Swimsuits, Clothes & Body Image

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One major secret to a positive body image is wearing the right clothing for your body.

Clothing that doesn’t show everything is clothing that cleverly hides flaws and private areas. Like the above dress, for instance.

I don’t want to mislead you, I’m no prude. I’m prone to flashing a bit of cleavage myself. I just feel oddly entitled to lift my arms up all the way without flashing my stomach, which I’m not as proud of as I am my clavicle and cleavage area. I also feel entitled to bending over without showing the world my butt crack and my men’s briefs. It does not make me feel great about my body to not be able to move it freely without tugging, pulling, adjusting and fussing with my clothes.

The American Psychological Association, in their Report on Sexualization of Girls, site girls’ need to constantly tug at and adjust clothing as a major body image issue.

“A second emotional consequence of self-objectification is appearance anxiety; which is manifested by checking and adjusting one’s appearance. Girls’ fashions arguably compound the opportunities for this kind of anxiety: tight-fitting “belly shirts,” micro-miniskirts, and plunging necklines require regular body monitoring and a kind of chronic vigilance about whether everything is in place.”

Of course you can relate. We can all relate to bending down and wondering who is looking at our bum crack because of those low rise jeans. We can relate to tugging our too-short shirts down over our pants or pulling on the necks of our shirts to cover our bra strap. Or having a toddler flash our boobs by pulling a blouse down just a little too low as they cling. I’m over it.

This does nothing to make us, or our daughters, feel great about our bodies.

The right clothes – the right swimsuits, shirts and jeans – are vital for a positive body image. (Go to Zafu to find the best jeans for your body.)

While you might not find the perfect fit – embarrassing adjustment not required -  in many stores, there are clothing designers out there who are making fashionable, modest clothes for real women and real girls.

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I recently purchased a swimsuit from Diviinemodestee.com for myself. I love how I feel about my body when it’s accentuating my positives with a good design and requiring the least about of tugging and pulling. It hides things, like my stomach, that I don’t feel comfortable showing the whole world. Another modest clothing company, Shade, is having a clearance sale right now with some very cute and body flattering suits for women.

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I’m going to buy one of these tummy covering tankinis for Ainsley next year to avoid the whole “I want a tankini! Why can’t I have a tankini?” temper-tantrum episode in the dressing room. The one where she’s pulling the suit down enough to cover her tummy and exposing her chest to prove that it “fits.” Maybe I’m not the only parent who has had that moment?

“You can have a Tankini dear,” I’ll say next year and I’ll allow her to choose from this adorable collection.

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The extra-long, high necked cap-sleeved T-shirts at Diviine Modestee also allow me to say “yes” to halter and tube top fashions that are admittedly cute, but which her father will never let her wear out of the house.

Oh, they are having a clearance sale right now and I’m not aligned with the company in any way.

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2 comments ↓

#1 Rebecca on 08.04.09 at 12:21 pm

I LOVE that dress.

#2 Tracee Sioux on 08.05.09 at 8:27 am

I know, it does everything a dress should do. It’s on sale for $35.

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