My e-mail conversation with reader Lianne – the one that sparked a post on dressing with a touch of butch – unearthed a very personal issue for me. Personal, surprising, and definitely relevant, so I wanted to share my quirky little epiphany with you folks.
I hit puberty in the late 80s, and went through high school in the early 90s. Girls my age didn’t really do skirts and dresses back then, at least not in my area. It was all about jeans. Over-sized jeans. Baggy tops, too. And that suited me just fine because pretty much the moment I became aware of my body, I became self-conscious about it. I wasn’t slim or traditionally pretty, I couldn’t afford the schmancy baggy jeans that the popular girls wore, and even if I could have I wasn’t popular anyway so I’m sure I would’ve just taken flak for being a poseur. Boys mostly avoided me … or adored me from afar, then expressed their feelings in obnoxious and infantile ways that just irked me. And I was a smart, driven over-achiever, which made me the target of teasing from all sides. I did everything I could to be invisible, and over-sized clothes were instrumental in my quest to go unnoticed.
Originally posted 2011-06-27 06:25:21.
Most people are unhappy. Have you noticed that? I’m beginning to believe that it’s just part of the human condition to feel constantly restless, dissatisfied, and envious of others. We hang so much of our self-worth on comparisons: How do we measure up to other people in our income tax brackets? Neighborhoods? Social circles? And, when we’re feeling particularly vulnerable, how do we compare to the fabulously wealthy, tremendously successful, and impossibly beautiful? And that paradigm sets us all up to feel slighted and dumped-upon and unlucky.
Originally posted 2011-03-03 06:09:13.
I believe that there are three levels to becoming a stylish woman:
- Learning to love and accept your body, just as it is
- Learning to dress your body in a way that aligns with your personal figure flattery priorities
- Learning to dress your body in a way that expresses your creativity and tastes
Accessing that third level through expressive dressing can help foster self-love and self-respect while simultaneously providing a fun and rewarding creative outlet. But tackling the first two is what makes that third one truly possible. Many of us try to skip to expressing our creativity through personal style, but in my experience, doing so before making serious strides toward self love AND sussing out how you want your style and body to interact often leads to frustration, confusion, and backtracking.
Originally posted 2011-01-20 06:23:27.