Sis, who would you be if the voice of society wasn't stuck in your head? How would you show up in the world? There is a persistent narrative in fashion and throughout society at large that has us believing that who we are is not enough. It pushes a particular image at us through media, magazines and marketing that somehow we are all supposed to aspire to, and we bought into it.
I was a skinny girl growing up and I hated it. My granny used to tease me by saying 'you don't have self'. I knew she meant no harm but the stain is still there. I stand a full 5 feet 2 1/2 inches, 3 on a good day and I would argue like my life depended on it for that half inch. When did I learn that being short was something I didn't want to be? It's a subtle conditioning that we carry with us until we learn to embrace who we are and love our bodies for what it is.
The social pressures on women to attain unrealistic beauty standards have heightened in recent times. Of late it seems like you can order up a new body like ordering a new stove. Sometimes my clients would tell me when they come to have a custom job done, to just give them a shape to which I would respond, 'you already have one'. Ladies, don't believe the hype. Some of the most idealistic body types come with their fair share of insecurities. This I know for sure.
I love to see a well made up face, there are some very talented makeup artist out there who really work magic with their brushes, but it seems to be rooted in western ideals. I recall my first ever photoshoot back in 2016 which I did for my 43rd birthday. The MUA asked me what look I was going for and suggested a few, highlighter to slim the nose, create a cupids bow (I have none) and add some lashes, which I quite liked. All I could offer her was, 'whatever you do, I still want to look like me.' Who really gets to decide what features are acceptable and which aren't? What really are we teaching young girls about themselves?
"It suddenly hit me—it was nearly impossible to take good care of something I hated. I’d spent so long hating my body that I didn’t know how to respect and nurture myself or my body. By focusing so much on my exterior, I also robbed myself of the opportunity to feel good about myself and my body, simply because I didn't meet a cultural standard of beauty that is obsessed with thinness. That created stress that interfered with my weight loss and with my own happiness." ~ Jessica Ortner
You Are Enough
Fashion is a tool used to assert ourselves in the world. The clothes we choose to adorn ourselves in are mere enhancements to what we already have. The words 'confidence is a girls best accessory' is not just a cliche, it is truth. The most confident among us project what lives on the inside, something that is available to each and every one of us when we decide to tap in. What is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it...Yves Saint Laurent. Since we are in the the age of cancelling things, can we cancel beauty is pain culture? You are enough, always were, always will be.