Why You Should Wear Whatever The Hell You Want

Why You Should Wear Whatever The Hell You Want

Every Body is beautiful
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About a year ago, a body-positive tweet I posted went viral. I'd tweeted similar things in the past, and never had any inclination that it could amass such a large response. After being retweeted and favorited over 100,000 times apiece, I have learned a few things.

Comparison photos taken a little over 1 year later.

1. Body shaming comes from both males and females

The tweets I used specifically in my post were all from women to make a point that women body-shame women too. A lot of the responses I got were, "see, men aren't the problem!" It is important to note that males aren't exempt just because 12 tweets weren't from men, and there are plenty of negative tweets from men.

2. Complimenting one body type by insulting another body type is not a compliment

I got so many comments saying that "men don't like skin and bones" and "this is so much better than skinny women" and things of that nature. If the only way you can celebrate one body type is to bash another one, then maybe just keep your mouth shut.

3. People on the internet can be terrifying

Being a woman on the internet is hard in any facet, but I've learned that being a woman who went viral for scantily clad photos is terrifying. I have had people get blocked and make 10 different accounts, been sent disgusting photos and had a man make a collage of photos of me for things I did not want to know about. Being a body positive woman on the internet opens you up to some very creepy things, but do your best to block them and move on.

4. Every body is absolutely beautiful

I had so many men and women tweeting photos of me, telling me they felt confident to wear something because of my post. The craziness of that aside, I have seen so many different bodies looking so beautiful in their own way. Never believe that only one type of body can be attractive.

5. You can love your body and actively work to change it

I still workout 5+ times a week. I still have a goal weight much lower than my current weight and goals that I'm not even close to. Wanting to make progress in your body does not mean you don't love it the way that it is. Don't feel like to be body positive you have to remain stagnant.

6. Weight does not equal body type

I've been told countless times, "you don't look like you weigh over 200 pounds!" That was kind of the point of the tweet, to show that 200 pounds might not look like what you expect it to look like. 200 pounds will look different on someone like me who is almost 6'0", and someone who is 6 inches shorter than me. 200 pounds will look different on an athlete and someone of the same height who doesn't exercise. "200+ pounds" is not a body type.

7. Weight is truly just a number

You can want to weigh less, but the goal, (at least for me), always comes down to looking and feeling better. I weigh more than I did in high school now and I consider myself so much happier and more confident than I was back then. Your goal weight is a fine goal to strive for, but you might be less disappointed and more successful if you strive for happiness instead.

8. You're still going to struggle

You aren't "not body-positive" or a poser for saying you love your body and still struggling with it. I continue to struggle eating well and I still am not the biggest fan of my stomach. It isn't how you feel, its how you act on it. It is important to keep right on loving your body, even if you don't like it sometimes.

9. Angles, lighting, and poses make a difference

It is crazy how much your body can change based on how you stand, how the photo is taken and how it is lit. I'll provide some examples, but the bottom line is... Don't get discouraged because you look bad in a photo! There's so much that goes into it, and it more than likely isn't you.

These photos were taken within 30 minutes of each other, and the pose I'm doing completely changes the way that I look.

The lighting in these two photos has a large effect on the way that I look. On the right, the lighting is more harsh ad it brings out the flaws in my stomach as well as my legs, where the lighting in the left photo covers them up.

These photos were taken in the same night, and the angle of the photograph, as well as the lighting, completely warp the way my body looks.

10. For all the negativity out there, there's ten times the positivity

For every hateful comment I received, I got 10 positive ones. I know it is easier to get caught up on the negativity and the shaming, but know that those nasty people are in the vast minority. It is important to remind yourself that there are people out there who think you are beautiful, and I hope you are one of them.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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20 Small Tattoos With Big Meanings

Tattoos with meaning you can't deny.
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It's tough to find perfect tattoos with meaning. You probably want something permanent on your body to mean something deeply, but how do you choose a tattoo that will still be significant in 5, 10, 15, or 50 years? Over time, tattoos have lost much of their stigma and many people consider them a form of art, but it's still possible to get a tattoo you regret. So here are 20 tattoos where you can't go wrong. Here are 20 small tattoos with big meanings. (But don't blame me if you still have to deal with questions that everyone with a tattoo is tired of hearing!).

SEE RELATED: "Please Stop Asking What My Tattoos Mean"

1. A semi-colon indicates a pause in a sentence but does not end. Sometimes it seems like you may have stopped, but you choose to continue on.



2. "A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor."



3. Top symbol: unclosed delta symbol which represents open to change. Bottom symbol: strategy.



4. "There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls."



