Most messages that pertain to beauty describe a fixed point. Beautiful is a goal, a set of characteristics that must be held up and striven for, a way of being that is reserved for a select few. Beautiful is something that can be achieved with ferocious dedication to exercise, generous investment in cosmetics, and meticulous attention to grooming. Beautiful is precious, difficult, and extremely narrow. In these messages, beauty is distant, foreign, tantalizing, and other. It is a destination at which we may never arrive, but which we must always be scrambling toward.
Originally posted 2013-01-25 06:23:45.
Reader Sarah e-mailed this request to me:
I’m short and small-boned and hourglass-shaped, and I can find lots of advice for dressing that body type (full skirts, v-necks, nipped waists, tailored pants, etc.). However, I feel like there’s a clash between my body type and other elements: my face (apple-cheeked, not conventionally pretty), my hair (very short), and my personality (tomboyish, casual). When I wear skirts and dresses, which I do think suit my body, I feel very self-conscious, like I don’t match what I’m wearing. Clothes that I feel more like myself in (bootcut jeans, casual graphic tees) do not make me look my best. I wonder if other women struggle with this type of conflict, and how they deal with it.
Originally posted 2013-07-31 06:05:30.
Reader L e-mailed me this question:
I know this might be a question that applies to a lot of people, but in case it’s useful info, my specific body is like this: I’m about 5’7″, and I weigh somewhere between 145 and 150 lbs at any given minute. I have a very short waist (less than 2.5″ between my last rib and my hipbones), very small breasts (a-b cup, I rarely wear underwire bras) and a large ribcage–about 37 inches around. It’s not that I’m barrel-chested, which I know is an actual medical diagnosis, just that I’m really wide side-to-side. I’ve always struggled with those apple/pear/rectangle body classifications. I have the wide top half and super long legs that would make me an apple, except that I’ve never particularly had a tummy and my waist does come in a couple inches between my ribs and my hips (but it’s short enough to not particularly produce an hourglass shape). And while I have curvy hips and a big butt that mean I’m not really rectangular at all, my torso’s much shorter and wider than those shapes called pear.
Originally posted 2013-06-18 06:39:20.