DAY 82: WORLD…

DAY 82: WORLD…

I had a really insightful and thought provoking experience in a clothing store today that I wanted to share and talk about.

\In my lunch hour I popped into our department store for a quick browse, and passed through World, as I always do, to swoon over their to-die-for fragrance selection. However I found that all of the perfumes had been cleared out and the entire store was having a clearance sale, to allow them to move to their new stand-alone premises in a few months. As a result everything was drastically on sale – like down to $20, $50, and $100. Amazing bargains.

I have only ever bought one garment from World because of 1) Price – nothing is usually less than $400 and 2) Sizing – it all runs a bit small and stops at a Large, which is about a 14. Loose fitting things are sometimes okay, but anything tailored isn’t going to work on me. And the whole thing intimidated me so much that I usually don’t even bother trying anything on, as a result.

However, today, my eyes fell upon a dress that I’d seen a few months previously – the colour was what grabbed me. A most vivid, royal blue, dress. Not only was the colour amazing, but it was in velvet – my favorite of all fabrics.It was down from $500 to just $50. Which is an incredible deal.

The style is cut as a very tight, form fitting, wiggle dress – Joan from Mad Men would happily wear it. Which is a style I do wear when I’m in the mood – but being World I had immediately dismissed it as something that won’t fit so I never closely looked at it last time.

However this time I picked it up, they had it in a Large, and I noticed that, despite the velvet exterior, the dress was actually made from literal wetsuit material – thick knit stretchy scuba. Interesting and unusual – but this actually gave some hope that it would stretch and mold over my curves.

Not feeling the most confident about myself today I hesitated on deciding whether I’d try it on. I didn’t feel in the mood to be disappointed and made to feel shitty and insecure if it looked awful on, or worse wouldn’t even get over my shoulders.

But I was curious, because it was so unusual and I wanted to see how that fabric looked on. So I took a big breath and embarked on the changing room with no hope or expectations. The assistant warned me that it is a struggle to get on, which helped, and made me persevere and not get disheartened as I fought to get it over my bust. And, well, it took a lot of wiggling and holding of breath, but to my surprise, I got into it! I wish to note that this is purely due to cut and fabric and not because I’ve lost weight or anything like that.

It was very tight, but then it’s meant to be, and did wonders for my posture! However I  felt very insecure in its tightness – as I was not wearing the right underwear, my tummy felt very prominent. And although the assistant told me it looked great, I didn’t really believe her.

All I could see when I looked in the mirror were the bulges and lumps in my mid-section. But then I also saw that  it showed off my features – my boobs and small waist – wonderfully and that I was feeling like this because I’m just not used to seeing myself in this shape of dress.

I knew that with the right hair, heels, underwear and accessories (and a couple of gins) I’d feel 10x more confident and strut into the room like I owned it. I still wasn’t sure though.

Usually this is a sign for me to walk away. But the colour and fabric kept drawing me in.

Then I realized that my main considerations on whether I bought this garment had dramatically changed from how I would have thought five years ago.If I’d have been in this exact position five years ago I’d have thought like this:

1. It’s an absolute bargain, just buy it because it’s very cheap and this is a great deal, even if it’s not right you’d be stupid to miss out on this price

2. Buy it for when you’re 5kg lighter. Then you’ll be able to wear it with confidence. It’s not quite right now, but soon it will be. Just buy it now for the future.

Instead, today, my thoughts  went like this:

1. It’s an incredible bargain. But if I’m not going to wear it then it’s a waste of $50, so it’s not about price

2. I have to be comfortable and happy to wear it as I am right here, today. No thinner, not when you’ve dropped a size, or started the diet,  but just as you are right now

I paused, and I considered, and in the end I decided that I do accept myself as I am in this dress. That I would wear it this weekend. That yes, I have a tummy, and hips, and it’s very revealing of my shape, but just as many people will be looking at my good points, as the bad, which I am naturally pre-disposed to fixate on.

And so I bought it.

And I’ve been thinking about it a lot ever since because it felt really significant and important because it was a way of thinking I’d never really experienced before, as I’ve been in something of a fashion comfort zone for the past few years, and have until now avoided this dilemma by avoiding this kind of shape.

It was a moment where you suddenly realise how much you’ve grown, changed and become at peace with yourself…all without really realizing. It was fascinating to see how I’d done such a 180 in how I viewed  things.

And it felt really empowering, great, and liberating. I now have this amazing dress that I know I can wear right away, not “in a few months”, or when I wake up as the perfect version of myself (NB: this date is NEVER).

That I accept myself just as I am.
x

The DAY 47: SELFIE SELF-LOVE

The DAY 47: SELFIE SELF-LOVE

I wrote in an earlier post about how I love your selfies and selfie culture in general.
And I’ve also dabbled in writing about my history of dieting and not being at peace with my body.

