Body Love: T is for Tummy

body love tummy

It is weird. I actually avoided writing this post for a few days. I tried to find the words but I got upset every time I started thinking about it. It made me realize that this is a very sensitive topic for me. I have written about my boobs and the disgust I feel for them sometimes. But my tummy? I don’t even know where to start. It is probably the part of me that I dislike the most. I don’t like the word “hate” but my sentiments for my belly are very much encompassed by that term.

Societal Expectations

There are several reasons for my strong negative feelings towards my tummy. I think the one that is most obvious are societal expectations of what an attractive and desirable belly should look like. It has to be flat, muscular and not have an ounce of fat.

I know that how very unattainable that ideal is for most people. And I am definitely not the only person who struggles with even being able to envision a flat belly on myself. I have never had it. Even as a child, even when I was skinny. It is just not in the cards for me. But here I am, being bombarded with images of slim women in underwear, in swimwear, in tight-fitting clothes. And of course I get affected by it. I wear leggings, stocking, shape-underwear, to at least create an illusion of a flat stomach.

But does that mean I have been brain-washed by society and I am desperately trying to meet its expectations? Because I know that a flat stomach doesn’t mean that someone is necessarily healthy. Or attractive. But just like with other body parts, there are these widespread expectations of beauty and health, that seem very limiting and simply wrong. I am unsure about how to free myself from those expectations though, because other people adhere to those expectations and shame those with bigger bellies.

Are you Pregnant?

Which brings me to my next point. The one body part that I have been most bullied about in the past, is my tummy. I don’t even want to repeat the things that have been said but let’s just go with that those were really hurtful statements. But it is not only the bullying. There is this one thing that slim people seem to be doing to all overweight women: they assume that we are pregnant.

The amount of times that people just assume that I am pregnant and ask when I am expecting, if I want to rest my tired feet because of my condition, or even congratulate me for being pregnant, is overwhelming. And every time it hurts so so much! What do you say? Sorry, no, I am not pregnant, I am just fat and have a big belly? I tend to just swallow, smile, and walk away. Those assumptions are very hurtful and it is not like a misunderstanding. You assume that the only natural explanation for a fat tummy is pregnancy for women. It is unimaginable that a woman has a big belly because she is big? Nope, only a flat stomach means that you are in a normal state of being, apparently.

So what does a fat person do? Well, they hide their belly. And with clothes that is easy. I mentioned shape wear earlier. You can also wear wide skirts and dresses. I totally avoid trousers and jeans are the worst! They make your tummy look bigger than it is. But not only that. Jeans are made for slim people. I have never found a pair of jeans that actually worked for me. I mean, I would love a pair of black skinny jeans but all I can get tents are that are way too long and yes, make me look fatter. Designers barely think of fat people when thinking of clothing items.

Like with other body parts of mine I dislike, I have a lot of internalized shame because of societal expectations and the reactions of other people. I hate my tummy because it is not flat. I hate its shape because it is unwanted by others. And more than anything, I want to be accepted by others. With a tummy like I have, that seems almost impossible. But apart from what others think, I also hate my stomach because it is ugly to me. I hate its shape, I hate the huge scar I have from an appendix surgery as a kid, I hate the stretchmarks.

And no weightloss can fix those issues. When I was skinny, I had some hanging and empty skin instead, and the stretch marks were still very visible. And that is very defeating, because there is basically nothing that I can do to make my tummy look better. I am stuck with this terrible thing and I don’t know how to embrace it as something I can at least live with.

I have been able to work on some body love when it comes to other parts of my body. And I am certainly positive that with time, I can change some of the negative views I have about my body. I don’t think I will ever get there with my tummy though. It doesn’t help that my IBS sometimes makes my life terrible for months on end. My hatred for my tummy reaches new heights during those times. Who knows what the future will bring but I am not hopeful that my approach to my fat belly is ever going to change.

I am doing the A to Z challenge during the month of April (and apparently beginning of May). My theme is Body Love. So you will get 26 posts from me, following the alphabet, related to the topic body love. You can check out more about the to A to Z challenge by clicking on the banner. You can find a list of sexbloggers participating in the challenge on Mrs Fever’s site.

2009-2020 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

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22 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    “More of you to love,” is what I have told lovers who fret over their belly. I have never had a lover with a belly smaller than mine, and it has never bothered me. I dislike my own belly, because of its size and IBS. Women can still be sexy with extra curves, men are just fat. It’s one of those unfair things in life.

