I Got It From My Mama…..
I’m a southern gal at heart. I grew up on sweet tea, hushpuppies, and a heaping serving of love from my parents.
I heard things like, “I’m proud of you. You can be anything that you want in this world. Grow up to be an independent woman.” I’m thankful for those affirmations because they have propelled me into some places in life that truly needed unwavering confidence. Unfortunately, in all that love and confidence-building, lurks a handful of other sentiments that I didn’t realize until just recently have haunted my views of my body and stunted any sense of fashion I had left in me.
Feeling Less Than
It could have been southern culture or it could have just been a sign of the times, but back in the early 80’s I was raised on some falsehoods that have become a lifelong gospel to me. These things have stuck so tight to my core beliefs that I’ve skipped events, parties, and even trips to the pool with my kids because I’ve felt less than.
My dad was a bodybuilder and avid reader of Bodybuilder Magazine. My mom and granny were always on diets and I started my first diet at the ripe age of 14 as a weekly member of Weight Watchers. On top of this blatant body-conscious culture I grew up in, I often heard my own beautiful mom speak of herself in a way that I soon adopted. The messages were always that she wasn’t ENOUGH and I heard it loud and clear.
“Horizontal stripes make you look fat. White clothing makes you look fat. The camera adds 10 pounds. Linen is not a big girl’s friend. Wearing heels will make you look taller and in return make you look thinner. Don’t wear baggy shirts because it will make you look bigger. Skinny jeans are for skinny girls only. Bikinis are for skinny girls only. Spandex isn’t for big girls.” These are the “rules” I’ve spent my entire life believing and as I started talking to other women, I found out I wasn’t alone. And that’s when I knew it was time to start personally dispelling some myths. Why was I letting old fashioned body-shaming continue to be in the driver’s seat of my life?!
Owning Your Beauty
It was an invitation to a white clothing cocktail event for women that sent me into a final fashion and body meltdown. Playing in my head, “Black makes you look thinner and therefore is your power color (duh) so how could you go to this event when white is an off-limits color for you?!” And then for one brief second, I stepped outside of my body and realized how exhausting and ridiculous I had become. And that’s when I had my EFFF IT moment. I gave those horrible and debilitating fashion rules the finger and I bought the white dress. I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to drink wine and meet and connect with other women in my community all because of a stupid color.
In the last two weeks I’ve purchased, modeled in front of the mirror, and LOVED ME in that white dress. I’ve worn linen pants, a baggy shirt half tucked into my skinny jeans, and I just packed a very appropriate two-piece swimsuit for a trip to Las Vegas. Confronting these myths has been the most empowering thing I ever could have done for myself! My power and beauty comes from me being able to look in the mirror and embrace the curves instead of wasting energy on trying to hide or downplay them.
We all have a story. Yours may be different than mine. It might be about feeling less than in other ways. I want you to know that you are SO worthy of self-love. It starts with your thoughts and how you talk to yourself. The moment you decide to just be YOU will absolutely transform your life and I’m cheering you on, soul sister!
No More Rules
Tomorrow I head to Las Vegas to do the 20th buying trip for my salon boutique but the very first buying trip for Dame + Heart. I’m excited to go with a new perspective. The way we present ourselves each day is part of our story which means clothing and beauty trends can play a really positive part in our personal expression. I feel like this will be the best fashion season ever for my business because I’m not letting rules or limitations dictate what I buy for myself or for the many women who will be wearing these garments. I’m so excited to share with you all the pieces we find for fall and winter 2018!