I’m starting this series called “The Fat Girl’s Guide to Feeling Sexy” to help other fat girls learn to see themselves as sexy. If you already have that down, hopefully the tips I give you can help you boost your already high self-esteem so you feel even sexier. Sound good?
The first installation of this guide focuses on feeling sexy on the inside, which is the biggest component to feeling sexy overall in my opinion. You can dress up low self-esteem in as much revealing lingerie as you want, but once you take it off, it’s just you and you need to feel comfortable with your body and yourself if you’re going to do that lingerie justice. Even I still have days where I hate certain parts of my body, so it’s completely natural to have a hard time NOT feeling that way in this society that values thinness (and whiteness, and able-bodiedness, etc) so highly. Self-love is something you have to cultivate daily. And all girls, not just fat girls, are bombarded with imagery of “perfect” bodies that we can never really live up to–even the girls who seem to have it all often feel like nothing–so this guide can apply to them too.
Here are three of my tried-and-true tips for feeling comfortable and sexy in your own skin. Eventually I’d like to offer more (which is why this is called “Inner Beauty (Part One)”), but for now we’ll just start with these.
- Confidence: Fake it ’til you make it. – I know it’s hard, when you’re first learning about size/fat acceptance and loving your body, to truly feel confident. Hell, it’s hard when you’ve known about fat acceptance for 12 years to truly feel confident some days. When you’re not feeling confident in and of yourself, try on the feeling by “pretending” you’re a confident person. Trick your brain into feeling good about your body and shut that critical inner voice up. It’s kind of like acting in that you’re putting on a character, only the character is the person you’d like to be (and eventually will be). If you think affirmations would work for you, try standing in front of a mirror and repeating an affirmation you identify with and find empowering regarding your appearance. Something like, “I’m beautiful, confident and sexy. Other people find me magnetic and my self-esteem is high. I project confidence out into the world and I love myself, body and mind.” Yeah, it’s kind of cheesy, but surprisingly effective if you do it regularly. What we’re trying to do is reinforce these ideas in your mind so that eventually you naturally feel what you say you feel. When you walk, keep your head high and your posture straight–don’t slouch or try to hide your face by looking down. If you have to talk to yourself (inner monologue, I mean, not out loud!) constantly at first to remain self-assured, that’s okay. Put on the character until you find it’s become part of you and you don’t need to “put it on” anymore. There will be days you might need to bust it out again, but for the most part, you’ll soon need it less and less.
- Shake that body. – Exercise isn’t just for weight loss. It can be a great way to get in touch with your body and learn to love it. Pick an activity that requires you to focus on how your body feels, rather than something like walking or running (although if you want to do that, too, that’s fine). Yoga, belly dancing classes, hip-hop dancing classes… any kind of dance classes at all, really. You need to feel present in your body, and activities like the aforementioned can help you because you learn to use your body as a tool for self-expression. Plus, exercise boosts your mood, relieves anxiety and makes your skin glow from the inside, not to mention the other healthy benefits it can provide for your whole body. Don’t worry about the scale, you’re not doing this to change your body. You’re doing it to change your mind.
- Seek pleasure (but not too much!). – Pamper yourself. Eat deliciously prepared meals, enjoy decadent desserts, take time to luxuriate in a warm, perfumed bubble bath–experiencing any sensual pleasure can acclimate your mind/body/soul to feeling good. If you deprive yourself of good food because you’re dieting, or you don’t take care of your body because you haven’t learned to love it, that teaches your mind that pleasure is off-limits. That includes sexual pleasure–how are you going to let loose and fully enjoy sex when you’ve been denying yourself pleasure in every other way? Experience the world as a sensual person. I don’t mean dive into hedonism, that’s a whole other problem. I mean, let yourself enjoy the pleasures in life without holding yourself back.
Here’s to being sexy from the inside out!