Humor, I hope

Body Positive-ish but Still Giving My Stomach the Side Eye

Dreaming of a PBR 6-pack or even a 4-pack of expensive craft beer

Maj-le Bridges
4 min readAug 7, 2023

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A big-boned seal patting his stomach and smiling for the camera. Or me with an Instagram filter.
Photo by Pascal Mauerhofer on Unsplash

While doom-scrolling like a normal person, the uni-meta-verse serves up this gem — 25 Stylish Dresses That Disguise the Stomach. What’s going on here? Does even the Instagram algorithm know about my lifelong insecurities?

To be fair to social media, my stomach is not great. For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked at this sagging bulldog-esque pouch with disdain. The SEO keyword is doughy. Not cute doughy like the Pillsbury Doughboy, but squishy, squashy, fleshy doughy like a 10 lb. bag of jumbo marshmallows that got too close to the campfire.

My stomach has always been noticeable, from Homecoming dance beer gut to chafing control top pantyhose at graduation to my toddler playing hide and seek in its folds.

Before you cancel me for not being body-positive, hear me out. I like my body and don’t stress about “curves” or obsess over “treats.” I wear my stretch jersey 1X dresses with confidence, hold my shoulders back and my head high. But I don’t like my stomach.

It’s always been difficult reconciling my healthy self-esteem with my undying quest to tame or starve away my stomach. Can’t I have one foot in the lean protein and vegan cheese camp, while another is firmly in the Popeye’s three-piece chicken and a biscuit world?

Is body positivity an all-or-nothing proposition? Can’t I hate my stomach but like other assorted body parts? I’m looking at you collarbone. Shine bright!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not so self-absorbed that I cry myself to sleep over my stomach. I know there are bigger problems in the world. But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I could painlessly trim off my beef brisket of a stomach with a chef’s knife like a barbeque pitmaster on YouTube.

It’s not like my friends are having brunch without me and discussing my stomach’s grotesqueness. If I complain about it, my friends tell me I look beautiful, and that they don’t even notice it. But they lie. I once told my best friend that her drawn-in eyebrows weren’t crooked. And she once told me that my DIY haircut was stylish, smart, and…

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Maj-le Bridges

Gen X-er, recovering lawyer, frustrated writer, Lego enthusiast and serial creative. Medium Top Writer | Published in Start It Up & Age of Awareness.