The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Confidence

Listen up, friend: this post is meant to be empowering, not shaming. Ladies, all of us are acceptable as we are; there’s no need to do anything to “become” acceptable. That’s not what this post is about, so when I offer ideas about how to dress or what makeup to wear, these are not suggestions for how to make yourself “presentable.” YOU ALREADY ARE. These are just 8 things that helped this curvy girl take back her mojo. Hugs to all you babes. You are worthy of love, respect, and all good things.

1. Find and replace the word “fat” in your vocab with “curvy.” Sure, you can whine behind the scenes to your besties, but in public, in person, in your online dating profile, and in all your social media, banish the f-word. I now pronounce you curvy. This was my first radical step toward reclaiming my confidence.

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2. No one but your doctor (and maybe your mama) are allowed to give you health advice. NIP. IT. IN. THE. BUD. All those well-meaning people who say, “Maybe if you tried …” or “Have you thought about …” or, worse, who try to sell you their solutions? NOPE. As if we could have never, ever come up with something as groundbreaking as counting calories or going on walks! So many lovely people never realize how shaming it is for them to do this, even *gasp* people who have lost weight themselves. There are so many factors at work here– far, far more than most friends ever know– so it is 1000% okay for you to say, “Thanks, my doctor and I have got it.” You control the conversation, and you are fully justified in keeping it between you and your doc.

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3. Dress your shape. When I was still trying to force myself into clothes that didn’t fit, I just felt miserable. Purchasing the correct size and– even better– the right kind of clothes for your shape lets you accentuate those awesome curves! Since I am Muggle Hermione, I turned to a book. The Art of Dressing Curves was a game changer for me. It not only helped me with finding my correct measurements and figuring out the basics, it got into the nitty-gritty of what would look best on my body, down to sleeve length and neckline. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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4. Play up your favorite features. For me, I learned to experiment with makeup. YouTube was my guru here, and I found myself having a lot of fun with it! I’m certainly no expert, but I will say that when I have a day when my eyes are popping, I feel like an empress. I literally have an attention-grabbing bandaid in the center of my face here … but I bet it’s my eyes that you notice. 😉

5. Spanx is legit. From personal experience, don’t waste your money on pseudo-Spanx. Put in the money to get the real deal, and get the full-on lederhosen version for the smoothest smooth. The first date I wore my new Spanx to, I felt like a million bucks (which is way more than the cost of a pair of Spanx). Oh, and get the right size. The temptation is to get a smaller size because it will just tuck all the goods in even more– but that’s not how it works. And if you’re busty, get open bust Spanx– let the girls live and breathe and do their thang in an awesome bra.

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6. But first, let me take a selfie. Yeah, I know. A lot of us curvy girls are camera-shy. But here’s the deal. With a selfie, you control it all, the angle, the lighting, the pose, not to mention what you’re wearing or how you style your hair. Take an afternoon and do a photoshoot. Take 9 million pictures if you need. Just get that one selfie that makes you feel amazing. No one has to know there were 8,999,999 takes to get it. Get the selfie that captures you as you want to be seen. Post it. Own it. Own the compliments that roll in.

7. Take your temp. This is coming from someone with temperature dysregulation, but dress for the weather and your activity. Nothing steals my confidence faster than being a sweaty mess. Listen: don’t feel guilty for taking the elevator. (See #2– oh, and you can take the stairs on your own time, not at work when you’re gonna show up for your presentation out of breath!) And if your temperature bounces all over the place, layers are your friends.

8. Attitude matters. So much. SO MUCH. There are women who are my size who are so smart, hilarious, and confident that no one notices their size. Ever. People are just marveling at their intelligence and strength and wit. People are too busy laughing to judge. People aren’t lying when they say confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear. And if you don’t feel it, fake it till you make it. I’m not joking. I wore an outfit to an event that I ultimately didn’t feel great in, but I decided to pretend like I looked like a supermodel anyway, especially since it was too late to change any factors. No joke, a guy came up to me and said, “You look really good.” It was not my outfit (which ended up not fitting quite right); it was not my makeup or hair (it was humid and raining and all the effort I’d put into both disappeared before I ever got to the event); I was hot and sweaty. But I pretended like I was a queen. And it worked.

So, curvy girls, what else would you add? What has made you feel confident in your own beautiful skin? Leave a comment!