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My Curves Have No Bounds: Women Rock Their Visible Belly Outlines

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Years ago, when I heard the first murmurs of body positivity, it was all about loving your curves. Now at that time, "curves" was referring to someone with an hourglass figure, and loving your curves was all about showing off your curvy hips, smaller waist and larger breasts.

But this message was incomplete. Some women also have bellies, and that didn't fit into this "love your curves" story. It was all about highlighting your "strengths," but concealing your belly at all costs.

Now admittedly, I have played into this, too — doubling up on Spanx, sticking with fit and flare silhouettes, anything to trick myself into believing I was curvy "in all the right places." Then something amazing happened. Women began proudly showing all of their curves, bumps and bellies! They embraced what their bodies were, and it was beautiful.

Eventually this movement adopted an acronym, because nothing happens in this century without a good hashtag. And so it was coined "visible belly outline" or #VBO.

One of the most empowering feelings I have experienced on my body positivity journey has been when I have worn a body-con dress, sans Spanx, and began to see my VBO as another beautiful feature of my body. This is a powerful experience that women of all sizes should have the right to. As our bodies change, for whatever reasons, embracing all of our bumps and curves (including our VBO) is a beautiful thing.

I am always inspired by women sharing their body positive journeys with the world, so here are some of the incredible women who have shared their VBO to continue to inspire women to do the same.

Kristin Chirico | Senior Editor, BuzzFeed

#OOTD visible belly line week, day two -- 2 belly 2 furious

A photo posted by Kristin Chirico (@itskristinchirico) on

Chirico did a feature where she sought out looks to showcase her VBO.

Lyndsay Patricia | Aspiring Model

Big belly life. LOVING my new dress from @dolld.kouture ������ #thankyouuuuu

A photo posted by Lyndsay Patricia (@plussizebarbiiee) on

Lyndsay is never afraid to show her VBO.

Jewelz M | Model | Founder of @BigandBlunt

I got this skirt from @babydollsplus and right when I tried it on I fell in love with it. The slit up the side with the extra layer panel added so much more class to the look, it became one of my new favorite pieces immediately. So quickly that I never even had time to think up all the flaws that would have been wrong with this outfit in the past. For starters the belly popping out, the pantie line, the vagina boob, my super high waist line, and last but certainly not least my wide hips. None of these things popped into my mind yesterday while getting ready or while out in it the whole day. Though when I got home and saw the photos I couldn't beleive. I couldn't beleive how free I really am, how far iv actually come. To not even think if I should wear an outfit due to my body shape or weight is astonishing to me. To think that just about a year ago I let fear dress me and control my life seems unreal, if I didn't live it, I don't think I'd beleive it. #bigandblunt #fatshion #plussizefashion #psootd #modelmonday #nobs #pizzasisters4lyfe #effyourbeautystandards #fuckyourbeautystandards #fucksociety #bigarmnoharm #honormycurves #mtlplusfwstyle #sorryimnotsorry #wearwhatyouwant #curvee #curvesarein #curvywomen #bodypositive #bodypositivity #plus_isamust #girlswithcurves #celebratemysize #plusmodelmag #queenshavenosize #befree #beautyisnotgeneric #fullfiguredfashion #girlswithglasses #springishere

A photo posted by Jewelz M (@jewelzjourney) on

Jewelz feels free showing her VBO and reflects, "To think that just about a year ago I let fear dress me and control my life seems unreal."

Saucyé West | Model

Plus-size model, Saucyé West says, "I don't suck nothing in!"

Virgie Tovar | Lecturer | Activist | Author

These are the earrings I want to be taxidermy'd in, you guys. #losehatenotweight #psootd #fatspiration #vbo

A photo posted by Virgie Tovar (@virgietovar) on

Virgie started the movement #losehatenotweight, and is a clear supporter of showing off her VBO.
Karen Ward | Owner, Your Big Sister's Closet | Blogger, Curvy Canadian

