I'm Done Letting A Visible Belly Outline Stop Me From Wearing What I Want

by Katie Cloyd
Originally Published: 

I’m fat, and I talk about it quite a bit, so my social media ads can get pretty obnoxious. Whatever algorithm is in charge of my feed is fairly sure that I desperately want to be thin. I get lots of ads for weight loss supplements, aspirational fitness centered accounts, and painful looking shape wear.

The thing that Facebook thinks I’m really desperate to minimize is my visible belly outline (AKA my VBO).

When your soft, round tummy shows in your clothing, that’s VBO.

I see so many apparatuses designed to smash my body into a more acceptable shape. I’m supposed to believe that if I put on this undergarment, I might just fool the world into thinking I’m thin.

Or at least thinner.

I used to jump on that chance. Somehow, I never actually looked any smaller. I just spent a lot of time feeling like I was being slowly squeezed to death by a Burmese python. No thanks. I gave up on shape wear long ago.

But the industry lives on, and our aversion to VBO is probably a huge driving factor.

It’s no secret that certain kinds of curves are widely considered more worthy of appreciation than others. While round butts, curvaceous hips and big breasts get a lot of good press, soft, squishy tummies don’t seem to come into fashion.

I have a big belly. It’s round. It hangs. It’s not a tummy most people would ask for, but I don’t care so much about that. It’s the belly I’ve got. I’m finally past the point of wishing it away. I wear what I want, and I go where I want in the clothes I choose.

I don’t waste my energy anymore caring about whether my weight is distributed “correctly” or not. There is no such thing as curvy in the “right places” because body shape has no morality. It’s not right or wrong. Bodies carry weight a lot of different ways. I don’t have an obligation to curse my body because my weight hangs out more in the front than the back.

If your belly is round or sags a bit when you stand up, you might not see that as an attractive or desirable quality. I don’t blame you. It’s not your fault. When it comes to fashion and beauty, we don’t always see gorgeous bodies with soft, round tummies represented.

But VBO is totally normal. It isn’t just for plus-size bodies. Some plus size bodies don’t have any belly outline at all. Some bodies with VBO are not plus size. Chances are if you have any kind of softness in your belly, no matter your weight or size, some kinds of clothes will let it show. Human bodies have varying levels of fat and skin, and gravity exists. Sometimes, people might be able to see that your belly isn’t totally flat.

And that is completely okay.

We need to stop letting our bellies stand between us and the fashion trends we want to try. I am a firm believer that every fashion trend is for every body. The only thing that matters is whether the person in the body wants to wear it.

If the fact that your soft tummy will be on display is all that stands between you and an amazing outfit, collect all your courage, buy the outfit, screw the haters, and rock it.

Check out these absolute BABES living their best lives in clothes they love.

Hello, gorgeous. That dress!!! GIMME! This color is amazing, and her body is perfection.

The ankle boots. The shorts. The whole damn thing. It would be a sin to feel obligated to “sensible, flattering clothes” when you could look (and FEEL!) like this.

Hello, yes. Crop tops and animal print are for every body. Every. Single. Body.

Bright colors, head to toe. Look at this gorgeous blue. Who is going to notice a soft tummy? VBO means literally nothing.

It’s short. It’s tight. And it’s totally glam. She looks amaaaazing.

You don’t have be dressed to the nines every minute of your life to deserve to be seen. Comfy and casual is a look for every kind of body.

Contrary to what 1990s fashion magazines might have said about fat bodies, you can totally tuck your shirt in, even if you have a soft belly.

High waisted pants for everyone! Yes to all of this.

Every single body can pull off sexy and funky for a special occasion. Who is going to tell her she can’t do what she wants when that amazing lipstick is happening? There is nothing you’re not allowed to wear just because of the shape of your body.

Leggings are pants if you wear them as pants. This is comfortable for dancing and moving, and you don’t have to have a certain kind of body to deserve comfort.

It’s 2019. We aren’t hiding in baggy black anymore. Tight. Bright. Perfect.

If you have looked at all these gorgeous women rocking the body nature gave them, and you still need convincing, can I just remind you of one thing?

Lizzo has never in life let VBO stop her from feeling good as hell.

No matter what your body looks like, fashion is for you. This goes for every kind of body, VBO notwithstanding.

There is no wrong way to have a body, and no wrong way to dress the body you have. You’re the only who has to feel at home in your body, so you make the rules.

Throw away all the bullshit and wear whatever TF you want.

Life is too short to miss out on the outfit of your dreams because of a little VBO.

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