Charlene White: All bodies are beautiful, but we don’t have to be confident 24/7

Mantras like 'love yourself' are great, but do I always have to feel confident?

Well, that was the week that was. I turned the ripe old age of 43 years old and wore a bra top out in public for the first time.

Yes, this mother of two flung on a bra top and skirt. To a reception at Parliament, no less. But my goodness, the mental gymnastics I went through in order to actually pluck up the courage to wear it. I’ve watched co-ords come back into fashion and loved it. But the ones that have a slightly shorter top? Er, no. Not for me. I’ve admired them from afar. The thought of flashing even the merest hint of my midriff instils all kinds of fear in me.

And yes, before you start, I know it’s irrational. The most nerve-wracking thing is the thought of doing without my Spanx, Skims or corset… I wear one of them most days, especially to events.

I’m a confident woman whose weight fluctuates more frequently than gold in the 80s. And I’m OK with that. Some years I can be bigger than others, but I’m older, have popped out a couple kids, and am perimenopausal – so it happens.

I choose not to focus on my size, as long as I’m healthy and happy. However, here’s the caveat: you can spurt the “all bodies are beautiful” line til the cows come home. But the reality is that we can all feel confident… to a point. And one of my “points” is baring my midriff. The other point would probably be an itsy bitsy teeny tiny bikini on the beach. My confidence to do that left the room back in my 20s. And yes, again, I know it’s irrational. But it’s really not a hang-up… let’s call it a preference.

For some, it may seem ridiculous that a woman who regularly posts pictures on social media would have any inkling of insecurities. Well, I’m a human being, and we all have them. No matter how small or big.

I wouldn’t say that I’m insecure about my body, but I do have preferences about just how much of it I want to show. And it’s not even a trolling on social media thing, because in all honesty, I couldn’t care less about that stuff, I’m so used to it (and yes, I know I shouldn’t be, but welcome to the world of being a woman on social media). So, no it’s not that. It’s a good old-fashioned “I want to step out of my house feeling confident” thing.

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