You know every so often I go on a tear. I’ve been working on this bit of posting for months – maybe even a year. It’s something I look at, type on and then put away. But as I look around at the women I know, the women I’m friends with, clothe, see on the street, read the blogs of, I’m struck that by and large – posting about real bodies applies to all of them. I am a fashion designer. Bodies are my canvas.
Today I’m over pretty. I’m irritated by the idea that we’re all girlish all the time and that we wake up in the morning with perfectly tousled hair and smooth legs and underarms. I mean it. Sometimes I spit. Oh I do. I spit maybe even every day. And though I think about eatting with poise and grace – often – I’ll drink OJ straight out of the jug.
I’m over all the pretty little things on blogs and pinterest and in magazines. I’m over the idea that clothes don’t crease & wrinkle around the hips when you sit in ’em – hell, even the idea that women have hips seems like a dirty little secret.
I have to ask myself before I find something “inspiring” – do I like the clothes, the styling? Or am I pining after a thin image I’ve been programmed to believe is the holy grail?
In an age of digital cameras so fine you can see the mere thought-form of a future wrinkle, our media is obsessed with airbrushing not realism.
Every so often, sometimes standing in front of my wardrobe, I find myself making disgusted noises- like I’ve eaten way too much processed sugar. All these pictures of teeny young girls wearing perfect clothes with perfect skin next to the perfect man in a perfect forest- oh – it’s just so much bs.
Do real live folks wear well put together outfits anymore? Yes they do – I have a friend in her
50s (she informed me this week that she’s actually in her 60s 🙂 that has some of the most fabulous freckles and a bit o curve and let me tell you – she can dress. She looks killer. Always – Modern and Classy and Stylish.
I start to exclaim – demand: Where are the blogs that document real live folks in well put together outfits?!
But I know – the dude from The Sartorialist says that curvy women are the main group of folk that consistently say him nay when it comes to snapping street style for his blog. So we’re inundated with gazelle like young women, or waif like older women that are mightily eccentric and artistic.
Because gals with any bit of curve are, by and large, self conscious. Every so often we come across a pretty picture of a woman with a slight bit of padding and hold it up – tape it to our fridge – vow to let self acceptance into our lives. But as the photos of good looking curvaceous are so few and far, we’re back to our wistful ways soon.
Marilyn Monroe is the pinnacle of bit-o-padding and beauty appeal. Why? In front of a camera – on screen, she owned her appeal. She was comfortable in front of a lens.
You know what irritates me most? There isn’t a great source of inspiration for how to dress realness well and I’m not talking about how to “camouflage those problem spots” I hate those articles you find in Oprah or In Style. How many items of clothing does one ever look at and say, well that won’t look good on a skinny girl?
Now I am not advocating American obesity. I think in shape bodies look better in clothes than out of shape bodies – skinny or curvy.
I am advocating that we take refreshing walks, eat whole delicious I-can-pronounce-all-the-ingredients-in-it food and learn to actively be joyful in movement. If after all that, you, like me, still have a pot-de-creme (that means belly chub) then you let it go – and say, yes, take my picture Mr. Sartorialist, because this is what a healthy, happy, beautiful spirit looks like – and it’s housed in my incredible body.
You’ll see a range of non-professional beautiful models grace the digital pages of Unabashed apparel. I meet women with that joy de vivre and I can’t help but beg them to model. Role Models as well you see.
I’ll be looking for some women about the streets of my small town to photograph in their style savy ways. Pictures will be few and far between – but I hope I’ll capture a few for you – and hope even more that more blogs, magazines, and pins will include more attainable inspiration as well.
Also that we could wear head to toe blush baby pink all day without covering ourselves in food & ink. Oh wait, those people don’t work or eat. SO EASY.
One thing that gets to me a lot, and maybe I just notice it, is how non-ethnic people are in these inspiration shots. Blonde, straight hair, no thighs. Sigh.
yepper. so very true. it’s a little stepford wives… every so often I think I should make our photoshoots more polished, and then I smack myself and return to that whole Unabashed motto.
bravo, sarahbeth! well written. and btw, i totally spit everyday, to my husband’s chagrin. heehee. actually, jed is a lot more well mannered than i am most of the time. oops… i guess my excuse is that i grew up with 5 brothers and one sister who was more of a tomboy. so what can i say…? 😉 it does get a little annoying when everywhere you see images of perfect bodies wearing perfect clothing with perfect hair and makeup. there are times i want to shut off the computer and just not look at any more “pretty” pictures because they make me feel more discontent. always good to take a step back and re-evaluate things now and then.
Yay Anna & spitting! Yes – well I run – therefore I spit. Other times too I’m sure. When I learned about the “farmer’s snot” I was so very excited! We’ve all been hiking, camping, or what have you and needed a tissue – I have been totally liberated with the farmer’s snot operation. Wow. I sound like a rough and tumble tomboy. I’m not really, but I appreciate self sufficiency and no nonsense approaches to life -and a lot of humor.
Yes! Well said! My mantra is “be the change …” All we can do is be grounded and authentic and unapologetic and then share it with anyone who’ll listen.
Just discovered your work via a link on Pinterest … turns out we’re both in Ashevegas – Love what you’re doing – all of it.
Yes – I just found you too! It’s great to “meet” another artist from Asheville! Thanks for the words of kindness and support. Good luck in all your endeavors and I hope to see you around. Keep being the change gal!
authentic. thank you. you are greatly admired ♥
thank you so very much. 🙂
“we’re back to our wistful ways.”
i’m guilty of it all. the mirror-reflection-berating, the empowered words, whilst pining for everything thin.
when can we meet.
thank you for this. so much. for believing and for speaking and as a designer, focusing and featuring on authenticity.
Wow – what a compliment Lizzy. Thank you for reading and commenting. This post has shown me I absolutely do need to grab some photos of real live stylish women.
This was so refreshing to read. Thank you for writing this! Your clothing does indeed reveal the organic, raw, natural, REAL beauty that women possess. Wrinkles and freckles and curves add character. It’s so nice to see clothing that celebrates that!
P.S. I spit, too, when no one’s looking! And I feel very bad-ass when I do 🙂
Bernadette – Gal – you’re after my own heart. I spit when I run & I feel my most bad in that old Michael Jackson way then. Yes! Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad my clothing reveals all that goodness to you too! And – seeing as how I am above all things curious – might I just say that you & that hubby are fantabulous photographers! Glad to meet ya. All the very best.