8, and although I may appear to fit the mould of European beauty standards (despite by small height) from the outside, when I slip into a body con dress or a top that’s a little tight, I can’t help but notice that little bump.
That slight outward curve where the media taught me a flat, if not toned, stomach should be. It’s so interesting to me that despite checking off everything that western culture deems beautiful on it’s checklist, I have still been made to feel insecure by the unrealistic bodies we are exposed to on a consistent basis. But, now, I love my bump. I know that it’s there because that’s the way myself and most people are made. It’s a sign that I’m full. It’s a sign that I’m hydrated. It’s a sign that I’ve eaten something I’ve been craving and it’s made me bloat, but I’m happy about it. It’s a little bit of a tummy and that’s all it is.
Remember that No One is Born with a Flat Stomach
Imagine a baby coming out with a flat toned stomach. That would be weird, right? We love the little chubby arms, legs, and tums of babies and it should be no different if you still have those traits now. We are born unique. Some of us have a faster metabolism than others, while some of us have tastebuds that crave chocolate when others crave fruit (and for those people I have so many questions).
We are all unique and as we grow we change, but absolutely no one just morphs into having a completely flat, completely toned stomach 24/7. There are hundreds of reasons why people achieve these “#goals” figures and being born that way is not one of them. Years of constant exercise and diet watching is, and even then, we all get a bit of a tummy when we eat a dominoes pizza.
Pay No Mind To Celebrity Photos
As someone who literally studies fashion photography as part of my degree, I know first hand just how many photos are taken on a photoshoot, how many from that hundred are actually selected, and then how many hours it takes a retoucher to edit every single one of those photos.
Lumps, bumps and everything in between is edited. It’s not even worth comparing yourself to that image because even the model in question cannot compare his or herself to the image they are the centre of. Similarly with social media, don’t be fooled in thinking that influencers don’t use photoshop. It’s relatively cheap and easy to use. Why wouldn’t they use it when they’re trying to sell you that elite celeb-like lifestyle?
Don’t Diet, Especially if You’re Healthy
Stay away from that Skinny Coffee brand and don’t you dare try those slimming milkshakes. If you’re eating fruit and veg, having three meals a day, drinking water, and exercising a bit every day, even if it’s just your 15 minute walk to uni, you are fine. You are healthy. Please don’t jeopardise that because you see a little bit of tummy poking out. That bit of tummy is there to indicate that health.
Don’t Try to Over-Exercise it Away
By all means, head to the gym and tone up, it’s great to feel empowered and free while seeing your body develops, but aim to be stronger, not thinner. That bit of tummy you’re so uncomfortably looking down on and not seeing a change in is most likely water retention because you’re working out so hard, or even a bit of bloat from your protein shake. Don’t over-exercise because you don’t see change. Exercise to feel strong and maybe in time, you might be more toned, but I promise that tummy will still be there when you indulge in something yummy – something yummy you deserve!