Some day I hope to write about this a lot more, and also about my own journey to my current place of self-acceptance and relative peace and happiness with myself.
But today it dawned on my how important my own personal selfie habits have been for my self-image and body-positive journey.

In the words of Beyoncé and Nicki, I’m feelin’ myself today: It’s Friday. I’m about to go on holiday. And tonight I’m going out for a work dinner and drinks which will be fun. I’m wearing a leopard print rockabilly dress, vintage velvet blazer, and red hair accessory studded with gaudy polystyrene skulls. My cat eye is en-pointe, my lips red, and after a bout of PMS chin acne, my skin is back to it’s usual self.

I’m buzzing, on a high, and feeling fierce.

So I started the day by taking a selfie for my little twitter account (aka. a small, safe, locked account for alternative selfies, talking about boys, and bitching).

Then I took a selfie for my normal Twitter.

Then, another, full body, selfie of my outfit for Instagram.

Three different selfies in three hours (one must keep content varied for my precious audience and brand!). But as I was posting my third, I felt a pang in my gut “Is this too much? Am I being too vain?”

But just as I let the insecurity creep in, I saw a post from one of my most beloved Instagram accounts, that I follow, talking about diets and self acceptance. In her picture she’s posed in black tights, knickers, and a floral crown and she’s looking so fucking amazing. She’s absolutely gorgeous and I learnt, in this post, that she’s the same size as me. Something I’d never even thought about as I’m only ever thinking about my giant crush on her. I was so happy at this photo, and this post made me feel so good. This really lifted me and reiterated about how important selfies are, not only for others, but for our own self-esteem.

By documenting myself and my body, it’s evidence that I’m doing okay. I’m who I am right here and right now and yeah I’m not thin but I’m doing pretty damn great. Because a selfie is about more than just weight and a size – it’s style, sparkle, attitude and outlook. It’s those things that make a person someone we let into our hearts and love and look up to.

As I highlighted in my previous post, a selfie is you putting yourself out to the world, proclaiming “Here I am, I’m at my best and I’m feeling fierce today” but also, you’re bragging to yourself too. It’s as much for you as it is for them.
And on days your I’m feeling so hot, or sad, frumpy, or down, I’m not ashamed to admit

that I take comfort in scrolling through my past pictures, as a reminder of who I am and who else I can be. That this feeling or mood will pass. It works.

I’m so looking forward to being old, and looking back at my selfies and thinking “hell yeah, look at me!” I’m not going to be noticing my dress size or weight. I’m going to be swooning at my sparkle and spirit.

So I say it again – keep your selfies and beautiful faces flowing into my news feed.

You will thank yourself for it.

x

P.S. Its just occurred to me that this is the first post in which I’ve posted an image of myself – how ironic, given that all I’ve been doing is talking about how many selfies I take and post on social media, that it’s taken me 47 posts to get here! xox

DAY 20: SELFIES…

DAY 20: SELFIES…

I love your selfies. 

Never let anyone tell you they’re too vain, too predictable, too contrived or too self indulgent.


A selfie represents the pinnacle of you. It’s the image that makes you feel your most spectacular, that makes your eyes sparkle, that you have picked as the essence of your mood and spirit, in that moment of time. 

You’ve taken a series of photos of yourself because maybe you love your outfit, you might have a new jacket that you want to show off. Maybe you’ve nailed your hair or make up. Why is your hair so bouncy and full today? You have no idea, but it’d be a crying shame to waste it. Maybe it’s been a really good day at work,  or the air feels nice and the light is sweet and soft. You might have a crush, you’re in love, or have just had a great shag – that excitement, glow, and energy is radiating through you and beaming back out like stardust. It’s your birthday, it’s Christmas, or you’re at an event surrounded by fabulous people that you adore the hell out of. You want to show off, or show someone that you’re doing-just-fine-thank-you-very-much. You’re a bit drunk. 

Or maybe, just for no reason at all, other than you’re simply feeling yourself. Which is the case 80% of the time. And exactly how it should be.

For whatever reason it might be, you took these photos, and from all of those, you picked this one image. The winner, that makes you feel so good about yourself that you decide this is the shot, this is the face that you’re comfortable and eager to share with your world. To put out there into the vast galaxy that is the Internet. 

This selfie has been hand picked by you as the greatest version of yourself…so, why should anyone see anything less worthy or special? What gives them the goddamn right?

Why is this such a vain act? Is it hurting anyone? Are you contributing to global warming or the ever-ballooning property market? 

For centuries the rich and elite have had portraits painted of them, showing them only in their best, most flattering light. Just because it’s a painting, because it’s old, hanging in the Louvre, depicts a man, or person of means, doesn’t make it any more significant or worthy than your own digital self-portrait.

Trust me, if the Victorians had smart phones, they’d be snapping selfies every moment of every day. 

