One of my major bugbears is all those “how to dress” articles in fashion mags. “How to dress for your age.” “How to dress for your shape.” Aka, how to dress to fit in with what society thinks a woman of a certain age or size should dress — which we all know is bullcrap. We should dress however we want and be dictated to by only one thing: our mood on that particular day. Life is far too short to worry about what stores we shop in and how long our pants are.
Except when it comes to crop tops. Which I love but won’t wear. Because I have the stomach of a woman who has had two babies.
Thanks to my genes and metabolism, it’s not a big stomach. Thanks to my dedicated planking efforts, it’s also pretty flat. When I really hit the gym hard, I can even see a faint outline of abs. But no amount of planking (or crunches or leg raises or any other form of abdominal torture) will disguise the fact that twice in my life, I gained 40 pounds and stretched my skin to within an inch of its life. I have a mom tum, and it ain’t going anywhere.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my postpartum body for what it’s been through. Every dimple and crease is a reminder of the amazing reward I got (twice over). But, how I wish all those dimples and creases would set up home alongside the stretch marks on my butt. Then I could wear a crop top, dammit.
Today I saw a photo on Instagram of an Australian mom looking fierce in a crop top, and it’s made me think that maybe I’m being ridiculous for hiding my mom tum from the world.
“So glad I’m not concerned with ‘flaws’ showing anymore,” Haddas Ancliffe wrote on Instagram. “I can finally enjoy summer clothing. It’s getting colder in Australia now but for you guys on the other side of the world, enjoy your sun dresses, crop tops and shorts that squish your cute marshmallow thighs out when you sit down! You deserve to bask in the warmth of the sun as much as anyone else.”
Ancliffe is spot on. Crop tops aren’t only for six-packs and perfectly smooth skin. I’m stuck with the stomach I have, and I need to stop seeing it as a flaw. It’s been through a lot already, and it deserves some love.