Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Everyone IS Beautiful

I am a firm believer that EVERY woman can look beautiful. I feel so sad for the women I see who don't even try, because they think it is a lost cause. IT'S NOT! It's all about the right hair, make-up, clothes, and attitude. Mostly, it is about attitude. If you act confident, it adds to your beauty. Every woman has things about her body that she hates or feels is bad. Think of a woman that you think has it going on, chances are that woman feels bad about something and is constantly trying to de-emphasize some part of her body.

It may seem like I have it all together to anyone who knows me or maybe that’s what every one of you believes. But I can tell you that I am self conscious of my stomach. No matter how thin I get I always feel that my stomach is too wide and that my waist is not narrow enough. A few years ago I decided that I was going to let go of that insecurity because there are so many other things to worry about than my waist. I decided to make peace with my body and say “hey this is how it is not much I can do outside of surgery to change it” and I have to tell you that it was the most freeing moment of my life. You have to change the way that you think and that can only come from the inside.

It is so imperative to focus on the strengths of your figure. Don’t say “nothing is good” because that’s crazy every woman has at least one part of her body that she loves. Fixate on that thing you love. If you really feel that nothing is good ask friends what they think is great about your figure. I am sure you will be shocked to hear what they have to say. I used to hate my wide shoulders until a friend told me that she felt that my broad shoulders gave me a presence and she felt that the presence made me seem taller. I was so surprised. In an instant my shoulders went from a liability to an asset. I now feel proud of them. Same thing goes for my arms I used to think I had horrible, huge arms and again I had a friend tell me that she thought I had great arms and that she wished her arms looked like mine. Again totally shocked. Here were two things that I really didn’t like and wished I could change and here are two people who I trusted telling me that they were envious!

It sounds very silly but when you accentuate the positive you really do eliminate the negative. The bad stuff doesn’t seem so bad and the good stuff starts to seem great. The first step to feeling great is to feel comfortable in your skin and confident with who you are. Think about how great it would be to pass a mirror and not pass judgment on yourself. That’s what I want you to do every time you pass a mirror say “I look great!” pretty soon it will become an ingrained habit and every time you look in a mirror you will instantly think “I look great!”

I think that women must create their own standard of beauty as it is applicable to THEM. You have to say that YOU are the only standard for yourself no one else. You wouldn’t let someone else shape or mold your opinions, values or morals, right? Why is how you feel about yourself any different? Who gets to dictate how much you love yourself or how good you feel about your body? Are you going to let a fashion magazine, a television show or someone else tell you how to feel? You have to decide that you are the only who gets to decide how you feel. You own your feelings in every other aspect of your life so why not about your appearance and body? You must change your perception and decide that enough is enough and that you are going to love yourself regardless of the scale, dress size or what anyone else thinks.

Every woman is beautiful and every woman can be as beautiful as she wants. It’s a matter of adjusting the outside to match the inside. When we take time to care for ourselves and focus on ourselves, even if its just for 15 minutes in the morning when you do your hair and makeup, we feel better about ourselves. Its imperative for women to nurture themselves and give themselves love. So often women give and give and give but never give to themselves. You are the most important thing in your life and I want you to remember that always. I want you to feel beautiful and I want you to feel good every day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Really? No One Has It?

Okay, but what about television shows and magazines? They seem like they know everything, what’s wrong with them?

In my opinion the television makeover shows are great fun but what I think is bad is that the person being made over is pretty much humiliated. On some of those shows they show people at their absolute worst and then pour salt on the wound. They then trash the person’s entire wardrobe and tear them down to build them back up, none of that is supportive to who they are as individual. Which brings me to my next point, the purpose of makeover shows is to be entertaining not informative so the information given is often lacking and occasionally cryptic. You won’t get help unless you have the same body type, skin color, same age and same problem as the person being made over.

The truth is that if you are a total jeans and t-shirt person you are not going to leave a makeover show and continue to wear pencil skirts and halter dresses. Those clothes will hang in your closet and you’ll go back to old faithful. The truth is that in order to support who are and elevate you to the next level it should be about exploring who someone is and introducing them to something new. For example, you’re a jeans and t-shirt person well what about a wide leg trouser jean (for those with booty and thighs, skinny minnys try a cigarette jean) with a cashmere t-shirt? That’s a whole new fancy-pants look that’s still jeans and a t-shirt. Do you get how that steps it up? Even something like a super dark wash jean, heels, and a super soft t-shirt in a super rich color is crazy sophisticated and can look quite glamorous and dressed up with cool accessories and a polished, structured purse. I could honestly care less if your entire wardrobe is “jeans and t-shirts” as long as it’s the gammit of jeans and t-shirts.

And seriously, if you thought television and magazines had all the answers you would not be here, right? And if you thought your jeans and t-shirt (or whatever) look was seriously rocking you would not be here either. I don’t want to set your closet on fire and force you to start fresh with some look that isn’t really you. I don’t want to poke fun at the embarrassments in your closets and smack you on the nose with a rolled up newspaper I want to help you to figure out how to rock your bod and look as good as possible as many days out of the year as possible.