    • It is interesting that you say that men are just fat and women can be sexier with curves. Because I have dated, and been attracted to men who had a huge belly and I didn’t mind at all. I guess in the end it is society that tells us what the perfect body is supposed to look like, and it is very difficult to question that internalized self-scrutinity.
      Thank you so much for your comment!

  2. Lisa Stone says:

    It’s a very frank post, Davie. I guess everyone has something they don’t like about themselves. Well, we decide what we do about it. But I like you for who you are because I like honest and open human beings. Take care of yourself.

  3. MrsK says:

    I completely get the part about stretch marks and the empty skin. I started working out religiously two years ago and while I dropped 8 dress sizes I now have this pouch (for lack of a better word). Sure it’s shrunk as I’ve shruck, but my tummy will never be completely flat. Add two babies that stretched my muscles out and I will always have a bit of a bulge.
    Why did I tell you this? Even skinny women hate some parts of themselves. My tummy is one of those parts (my list is huge though). I’m sorry people have been so mean spirited to you. What you are on the outside is what you want people to see but who you are the inside is who I see. 🙂

    • That is very impressive, that you managed to lose that much weight! Yes, exactly, that pouch that just never goes away, that is what I had to when I had lost all that weight!
      Thank you so much for your kind words, MrsK! <3

  4. Mary Wood says:

    Devie, I see a very attractive woman on the image on the top of this post! And very interesting comment which goes first)))

  5. People can be so unkind. Sometimes without meaning to be. I have body parts that bother me too and perhaps when I retire I will be able to work on them. But ultimately we all need to be satisfied with our bodies for happiness. And that can be so hard to achieve!! Hugs

  6. I think it’s horrible that people even think they can ask someone else whether they are pregnant. I mean, it’s not their business, even IF the other person is pregnant. No one should make remarks on what another person looks like, and no one should ever be bullied for it. It can make me so very angry, and I am sorry you had to go through that so many times, Devie. It’s just not right.
    As for jeans… I don’t wear them for the same reason as you do. I have a tummy, and it doesn’t fit in jeans, but I also have a huge derriere. The tummy, my bottom and my thighs… there are just not jeans made which fit the three of them and feel comfortable. So I prefer to wear dresses, skirts and ‘soft pants’ with high waists.
    Love this image of you xox

    • Thank you very much for your kind words, Marie! Yeah, some people just are very nosey, even strangers randomly asking. Human decency and common sense are definitely not widespread lol.
      Silly jeansmakers ignoring a huge group of people, grr! I wear dresses, skirts and leggings. I have just accepted that I will never own a pair of jeans 😛

      • Fun fact: I once bought two pairs of jeans, and one of them I wore only once while it hurt me all over… tummy, thighs. They are both still in my closet, one still with the price tag on it. I think they have been in there now for 4 years!

  7. Really? Are you pregnant? HOW FUCKING DENSE ARE PEOPLE??? Like come on! FOR GODS SAKE.
    As you know I’m skinny but people in my life that aren’t struggle so much with buying clothes and need to make such an effort to feel good in themselves and the clothing industry doesn’t help and I wanna shoot some arrows at them. It’s discrimination, really.

    I’m sorry you’re struck with these negative feelings about your stomach and that it might never change. I can show it some love for you instead? 😉

    • Yeah, most people and common sense, you know? Not a combo that can always be expected lol. It is definitely hurtful every time someone asks if I am pregnant lol.
      Clothing designers focus more on the slim market, although that is slowly changing, fortunately.
      Haha, tummy-love <3

  8. Cindi says:

    I had the same situation as you. Even as a skinny child I had a pot belly and I’ve never ever been able to get rid of it. It’s my least favorite part of my body tied with my upper arms.

  9. slave sindee says:

    Society has its norms and if you don’t fit in with them. ICK not going there. As a sub male who likes to cross dress not normal. Bisexual not normal.
    Skinning or fat not normal. short or tall not normal.
    We are all people and need respect for who we are and how we act.
    I have a friend who just says if you don’t like me stay the fuck away. not sure i like the attitude sometimes but the sentiment is right.
    Accept me for who i am and how i act.
    love your openness and blog

    • I very much agree with what you said here. Society’s idea of normal is so very warped, and makes everyone who doesn’t fit into its slim marginals of “normal” a target. it is really sad. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Sindee <3

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