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Let’s see those tummies: stretch marks, scars, fat rolls, and all!

By November 7, 2013 4 Comments

Google image search “belly” and you will find:

Image of belly fat with the words "need diet" written on it.

The war on belly fat is a well-documented one with countless websites, TV episodes, and magazine articles dedicated to getting rid of it.

1) Perfectly flat, bikini-clad bellies and model men with six-packs.

2) People woefully grasping at or measuring their belly fat.

3) Pregnant bellies.

It’s no wonder that when I found a stretch mark on my belly (after a particularly delicious summer feasting on Afghan food at family parties) I had no idea what it was. How is a girl supposed to know what a real belly looks like when the only people willing to show them off look like swimsuit models?

Enter, The Tummy Project. These are real people with round bellies, stretch marks, scars, and stories about their beautiful, well-loved bellies.

In the same vein, The Belly Project shows women of all different ages, many during or after pregnancy, suggesting that the three month Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian body turn-around isn’t the norm.

Image of belly dancer.

Belly dancing is one medium that often celebrates big bellies.

Both projects have a simple aim: to share real bellies and love. I hope celebrations of real bodies like this get big. I hope they get huge!

I want more people to show off their beautiful bellies so a new generation of girls get to grow up knowing that their body doesn’t need to look like a bikini stock photo, and that being pregnant isn’t the only acceptable time to be fat. Don’t you?

Sara Omary is a semi-recent grad from UC Berkeley in Marine Science and Environmental Politics who loves very little more than she loves pizza and the company of her cats.