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I was 16 the first time I taped my belly button. ⁣

It was prom. ⁣
I was wearing a tight black dress, the only dress that I felt even remotely comfortable in. ⁣Black, concealing, safe.
Problem was, you could see the shadow of my belly button.
My deep, deep belly button. ⁣

So, I taped it. ⁣

It didn’t work well, but it wouldn’t be my last attempt. ⁣
From duct tape to packing tape, I kept trying for one thing, a flat stomach… a concealed belly button, even if it wasn’t thin… just make it flat. ⁣

I got pregnant at 20. ⁣
The entire time I waited for my belly button to pop. ⁣
Finally, a flat, yet curved stomach! ⁣
It never did. ⁣
And I carried that shame in every pregnancy. ⁣

The B-shaped bump. ⁣

When I lost weight it never left. So in photos I would hold the skin up to my boobs to display a flat stomach, or use my arm to hide and pull the skin to the side for the same cause. This was a posing tactic that made me feel more palatable, acceptable, presentable. ⁣

Today and now is no different. I can hold my skin taut to showcase my rounded uterus, but like the rest of my days, pregnant or not… I have a belly button that runs deep. ⁣

Sometimes I need to take a step back and think: ⁣
“Did I really just write an entire caption unearthing my shame about my… belly button?” ⁣

Yet I honour those real true feelings, moments, and duct-tape-across-my-midsection memories. ⁣
I acknowledge the deep rooted body standards that took me there. ⁣
Finally, I laugh a little at myself and settle back into my body… tape-free, and shaped like a B.

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