Creating Belly Love

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Creating Belly Love

In this article, Sex and Pleasure Educator, Luna Matatas asks...

"Is your belly blocking your joy?

How do you feel about your belly? About other people's bellies? It's been wild to watch the range of plus size clothing expand and more visibility of fashionable plus size models - but there is still a belly stigma and a socialized preference for an hour glass figure in media and fashion (big hips, small waist, big breasts, flat tummy, voluptuous butt). Where's the love for the belly?!"

"I have spent many many many years obsessing, tried to shrink/tame/edit/camouflage/eliminate my belly because of body shame. My first memory of belly shame was when I was 9 in this banana coloured matching jumpsuit, a long braid and a pink headband. At a family gathering I was in the bathroom and came out to hear relatives talking about my belly, and my parents telling them it was baby fat and I'd grow out of it.


No one stood up for me. No one was discussing the drawings I brought. No one said it's weird to talk about appropriate shapes for girls' bodies. No one saw me past the fat on my body.  I learned in that moment I could be many interesting things and all people would talk about was my body.  I felt so embarrassed.


I thought there is a me out there with a flat stomach that is living her best life.


Then I went into a world that took every opportunity to remind me that only flat bellies are desired - and people with flat bellies are more successful, get love and relationships, have fashionable clothing, are healthy, and are treated better by strangers. I have so many habits built around this narrative that this journey is long and winding to detangle these voices that aren't mind and these behaviours that no longer serve me.


In rarer moments, my belly and I exist in partnership against a larger battle against patriarchy and white supremacy - the hierarchy of bodies, the medical myths, conventional beauty standards, the most failed and most profitable industry (diet industry), the moralizing of good and bad bodies - my belly is a symbol of taking up space.


And there there are days where I'm just happy I'm not hating it and I can go about my day with things that deserve my energy.


I have found wisdom in getting curious about my body - observing my reactions to body shaming external or internal, my judgement of other bodies, the subconscious ways I choose outfits based on belly minimization (I don't even own jeans) and the emotions that live in this part of my body - my intuition, my emotional and physical gut.


I'm searching for tenderness. in my relationship to this belly. Whether me or society thinks it's good enough or not."


Continue reading here for Luna's guidance on what can help with belly shame and regaining belly love!