Let’s Talk About The Gunt

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On a recent PanDolly podcast, I described a club – of which I am a founding member – called BWB. Short for Babes Who Bloat, it’s a holler to the collar – or the waistband – of every other chick out there who finds herself constantly and unfathomably bloated. During this particular podcast, Dolly and I were discussing Jennifer Aniston, who found herself (again) ‘accused’ of being pregnant, by the media. My theory, amidst her vociferous denial, was that she’s a member of BWB. It’s a club that’s rarely talked about. Society prefers to relegate women into either one camp: skinny or fat. But what, I posited, if you’re a slim woman who 70% of the time has a belly to rival Buddha? What, I suggested, if Jennifer Aniston was [pinch of salt] just like me?

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A familiar blooming of the gut which starts without notice, and has you toddling like a weeble before the meal, or even the minute, is out. That’s my daily reality and has been since I was a tween. Unless I’m relaxed in your company – in which case I cradle my belly like it holds a phantom child – you’ll never meet my gunt. I’m a pro at holding in my often sore stomach. I do it without even thinking. I’ve been to every dietician and gastroentologist under the sun, and I’ve never found out what I’m intolerant to (though I’m considering attempting the hardcore FODMAP elimination diet, with the help of one of my best friends) so it’s just become a part of my day. Some people have migraines; some, bunions. Me? I’ve got a gunt.

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A portmanteau, if you will, of gut and c*nt, a gunt can be a band of flesh which stubbornly sticks around your middle (it’s common in menopause), or it can be a temporary marquee which erects yourself below your belly button and above your vagina, which is what I have. It’s my daily woe and my faithful friend. It’s also the reason why, for many years, I never wore jeans. There was that painful waistband, cutting into my puffy flesh; and the fear that in denim, my belly was formidably obvious (dresses, I worry less.) But then! I found a solution: Seriously High-Waist Denim. I don’t need to worry about breathing in; in stiff, take-no-prisoner denim, my gunt is locked up till lunch. These Eve flares are a BWB’s BFF. For every button fastened, my gunt wheezes a little more into submission.

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So where is it? You might ask. Faker! You may cry. No gunts here, you may say, with eyes narrowed. Well, a few points to note: I’m not asking for your sympathy. A gunt does not allow you to call yourself ‘fat’, either (that’d be downright disingenuous.) But looking 4 months pregnant 90% of the time, can get to a girl – even if the only person that knows it’s there, as I exercise an iron-clad breathe-in technique, is me. You won’t see it in these pictures, either. I’m not so faux modest that I’m going to puff my bloated belly out in these pictures, for editorial benefit and thus ruin the line of a perfectly brilliant pair of jeans – but sometimes, in life, something’s gotta give. And sometimes, thanks to these jeans by EVE Denim, it’s a gunt.

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I’m wearing a Caroline Constas Gabriella blouse, Eve Denim Charlotte culottes, vintage sunglasses and Atiana slides.

Photographs by Eva K. Salvi

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