"I'm Not Pregnant. It's Just My Belly." One Woman's Call To Define Your Own Beauty Standard

Brittany Policastro was on vacation on the Jersey Shore. She did what most people do on vacation, she gorged on whatever food she wanted and checked out the sites. While waiting for her partner one day in a coffee shop she meets a 40 something man. He tells her she looks great and then asks "when are you due?" It took her a second but she realized that he thought she was pregnant. not pregnant stripped dress This was confusing for Policastro because she has been a yoga instructor for years, eats healthy and has, to use her words, "a metabolism like a racehorse." This is when she realized there was a flaw in her confidence. Her body had always fit a stereotype, garnering external validation from both men and women, and so it was almost entirely based on external factors. She says true confidence comes from the inside out. It is strange in our society that we have come to place so much value on a flat stomach. Flat stomachs are lovely for those who have them but the pressure to attain one can be hell for some women. During a stay in India, Policastro was told to sleep without any elastics constraining around her middle so that her energy could flow. "The energy of this area connects to our sexuality, money, pleasure and our ability to flow. For women, this area is the sacred center where we hold life and yet it seems we have been conditioned to not only cover it up but to suffocate it," she says. Sure makes me question the logic of Spanx in this moment. Policastro believes the key is to be honest with ourselves. We need to validate ourselves. Check in from time to time to see if we agree with the beauty standards society wants us to uphold. So often people will start a fitness journey to 'lose belly fat' but it is important to ask yourself 'why' you are really doing it. If a flat tummy is something you truly want, have at it. But if you have doubts about this external definition of beauty, perhaps you should find a new definition. Speak your truth. Our world tells us how to feel, how to act and how to look. Maybe it is time we start to define that for ourselves. What do you think?  

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