Body Positive Journey: Fighting my Desire for Approval

Written by KockFatBitch, a Fattitude Intern

I can have the worst cocky attitude you have ever seen, but if you tell me that something doesn’t flatter me, I’ll stop and take a second look. Approval is the hardest battle in the #bodypositivemovement next to Acceptance. (If you’re new to the movement, then I should note that the latter is means accepting yourself on a personal level.) In my experience, approval is a germ that has crept its way into every small crevice of my life. I still catch myself asking my love, my sister, my mom and even my son “What do you think about this?” in regards to a particular piece of clothing, outfit, makeup or hairstyle. When they agree that my style idea looks good, I have a renewed sense of self confidence because they have approved of my right to self-acceptance.

I went natural (with my hair) a year and a half ago. This journey is somewhat outside the focus of the #bodypositvemovement but is a major deal for people. It is harder to get approval of my natural hair than of my natural body. No one in my family, my cousin aside, is a fan of the natural movement. They accept my choice, but they’d rather I’d slapped a perm in my head than rock my fro to work or a night out. Their inadvertent negativity towards my natural hair choice has made me more aware of my need for approval. Twisting my fingers through my funky fro one evening I asked my mom, “How does this look?” She slightly smiled and responded, “Well, you know I don’t like the natural thing, so you probably shouldn’t ask me.” Being myself, what I heard was simply I’m not you, so it doesn’t matter.  She was right! Now anytime I find myself about to ask someone, “How does this look?” or “How does this fit?” I turn the question inward and ask myself.

Do I feel good in this outfit? How does this make me look? Did it make me smile when I put it on? If this criteria is met, then I’m good. It is still a growing process, as I still find myself noticing someone’s discontent hidden behind a cheerful voice when offering unsolicited suggestions like, “Why don’t you get your hair braided?” Um…because I’m grown, I’m a bitch and I do whatever the fuck I want…anymore questions or suggestions?

So don’t bother asking other people if something “fits right” or “looks good on you” because they are not the ones wearing it, you are! I have stood in the mirror too long before changing and adjusting myself because of the thoughts of others, believing I needed their approval about who I was and what I was wearing.

Do you find yourself seeking the approval of others for your choices? If so, ask yourself, What bills do they pay in my house? Exactly.

*This blog post is the opinion of a particular Fattitude intern – and does not necessarily reflect the position of Fattitude, Inc.

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