I'm not a fashion writer. I'm not a fashion blogger. Yet, years and years of experience gleaned from reading my grandma's weekly issue of People Magazine, a few personal body image crises, and a college degree in biology have led me to a couple of facts:
1. Your body is your body. We are all different in a very biological sense. It's not going to help you to covet someone else's body, or covet the ability to wear what they wore. Feel comfortable in your own skin. Love what you have...drink lots of water, eat your vegetables, exercise, don't smoke...your body will reach its optimal point for yourself. Maybe you don't look like Jennifer Aniston. Or Brad Pitt. You aren't. Embrace it---enjoy it.
2. Dress for your body. I realize this is kind of difficult, as women's clothing is now more generalized than it used to be...but that's okay. It just means you have to be open to shopping for longer amounts of time, be open to trying new things, and accepting that "this year, blazers are cut completely wrong for my shape. I better hit the thrift sotres to find the right stance." Figure out what works for you, and experiment with new trends in the dressing room before deciding that skinny jeans are your new fave. Personally, I think skinny jeans are fabulous. But not on me. And that's okay.
For an example, consider ballroom dancing competitions. To me, dancing is something where you should feel absolutely beautiful, poised, lovely, floating. This has nothing to do with your weight, your hip size, or your height. This has to do with how you carry yourself. And I ask you....how does one carry themselves in these monstrosities?
Keep in mind...this monstrosity cost $650.
Compare this to a dress someone has actually worn to an MIT competition: (2004: see here for the photo album)
Now, I have watched these people dance. They are amazing. Completely. They are also wonderful people who have interesting lives that do cool research here. But why oh why has killing muppets become the pregamming sport to ballroom dancing?
It reminds me of being in dance when I was younger - and sure, I did learn how to dance and coordinate myself (thanks for letting me do this, Mom) - but there were other lessons that just made me feel bad about myself. The other girl that shaved her arms starting when she was eight, the sequins under my armpits, the scads of makeup I had to wear...what in the world does this have to do with dance?
And I compare this to ballroom dancing in Vienna. I have a friend currently living there who positively glows about how fun it is to get gussied up in a dress you love and spend time with people you care about. And wow...they do it without the muppet sacrifice as well.
Competitive ballroom's rules for dress and how you have to show yourself out is akin to the clothes that the clothing industry wants to make women wear. But yes...there is an alternative. Anyone want to move to Vienna with me? But let me get some thrift store shopping in first...