I am a modest person and I spend a lot of time covered up. I don’t go to the beach. I don’t lounge by the pool. I don’t go to the gym. I have no physical features I really want to flaunt. I don’t like drawing attention to myself.
Absolutely no plunging necklines (which would be pointless anyway with my build). I sometimes wear a short skirt, but always with tights. It’s rare I even wear sandals!
I was fearless as a teen because my life was different and so was my body. I worked for a couple of summers as a swim instructor at a lakeside beach and lived in my swimsuit. Later, I enjoyed “skimpy” outfits for going out to nightclubs and concerts, but the community norms were not very extreme.
I mentioned recently that in my 20s, I lived on the Prairies where I found young people very conservative. My eyes popped the first time I went out clubbing in the winter and everyone was wearing big fuzzy sweaters and jeans 🙂 I, too, learned to dress for the weather there.
As I gained a few pounds, from teenage weight to adult weight, I felt I was becoming less attractive and had nothing to show off. But my peer group was in the same boat. We would rather wear a sweater we knit ourselves than a Little Red Dress!
In and out of various relationships, I tried to wear clothes that fit well and helped me feel confident, rather than something flirty. I was never immune to how I looked, and I was never completely out of the loop when it came to fashion. I just didn’t push the boundaries much. I didn’t think it gave me an edge.
Some readers might ask if I felt, or still feel, comfortable being a woman. Historically, yes, I did. In recent years, I almost feel it’s a moot point – I am just a person. I don’t try to be feminine. I don’t try to be not feminine. I just am. Everyone reads me as a woman and feminine. I am OK with that; I’m not actively trying to be otherwise. But it’s not something I try to accentuate, and it’s rare that anyone comments on how I look. (This is partly due to being a manager at work – the staff may not feel comfortable speaking about my hair or clothes as they might with each other).
I suspect I spend a lot less time thinking about my body or my body parts or my features, compared to other women. But maybe that is normal and it’s only the media that makes us think others do! I spend a lot more time focusing on what I think and do, versus how I look to others.
Given my current fitness craze, I am actually quite happy with my fitness level and weight and how my clothes fit and and how everything is working! It’s not a matter of shame. If I feel proud of anything body-wise, it would be that I have good strength and endurance – I can walk far and carry much 🙂
If you asked others about my best features? Errr, more than one person has told me I have a good rear view in a pair of yoga pants! Which I never wear outside my own house.
I am always surprised when I see people out-and-about who are so comfortable in their own skins that they sit on their front porch drinking coffee in their dressing gown, or stop at the grocery store in their sweaty workout clothes after a run, or pick up their kids from school in a bikini top, shorts and flip flops. I am not shocked or offended and I don’t feel the need to mock anyone. I am just surprised that we are all so different. My way of being comfortable is to cover up. For others it is to dress for the weather. For others it is to Come As You Are. Some want to draw attention to their best features while minimizing their worst, whatever they think they are. There is such a tension between being comfortable with yourself and trying to impress others. Or being judged and found lacking. I know a lot of women would say they feel more judged by other women.
Maybe it’s my age, but I feel beyond it now. I have such a strong sense of who I am and what I look like, that almost nothing could influence me to try a whole new approach.
Well, strictly speaking, that’s not true. Who would I be and what would I look like in a hot climate? What if I didn’t have to go to work every day? I don’t think I’ll ever seek attention. But maybe someday I will wear less 🙂
Do you cover up, or are you more of a “if you got it, flaunt it” type?