My name is Karen Ward, and I�m the owner of the Toronto-based plus size fashion boutique, Your Big Sister's Closet. These pictures are of me, taken around the neighbourhood where my store is located. I model the clothes that I sell at my store personally, because I want my customers and my followers to see what my clothes look like on an actual plus size woman (I�m a size 20-22, not a size 10 model wearing padding!). I never use any photoshop, so that my customers and my followers can get a true sense of what my clothes would look like on a body like mine. The reason I don�t use photoshop is pretty simple. Because I don�t believe that my body should be �corrected� in any way. Not in real life, and not online. I�ve stopped battling, and hating my body. I love my body, and I don�t believe it�s something to be ashamed of. I don�t think I should have to photoshop my arms, or my legs, to make them look smaller. And I most certainly refuse to photoshop my VBO (visible belly outline), and my GLORIOUS ASS!!! A lot of companies would definitely photoshop the crap out of my photos to make them �acceptable� and not �offensive� to their audiences, because they believe that the only way a woman can be fashionable, is to be skinny. Well, I disagree. Clearly. I�ve always wished clothing stores would use models that looked like me, so that I could actually see what the clothes would really look like. And I wish they would stop using photoshop so we could see how those specific pieces would look like on bodies like ours! So this is 100% me, with all my curves and imperfections intact, and you know what? I wouldn�t change a damn thing. Karen.

A photo posted by Your Big Sister's Closet (@bigsiscloset) on

As a size 20 to 22, Karen models all her store's pieces herself, and says, "I refuse to Photoshop my VBO."

Cynthia Ramsay Noel | Blogger, Flight Of The Fat Girl

Cynthia shows off her wonderful VBO in this beautiful fitted grey skirt.

Nikki Padula | Blogger, The Ample

Nikki titles this look the "Professional V.B.O."

Meagan Kerr | Blogger, This Is Meagan Kerr

Meagan is from New Zealand and is a body positivity advocate who regularly displays her VBO.

Chelsea Jean | Aspiring Model | Opera Singer

Chelsea is sharing her VBO love with this post.

Stefanie Augusteijn | Owner, Sexy Plus | Blogger, Sassy Plus

Stefanie rocks her VBO in a mermaid dress.

Jolene | Blogger, Boardroom Blonde

Jolene showcases her VBO in this stunning red number.

Alysse Dalessandro | Designer, Ready To Stare

Alysse shares some VBO love in this gold leopard print pencil skirt.

Nicole Simone | Blogger, Curves on a Budget

Nicole says she shows off her VBO, "Because I'm not hiding my tummy from nobody."

Débora Fomin | Blogger, Overlicious

Débora shows off her VBO in stripes.

Angelina | Blogger, Keep The Curves

Angelina captioned this photo beautifully with, "Feeling at peace with myself, my whole being, and my chaotic breathtaking life." And in case we weren't sure how she felt about her VBO, she tossed on the hashtag #bellylove.

Aarti Olivia Dubey | Writer | Blogger, Curves Become Her

When Aarti turned 30, she "made the decision to stop hating [her] body and to embrace it," including her VBO.

Corissa | Blogger, Fat Girl Flow

Corissa shows off her VBO because, in her words, her "purpose is to celebrate our lives and our bodies as we are right now."

Hayley Hughes | Blogger, Fashion Hayley

Hayley rocks the VBO in a myriad of pastel and printed ensembles.

Jacqueline Gueye | Blogger, Fashion & Pho | Designer, PHO Sizzle

Jacqueline shows off her VBO in a cobalt power suit.

Cailey Darling | Blogger, Darling, I Know

I'm just such a happy mess. #me #selfie #ootd #psootd #plussize #plussizeblogger #psblogger #fashion #fatshion #fat #fatvanity #fatbabe #fatpositive #fatacceptance #chubby #curvy #alternativecurves #celebratemysize #effyourbeautystandards #purplehair #hairspo #skorchmag #societyplus #bodypositice #bodylove ���Takig advantage of the green while it is still here. I am wearing this pink sheer blouse from @societyplus The skirt is from Deb Shops in store before they closed. Even though I am comfortable with my body, it still makes me nervous to rock the VBO in public and i'm pushing myself out of my comfort zone to take more pics where you can see my belly outline. #VBO rocks! PS I have no idea what i'm doing in that first picture but I like it.

A photo posted by Cailey Darling�YT: Such Pretty (@darlingiknow) on

Cailey continues to face her fears by showing her VBO and shares that she is "pushing myself out of my comfort zone to take more pics where you can see my belly outline."

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Also on HuffPost:

Body Positivity: 16 Inspiring Women Leading The Movement
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