I am so thrilled that through the power of social media, I have been introduced to Mallorie Carrington, a fabulous young designer, who like me, is out to make a positive difference in the fashion industry. Mallorie graciously accepted my offer to do a guest blog post on Stylaphile, and I’m quite sure that all of you readers are going to be inspired by her story. We are desperate for more designers like Mallorie, who understand that women come in all shapes and sizes and that the “standard” size model we see in fashion magazines is anything but the “norm.”
When I hear a statistic like “91% of women are unhappy with their bodies,” I am blown away. Add to that statistic the fact that a mere 5% of women have body types similar to those shown in the media. It’s painfully obvious where the culprit lies. And with a culture like ours, which is so over-saturated with advertisements, celebrities, air brushed magazines, and “reality tv,” it might seem difficult to fight back and choose to love the body you have; particularly if you are part of the 95% who sees no representation of themselves anywhere near a spotlight.
But I have one very simple tip to aid you in that fight – Decorate Yourself.
Body positivity has to come from within you (since it’s clearly not coming from your surroundings.) It’s your duty and responsibility to take care of yourself. And no – by that I do not mean dieting and working out. I mean waking up every day and accepting the bones you were born with. You may be able to add or drop a few pounds through diet and exercise (you actually add and lose 5 lbs daily on average) but there is nothing you can do about the bones underneath your skin. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Embrace your body type. It is yours and yours alone.
Remember – every woman of every size has different insecurities – and all of those insecurities are valid feelings. Also remember that for every insecurity you have – there is another woman out there wishing she had something you possess naturally. So find the characteristics you like best about yourself and play them up. Killer legs? Rock a mini skirt. Great shoulders? Wear a racer back top. Love your face? Wear sweetheart or portrait necklines to draw attention to it.
And when I say to decorate yourself – I don’t necessarily mean that you have to wear heels and a fancy dress everyday – I simply mean to put some effort into it. Don’t roll out of bed and grab whatever happens to be clean or in close proximity. Think about it. Invest in quality pieces that fit you well and then finding your outfit for the day each morning will become instantly easier. And please, oh please – do not wear leggings as pants. Wear. Real. Pants. I cannot stress this enough. You might as well just keep your pajamas on if you are always relying on leggings for the lower half of your ensemble. I definitely feel more inspired, motivated, and awake when I have a complete outfit on. People will see you and automatically assume you have your act together. And when you radiate confidence – it helps in every facet of your life.
Not a fashion maven? That’s fine. Stick with basics. Learn your body, learn your measurements (and don’t take them to heart, they are just numbers) – and find pieces that speak to that. Mid-rise, wide-leg trouser jeans look great on you? Buy three in different colors and mix them with every top you own. Gem tone colors compliment your skin tone? Stick to solid tops in exciting colors – they will bring the attention right to your gorgeous face. And if trying new clothing styles intimidate you – have fun with accessories. Shopping is supposed to bring you joy – so find an item that screams you and make it your thing. Be the girl who always wears a giant floral ring – the woman with the beautiful coral bag – or experiment with funky and bright shoes. Don’t worry about trends. What’s important is what makes you feel good.
Take the power away from retailers, models, designers, and celebrities. Put it where it belongs – in your own hands. Remember that they are the ones who want (and need) your money (and you) in order to survive. Decide on the piece you are looking for and find it, make it happen. I actually design a line of clothing where the woman is at the center – not the clothing. SmartGlamour is a body positive line of fashion basics that sells every size, at affordable prices – and every piece is customizable. Skirts and dresses always too long? Choose your length. See a great top but you wish it had long sleeves instead of short? Change them. Have a short torso and all your pants sit too high – or give you a gap of excess fabric? Lower the rise. Pants always too short on you? Customize the inseam length. These are your clothes and I promise that wearing pieces that fit well, are made well, and are customized to your personal style – will do nothing but improve your confidence, body acceptance, and quality of life.
The most important take away from this post – is that despite what is shown in the media – we are not all meant to look the same. And the thing about you that makes you different, is the same thing that makes you beautiful. So find that, emphasize it, flaunt it – and most of all, Decorate It!
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