We Don’t Have “Problem Areas”: Old Post, Still Relevant

This post was originally published seven years ago. Still true, maybe even more true as we age.

Oh boy, this is annoying. I hear it mostly on the home shopping channels (gulp, if I ever, um, happen to have the TV tuned to one of them while I am, errr, polishing up an article for the New York Times). The cheery host points to the latest tunic top (two easy payments!) and delivers the good news: it covers all those “problem areas”.

I know they mean our midriffs, in this case. Other garments mercifully cover over our problem hips, “derrieres”, thighs and upper arms. Sometimes the salespeople make little unhappy faces as they mention the offending body region, or they smile ruefully and pat their own (perfectly nice) hips.

no problem areas

All of our shapes are good.

Of course, I don’t want to expose all my body secrets to the waking public. What a world it would be. I like to drape garments over my body to make a pleasing line. Because I have a relatively small waist, I sometimes like to wear clothes with waistlines. I don’t often wear clothing that sticks to my hips and thighs because it’s 1) uncomfortable; and 2) it’s not my style jam.

My thighs are not a “problem” however. Sometimes my finances are a problem, my cat having allergies can be a problem, and losing the air conditioning in my car (in Florida) is a  . . problem. My pale, slightly dimpled thighs are just mine. My upper arms have lost a bit of their struggle vs. gravity but they are not a problem. They are  . . . interesting. I choose to show them or not, depending mostly on the air temp.

I rarely hear any garments for men, of any size or shape, touted as covering up their troublesome bits. They don’t even have “problem areas”. “This polo shirt will not cling to that problem tummy, guys, so grab two!”

We want to dress to look better, or we wouldn’t be reading and posting on fashion blogs. It’s natural to want to look good, we’re built that way. Do I sound grumpy? I’m not. I am a happy woman who objects to the problem-ification of my body parts. Does that mean I have a . . . problem?

Stay fabulous and love all your areas, xox,

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  1. An excellent read, and wise words. It is easy to lose perspective in this overlaying visual and critical world we live in. We should love the skin we are in, and remember to appreciate life’s gifts instead of making problems out of normal aging. Aging is a privilege.

  2. Beautifully said. Worth repeating.
    Remember when menstruation was ” the curse”? We’ve put up with too many of these negative mindsets for so long!

  3. Wonderful post, Patti! I’ve learned to embrace my so-called problem areas, not cover them up. That’s not to say I’m never frustrated by my thickening waist, and other things brought on by the menopause (or eating too much cake!), but I get over it. Life’s too short to worry about that kind of thing! xxx

    • Life is indeed too short for such minor concerns! Thank you Ann, and have a lovely weekend, xo

  4. Brava! Now if only I can take this fully to heart and really believe it. 🙂 Intellectually I am right there with you and I believe it to be true for everyone but me. Isn’t it funny how that works? But I’m learning. I’m trying to come to terms with the pooch I have near my bellybutton that rounds out whenever I’ve had one too many donuts. Perhaps instead of saying I dress to hide my pooch, I should say I dress to enhance the other curves and lines I actually like about my body. The end results might be the same but I feel a little more confident and empowered by the second idea.

    As you can see, this post is highly relevant to me and I’m grateful you shared it again.


    • I get it Sherry – I can be all “hooray for aging” unless it applies to my body. Then, like you, I have a chat with myself and deal. Love your reframing and enhancing! xox

  5. LOVE this!! Thank you for articulating what many of us — possibly unconsciously — feel. I no longer complain about any part of my body. Spent too many years lamenting the lack of a model-esque shape. No more! My body functions beautifully, thank goodness, and has provided me a means to enjoy this wonderful life. So yeah, I have no “problem” areas anymore!!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you, Patti!!

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