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The Midriff Dialogue
By Jamila Bailey
 

We are all quite aware of the popularity of the midriff or belly shirt.   It's a fun style, popular amongst women who have been baring cleavage so long no one wants to look anymore; small breasted women who couldn't compete with all the cleavage; and little girls in cute matching shorts and midriff outfits.  

 

Honestly, the midriff is not an easy style to pull off.   The women who do it best have flat stomachs, bikini line waxes, and no stretch marks; but the reality is that most of us don't fit that mode.    So now that summer's over and sistas are getting into the fall wardrobe, what was up with all of the "I had a baby" stomachs hanging out between June and September?  

 

When I began writing this article, it was meant to be a caution to women showing stretched and scarred midriff skin.   I'm referring to those of us who have given birth for the price of scarring from caesarian sections and stretch marks; traded tight abs for ineffective stomach muscles that means belly fat will be with us always and we must come to terms with our condition or work it out.

 

I wanted to say that God has blessed us with lots of assets – beautiful faces, shapely legs, the classic bosom, and the ever popular behind.   Basically, that it isn't really cute to wear a midriff with jeans so tight that all the stomach skin and rolls are left to hang over the belt loops.  

 

But, you know what?   I know how low my lowriders should fall.   So here's a holla to the "I Just Had a Baby Stomach" for ya'll.  

 

For nine months you sheltered and protected

Life so sweet.   Stretched out and gave in

So that it could move its little feet.

 

You sacrificed the tautness

Of your abdomen's frame and are compelled

By false standards to cover yourself in shame.

 

Teepee of the fetus

From whence we all come,

I just want to say thank you

for what you have done.

 

Celebrate your triumph and

With pride show your wounds.

Massage them with cocoa butter

And love every hue.

 

So if someone ever asks "why

Are you hanging out, how could you

Show off like you got some clout?"

 

Answer him in defiance and don't

Stutter, oh beautiful blubber.  

 

"I make change,

What do you do, motha****?"

 
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