5. Viking symbol meaning "create your own reality."



6.Greek symbol of Inguz: where there's a will, there's a way.

7. Psalm 18:33 "He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights."



8. 'Ohm' tattoo that represents 4 different states of consciousness and a world of illusion: waking (jagrat), dreaming (swapna), deep sleep (sushupti), transcendental state (turiya) and world of illusion (maya)



9. Alchemy: symbolizes copper, means love, balance, feminine beauty and artistic creativity.



10. The Greek word “Meraki” means to do something with soul, passion, love and creativity or to put yourself in to whatever you do.



11. Malin (Skövde, Sweden) – you have to face setbacks to be able to go forward.

12. Symbol meaning "thief" from the Hobbit. It was the rune Gandalf etched into Bilbo's door so the dwarves could find his house.



13. “Lux in tenebris” means “light in darkness.”

14. Anchor Tattoo: symbolizing strength & stability, something (or someone) who holds you in place, and provides you the strength to hold on no matter how rough things get.

15."Ad Maiora” is translated literally as “Towards greater things.” It is a formula of greeting used to wish more success in life, career or love.



16. A glyphs means “explore.” It was meant as a reminder for me to never stop exploring.

17. "Aut inveniam viam aut faciam," meaning roughly, "Either I shall find a way, or I will make one."



18. Lotus Flower. It grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: rising and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.

19. The zen (or ensō) circle to me represents enlightenment, the universe & the strength we all have inside of us.

20. Two meanings. The moon affirms life. It looks as if it is constantly changing. Can reminds us of the inconsistency of life. It is also symbolizes the continuous circular nature of time and even karma.


SEE ALSO: Sorry That You're Offended, But I Won't Apologize For My Tattoos


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The Best Bang-For-Your-Buck Rings On The Internet

Because who doesn't like a little bling on their fingers?

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I absolutely love rings. At any moment in time, you'll catch me sporting at least four or five rings, and each of them carries a different sentiment to me. Some rings can be ridiculously expensive, but here are some rings I have that are of good quality, yet don't break the bank, so that you too can rock the ring look.

1. Hand-me-down/family heirloom

One of my favorite rings is a small ring I wear on my pinkie that is a hand-me-down from my mom. It's a Black Hills Gold ring that reminds me of my home in South Dakota and all of my family trips to the Black Hills to visit my grandparents over the years. To me, it's so special to have a ring that I get to wear every day that my mom wore at my age because it gives it more meaning and always reminds me of my mom when I'm far away from home.

2. Uno de 50

This past Christmas, my parents got me a ring from Uno de 50 from one of our local boutiques and I love it. It's more of a big and flashy style and the rings are unique. My ring is one of a kind, which is awesome because I know that I'm the only person who owns that exact ring. Even though Uno de 50 rings are a little more expensive than some of the other rings on this list, they are completely worth it because they are beautiful and made with such great quality.

3. Tristen Ikaika

The rings that Tristen Ikaika makes are some of my favorites. Who would have thought that turning spoons into rings would be such a cool idea? I had wanted one of his rings for so long, but they were always sold out until his last ring launch where I got one of my absolute favorite pieces of jewelry I've ever had. The rings that he makes are just so unique and many times one of a kind that you can't pass up an opportunity to buy one. Oh, and they are cheap and have free shipping. What more could a girl want?

4. Quarter rings

South Dakota will always be home to me, no matter where I go. To commemorate that, I got a ring made out of a South Dakota quarter off of Etsy and I get complimented on it all the time. You can choose a quarter from whatever state you want, so I chose the place most special to me. These rings look vintage and stylish, and they are also super cheap; I got mine for less than $20. Someday I hope to get a Michigan one for my second love, and who knows after that.

5. Key rings

I've always thought that rings made out of keys were so elegant, and I'm dying to get one. When done right, a key ring can look stunning and be a huge hit. Since I'm a sucker for vintage-looking jewelry, I love when key rings are made out of those old-fashioned, fancy swirly-looking keys that are in interesting shapes like hearts.

6. Alex and Ani

While mostly known for the bangle bracelets that every girl seems to own, Alex and Ani have an amazing collection of rings that seem to be overlooked. They have really pretty wrap rings that have several of the same symbols and meanings to them that the bracelets have. Although I don't personally have an Alex and Ani ring, they are cheap and are next on my list of rings to purchase.

7. Sundance

One of the first rings I was given was from a Sundance catalog. These rings are so cute and super affordable. They have so many to choose from, and the gems that come on most of the rings are gorgeous. Each ring from Sundance looks antique and has a vibe that I personally love, along with bright, popping colors that are sure to draw attention to them.

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