Listen, no one knows everything. Read that again. Now let me repeat it in case you didn’t go back and re-read it….NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT FASHION. NO ONE. Okay? I’m about to let you on a really big secret. The fashion industry wants you to be confused. They want you to never figure out your own style, and they most certainly don’t want you to build a closet that is filled with clothes you love. Come on, if you were actually happy with all the clothes in your closet you would not be out in the stores buying the newest trend which, totally sucks for the fashion industry. They want you to be so damn confused that you will blindly buy the ugliest crap; I mean seriously they are selling us neon colors and maxi dresses. Seriously? People are snapping this stuff off the shelves and it’s not because it looks so good on people, it looks good on no one. Yes, really, no one. Most trendy pieces aren’t meant to look great and feel great. They are meant to make you feel like you got something going on because, you’re dressed like all the other people who cannot figure it out.

But hey, it’s okay. Fashion intervention is here. I want to totally come clean with you guys here, as I previously said I don’t know everything. I make mistakes and there are days I look bad. There are days where I feel like I gained 50 pounds over night and nothing looks good or fits. I’ve been there we all have. No one is unique in their morning experiences. I want you to think of the most glamorous, well dressed woman you know….okay now picture her flying into a frenzy in the morning because she’s bloated and can’t zip up her pants and freaking out over nothing to wear – trust me it happens. Also trust that the super well dressed lady you thought about didn’t make it happen by accident and she also doesn’t have some ancient knowledge that you are lacking. Chances are she’s trying just as hard as you. The difference is that she has figured out what’s right for her and sticks with it regardless of trends. This is really the way to build a wardrobe, build a style and be well dressed.

Really? No one has it?

What I want you to realize is that nobody has all the answers, I know I don’t. Everyone makes mistakes, no one rocks it perfect every day. I know I don’t. Look at celebrities, you realize that those people do not dress themselves right? They pay someone thousands and thousands of the dollars to dress them and they still look a super hot mess all the time. No one has all the answers, please let that sink in. You will make mistakes, you will throw together a truly ugly outfit and its okay. You gotta stumble before you walk baby! I do not want anyone to feel like a failure if their lightbulb does not click on immediately. To be honest chances are that it will not, it will take some time for everything to sink in and make sense and seem applicable.

Even designers are clueless. Do not rely on those lunatics to show you how to dress. Some of them do great basic pieces (like a great trouser or awesome coat) but if you want to venture out I would not trust them to be your guide. I’m not just talking about big name fashion designers I’m also talking about the people who design for Target and regular stores at the mall. What you have to see is that most designers create their line to give themselves a wardrobe and hey it’s great they love a muumuu and flats but most of us don’t want to look that stupid.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stop! Back Away From the Disney

There are a few things that occasionally confound me and make smoke pour from my ears. One of those things is the way that some heavy women dress. I know the choices are limited and it can be difficult to dress well, cute and fashionable from the stores that are available to you. I fully sympathize. I think we all know my feelings when it comes to designers.

I’m not talking about those of you who try and try hard. I’m not talking about the women who suffer on a constant basis trying to look cute and stylin. What I’m referring to is Disney.

What is this all about? WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? Why is it that every time I’m at the mall, work, the grocery store, wherever and I see a heavy woman she is rockin some Disney apparel. I don’t see why that would be the choice. Like I said I get that fashion choices are limited and that it sucks but, how do you go from “hey there is nothing in this store that I think is cute so I think I’ll just stroll over to the local…uhhh where the hell is this crap sold?.....where ever this crap is sold…….and purchase an insane amount of Disney apparel. Just pile it on. The more the better. Give me some tshirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and jean jackets. Oh Lord the jean jackets.

What’s worse is that the items in question are often several sizes too large for the woman wearing them. Look, I get it. We live in a society that treats heavy woman like they are invisible so it may seem like “why bother no one is going to give me a second glance anyway” but, the truth is that the more you debase yourself in ridiculous clothing the more attention you are pouring on yourself. Every woman deserves to look great regardless of size. I am the first one to say that heavier women get the major shaft in the fashion department but the truth is that there is no reason to give up. Sure the local mall may disappoint but there are SO many places online that specialize in plus-size apparel that is boutique-like, fashion forward and gorgeous.

It seems to me that all women, regardless of size, don’t want to put the work in. I’m here to tell you it is so worth it. When you start to make an investment in yourself and take that time to focus on you it is incredible what happens. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful. I doubt that wearing ridiculous clothing in a huge size makes anyone feel good. It is not supportive of who you are. I doubt you want the world to look at you like you are a sloppy person. Size does not dictate worth. You are still a valid and fabulous person regardless of what the scale says

You also have a figure! Oh for goodness sake some heavy women have the most incredible hourglass figures on the planet and they hide. It’s important to embrace who you are and feel positive about your body. The first important step for anyone is to see that your body is yours and that it’s up to you to decide that it is good. Start by focusing on the positive, find something you really love about your body and every time you look in the mirror say “Man I have a kick ass ______”. Everyone has things they don’t like about their body and everyone has insecurities but it’s the decision to learn how to work with your body that makes a difference.

Hiding under tents and yards of material just makes you look bigger and worse. Women often believe that if they wear a big sack that they will look smaller in comparison to the clothing item. What they don’t realize is that the eye will see that your body fills out the fabric even if it doesn’t. Heavier woman should never be afraid to wear fitted items. This does not mean skin tight and cutting off circulation and exposing every aspect of your body. It means wearing something that skims the body and shows your shape. Wearing sweat pants and oversized shirts are not an option anymore. Wearing your huge Tigger sweatshirt is also no longer an option.

Can we all sit down here and make a decision that Disney wear is only for children and has no place on a grown woman? Can we all agree that looking your best and making the most of your shape is worth the time and effort and that finding the right clothes is worth the effort? PLEASE. I am begging on my knees. I would rather see a woman in an actual sack than huge Disney attire.

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