I am not exactly sure where I first got told that I needed to cover my arms, but I specifically remember older family members telling that it was a must. It made me feel ashamed of this part of my body and it added yet another list of garments that I could never wear. Even if I could, it was a requirement to find a cardigan, jacket, or shrug to cover this unsightly part of my body. Even then, I hated the way it looked because not all sleeveless items look good with a layer because it would cover the details I loved. I remember wedding dress shopping and feeling like I was being so taboo by wearing an arm baring dress. It made me so self conscience and it was all because I let other womens insecurities be passed onto me.
Recently I was scrolling through some lovely comments on a plus size retailers Facebook post featuring some other beautiful plus size bloggers. One jarring comment stood out as a women exclaimed why in the world they were making sleeveless items claiming that no one wants to see flabby arms and that now she has to go find a shrug to make these items work for her. I realized at that moment how she was projecting her own issues onto anyone else who would listen and how she was unknowingly putting down these lovely ladies in the picture. While I understand and appreciate that every woman is on her own journey of self love and self acceptance, it frustrates me that some decide that if they have an issue with their body, so should every other woman.
Today I am not here to tell you that you need to show your arms, I am here to share my personal experience about how I made the decision to no longer be bound by this rule that was given to me as a young woman. Every woman has the right to make the decisions about what she wears and it is her choice to feel good about it.
Several years ago I lived in Kansas where the summers are hot and humid. For quite some time I suffered as I put on an extra layer just to cover my arms. Then when I was out in the middle of nowhere, I would peel it off my body for some much needed relief. I even remember my husband questioning me about it because he thought it was so strange that I had to cover up. After a while, I finally decided I could not do it any more and so I ventured out into public with my arms out. At first I was so nervous and self conscience. This part of my body was exposed for everyone to see!
And then it happened, no one cared. No one even said anything. If anything, I would get compliments on the outfit I was wearing, and it was sleeveless! The more time went on and the more I wore sleeveless items, the less I thought about it. Now it is not even something I think about. So when I saw this gorgeous blue maxi dress with a bold print, I knew it was meant to be in my closet. The fact that it had no sleeves was not an issue. It has a beautiful neckline with a halter style and ruffles. All I needed to do was to use a clip on my regular bra to convert it into a racer back style so my straps would not show.
I felt like I floated around when I wore this dress and I was so comfortable. These fun fringe sandals set off the tropical vibe so well too. A simple gold necklace frames out the neckline nicely. And I must admit, I feel that this handbag is a big too “heavy” feeling and will be sporting my ivory macrame fringe tote the next time I wear this dress. I am so thrilled I took the plunge to ween myself into baring my arms. It has opened up my world and has built up my confidence. While I still enjoy wearing cardigans and jackets with some sleeveless items, it is now a style choice rather than a covering up thing.
- Tiered Maxi Dress: Lane Bryant
- Iris Petal Necklace: Charming Charlie
- Sueded Fringe T-Strap Sandals: Old Navy
- Bracelet: Michael Kors
- Brown Handbag: Coach
And because the dress I got from Lane Bryant is already sold out, here are some other beautiful blue printed maxi dresses that have the same feeling.
Do you have a body part that you have been told you should cover because of others insecurities? Are you still working on it? If you have gotten over something like this, I would love to hear your story too!
Today’s Postivity Note
Take the risk.