A few weeks ago, a lovely reader reached out to me over e-mail. She said many kind and supportive things, but one stood out in my mind and is still rattling around in there. She’d just finished my book, and said she was so grateful that I hadn’t forced her to donate the contents of her closet or make drastic changes to her dressing behaviors. She loves neutrals and muted colors, and had been toting around an inferiority complex for AGES, convinced that her disinterest in bold, bright colors constituted a shortcoming. It was such a relief to her to read that she could wear those neutrals and muted colors forever if she wanted. I was thrilled to hear that my book had been helpful to her on her personal style journey, but also dismayed to hear that she’d felt pressured to dress in ways that didn’t resonate with her personally.
Originally posted 2014-03-31 06:50:11.
My clients teach me so much, friends. They show me how little I really know about style and body image, and reinforce my belief that having conversations about where those two topics overlap can be a truly healing process. Before I work with a client, I ask her to do some thinking and writing, answering a handful of questions and prompts that I provide. Recently, a client sent me a 10-page response to my questions. Which I loved, because the more info and background I have, the better. And because it was abundantly clear to me that this client was smarter, more articulate, and considerably more knowledgable about garment construction than I was.
Originally posted 2014-02-13 06:40:54.
No one is born hating her body. We learn to hate ourselves as we begin interacting with other people and absorbing messages from the media and participating in society. Eventually, the negativity becomes ingrained and we outgrow outside input, berating ourselves and scorning our own physical forms with little or no prompting. That internalized loathing becomes a body image monologue, a personalized story that loops and loops, reinforcing negative feelings and drowning out love.
Now each person’s body image monologue is different, so I won’t presume to know how to change yours. But here’s where I can help: For many of us, the drone of that negative feedback is so low and constant that we hardly even realize it’s there. We’ve lost it to familiarity, so we don’t even realize it’s something we want to combat. But changing your inner body image monologue can be transformative because it alters your baseline. Even just moving from a baseline of body hatred to a baseline of body neutrality can ease stress, change thought patterns, and encourage acceptance and serenity. So here’s where you might want to start:
Originally posted 2013-12-10 06:21:29.