And let’s face it, most of this criticism is aimed at females, because most selfies are taken by females. It’s rooted in sexism. We’re shallow, were vapid, we’re stupid, we’re attention seeking teases, we’re sluts and well, we’re just asking for it.

You know what? It’s fucking hard being a woman, let alone a young girl or teenager. With the endless bombardments of weight loss, airbrushing and shitty standards that we can’t and shouldn’t live up to. All against the relentless backdrop of discrimination, wage-gaps, having to spend tens of thousands of dollars in our lifetimes on sanitary products, birth control and painkillers as well as all the other shit that we have to deal with, but I can’t be bothered listing because as important as it all is, I’m so very bored of exerting my precious breath, arguing about it, and so is every other woman. 

So, give us a break. A photo of us looking nice, in a great outfit, is the least of our problems, mate.

A selfie is one little thing that I can do each day, for free, that actually boosts my self esteem and confidence. It doesn’t grind me down. It doesn’t tell me I’m not thin, cool, or good enoug. I simply post, get likes, and that makes me feel good. It’s a tiny drop in the ocean, but it helps. 

Also. I’m not posting it for men. I’m not posting it thinking “oh I hope such-n-such thinks this is sexy and has a good wank to this whilst his wife is putting the kids to bed”. I’m posting it for the fellow women who I admire, respect, and follow online, who I love and click ‘like’ on. I appreciate their skillful application of an eyeshadow palette. I like their thrifted bags and brooches. I think they’re adorable, smart and hot and I want to be just like them. So as a sign of admiration and respect, I post as a sign of gratitude and payback for their own efforts.

So I say it again – I love your selfies. 

In a world of shit politics, violence, needless death, corruption and atrocities against humanity – I enjoy scrolling through my feeds and seeing a photo of you, at your most confident, beaming back at me. 

It’s like a little “hello, whatever else might be going in my life, that you can’t see, I’m doing alright today. I coping”. I don’t care if it’s taken from your most flattering angle, it’s filtered, or face tuned – a pretty picture is still a pretty picture. No one ever told Monet that his water lilies weren’t depicted in the most realistic light. 

Please. Post away. Post with reckless abandonement, without self awareness or fear. Make my newsfeed rain glittery, wonderful, shining, selfies. Post one a week, a day or an hour. Because it’s much better than mansplaining, updates about toddler potty training, or the Trump Administration.

I say it loud and I say it proud – I love your selfies.

Never let anyone tell you otherwise. 

They’re dicks. 

x

Day 2: Arms…

Day 2: Arms…

The gold and silver bibles, belonging to my Mother, have been smuggled into my teenage room like contraband. Here I hold the guidebooks for my impending adulthood; success, love, wealth, beauty and the kind of sex that you’d imagine Fox Mulder having:

Trinny and Susannah’s What Not to Wear Volume 1 and 2. 


Fifteen year old me sensed that if I studied these two books hard enough, I will be my Most Fabulous Grown Up Self. The kind that they cannot teach in school.

Amongst their countless rules for clothing, style, and personal image, one was drilled home harder, and more frequently, than any other; Bingo wings. 

You see, poor old Susannah has flabby upper arms. Flappy, saggy, sad, old pelican wings. She must cover them up, at all costs, and so must you. Squeeze that rancid, cheap, sausagemeat into a nice cotton and Lycra blend. These misshapen things that you call arms? They have no place in society. How vulgar. How repulsive. No one on earth needs to see those.

Look at Susannah, here, in her fuchsia wrap cardigan demonstrating ‘casual workwear’. Here she is in a green shrug, so tasteful, ready for a cocktail party. Oh Susannah, you look so normal, in your Marks and Spencer 3/4 sleeve taupe linen blazer. Fatty arms be gone!

Now there’s a modern, independent, woman who is destined for a lifetime of six figure salaries, steamy love affairs, glamorous travel and will never, ever, find herself feeling sad, stupid, or lonely.

Fifteen years, and 1,362 Glassons cardigans, later I hear rumours of a man who has quite the thing for chubby upper arms.

Surely such a creature, as mythical and rare as a Unicorn, cannot be real. Trinny and Susannah wouldn’t lie to me. Because if this were true, then why the hell have I been suffering through all of these summers, parties, dancing, and music festivals, with my elbows to my shoulders, sweatily swaddled in cheap synthetic fabrics?

By the time I meet the Unicorn he immediatley devours my naked upper arm flesh so hungrily, so rampantly, so intensely, so absolutely, utterly, wonderfully, that he leaves behind a bruise, large and deep, like a puddle of spilled merlot. It takes a fortnight to disappear.

I examine and photograph his mark each day – a smug and sordid memento of, not only the power of my body, but also that I’d proved those nasty bitches wrong. 

Sorry Trinny and Susannah, but it seems that chubby arms will get you everywhere.

x