I can have the worse 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 more on a personal level of you accepting yourself. In my experience, approval is a little germ that has crept it’s 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 referencing a particular piece of clothing, outfit, makeup or hairstyle. When they agree with my idea that it looks good, I have a renewed sense of self confidence because they have approved of my acceptance.
I went natural (hair reference) a year and a half ago. This is a journey within itself outside of the #bodypositvemovement but still a major part in it as well. 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 to my natural hair choice has made me more aware of my innate need for approval. Twisting my fingers through my funky fro one evening I asked my mom, “how does this look?” She held a semi-smile on her face 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 catching a whisper of someone else’s discontent hidden behind a cheerful voice and unasked for suggestion 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 anyone 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 of who I was and what I was wearing. Do you find yourself seeking the approval of others for your choices about you? If so, ask yourself, what bills do they pay in my house? Exactly.