Ode to My Tummy
Hello again! Last time I wrote things got very deep and you probably felt a bit ignored. I'm sorry about that. The post got away from me a bit but it was very beneficial for me to analyse why I've felt the way I have about you. Because let's be honest, I haven't always been very nice towards you. I've spent a lot of time sucking you in, wishing you were thinner and more defined, being annoyed that you wobble, and berating you when you weren't small enough for me to do the zip up on a dress.
I think at times I expected you to be a blank canvas that I could put whatever I wanted onto in order to fit in. I didn't realise that you were actually a masterpiece. I was so used to seeing perfectly airbrushed torsos on ads that I forgot that having texture isn't a bad thing. I forgot that it's impossible to sit down without you creasing in some way. I was convinced that in order to look nice I had to cover you up and wish you away. I'm sorry about all of that.
See the thing is, you're pretty fucking fantastic really. I used to think that you being soft and squishy was a negative thing; that you were supposed to be firm and toned. But the thing is, I love how squishy you are. I like running my hands over you and I like poking you and seeing you spring back afterwards. When I feel bad about myself I try to look at myself through someone else's eyes, and I think if I wasn't me I'd be pretty stoked to be around a tummy like you. You're the perfect squishiness for resting heads on and your paleness (which in the past I will admit I have hated) is really pretty. When I look at you through my own eyes again I can see how cute you are.
When I stand in front of my mirror in my underwear, I smile because I actually like what I see now. In fact, I think you might look your best when I'm just in my underwear. I'm happy that I don't need to suck you in to be okay about myself any more. I think I've grown into quite a soft and squishy body and I like to think that it's one that is particularly suited to giving and receiving hugs.
I'm sorry that I freaked out when you got stretch marks. I'm sorry that they made me stop looking at you for a while. It took me a while to realise that this new addition to me wasn't a negative thing. I guess I had always just associated stretch marks with pregnancy, so to get them when I was 19 made me feel really awful about myself. It didn't occur to me that it was just because I was growing quicker than my body could keep up with. I quite like them now though. They're so pale now that it's hard to notice them, but I actually think I'd be a little bit sad if they disappeared completely. I've got used to them being part of the texture of my skin.
I'm sorry that I don't feel entirely comfortable with you when I wear trousers, I wish I did. It's not all you though, trousers just make me feel too confined. I much prefer it when we can stride down the street in a cute dress instead.
It's taken me a while to get to this point, but I'm so happy to say that I love you now. In fact, I kind of adore you. So thank you for sticking with me while I worked through all of that old negativity that I used to have towards you. I can't promise that I won't feel insecure about you from time to time, but even when I do I hope you remember that in the very core of my soul, I love every single inch of you.