Feb 20, 2014

I Went From Zero, To My Own Hero

If you have been following me and my outfit posts since 2007, you would definitely know the following things: (1) I am rarely seen wearing flats (2) It is close to impossible for me to wear sneakers with an outfit and (3) I always want to project this image of being always dressed to the nines (in simpler words: I am rarely seen to be slumming it)... that is until recently , when I decided not to dress up for anyone else but myself. It's all so empowering really, that I no longer want to project a certain  image or try to wear clothing that will please other people because they fit me well. Ultimately, I determine what fits me well now which somehow explains this ensemble. Here are the statistics: I am 5 feet, 3 inches without heels, which basically makes me fall into the classification of petite. I have a very small frame and bone structure and have no curves at all so when I pack on a few lbs. I look like a meaty ruler and when I lose weight, I look like a thin and sickly ruler. There was never a middle ground for me. I am not blessed with the societal concept of "sexy" as I am neither busty or curvaceous. 

Basically, when I get too thin, I fit into the size range for those Ages 10-12 in the children's section and that is quite sad, really, if you have ever tried shopping in that section of a store when you're in your late 20's. My weight falls into this weird range- from 90 lbs. to a max of 115 lbs. and while fifteen lbs. may not be a major weight gain/loss to speak of, when my body mass fluctuates, as is expected with every human being, it is very apparent and it shows. Add that to the fact that I have decided to be in an industry where weight is apparently the measure of your net worth as a person, inevitably, the odds obviously are against me. I am not a big fan of denial and I won't say I was always self-assured and empowered. I used to get really affected by being called "too-thin," "too-meaty," "too white," "too frail," "deathly anorexic," "being a binge eater," or (one of my favorites so far) "resembling a lady-boy" due to my lack of certain assets that people think should make up a woman. Back when I t was all too self-conscious, I was obsessive. I was so caught up on dressing the right way that suits my body. I knew I needed to look feminine so I had to emphasize the assets I do have, and try to fake having those that I do not have. It was nothing invasive really like a surgical procedure or whatever new breakthrough cream/ lotion/ magic potion. It was more of how I chose the clothes I would wear and shop in such a way that they had to work for my body and fit me well, the way countless magazines give you this list of what not and what to wear given your features. There is nothing wrong with this concept, really, of dressing right for your frame. However, one must remember that these do's and don'ts are not rules that you cannot break. I remember that at one point, I just got really tired of abiding by them and decided to dress for me and not for anyone else and I have never been happier. No one, really, is the complete and ultimate authority on what someone can wear but the wearer. These guidelines should be seen as they are, guidelines. They should not be prisons that will limit and restrict us but rather enrich and fortify us. Knowledge, you see, is a tricky thing. Knowing which types of silhouettes best flatter you doesn't mean you are no longer allowed to wear and experiment with others. At the end of the day, as I realized, we shouldn't all be too serious about it.

Beige Loose Knit Sweater: Zara | Navy Blue Camisole Dress: H&M | Dunk-Hi Wedge Sneakers: Nike | A Clockwork Orange Book Clutch: 37LA | Neon Crystal Necklace: Suiteblanco

Dressing up should be fun. A particular fashion quote that annoyed me and ultimately forced me to do a complete 180-degree shift on my beliefs goes like this: "Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women." Now isn't that just so messed up? However, upon further reflection, I realized that there is a certain "truth" behind this statement... maybe not as accurate to the point that we dress to make other women envy us, which probably applies to some, I don't know. But that women do dress alike all over the world in the sense that it is always to please society/ someone else. It probably stems out from a history of being told how to act, how to be and how to behave like a lady that we are all too eager to please others thus making us hard on ourselves by abiding with the rules we have decided to set on ourselves. Recently, I have decided to challenge that and I think it is quite noticeable with my clothing choices which echo that I am being more risque and less safe...and this is one of those outfits. Here I am, a waif, in a loose sweater and a camisole  paired with neon bright sneakers which I wore to a party at our home. The outfit, of course, was not something I felt pressured to wear because I wanted to be different...it just happened to be a coincidence. At that time, I think I was more of in the mood for something casual and easy to wear, nothing too over the top or structured so I just piled on what made sense to me. While I am sure some people would frown and say this is the most unflattering silhouette as of yet, I have not the slightest care in the world. It's nice to break free of the prisons we've locked ourselves in. Sometimes in such a petty thing such as this, I find out that I create my own prisons and that no one else is putting these walls around me. 

Sometimes, our restrictions are our own making, so our breaking free naturally has to be of our own doing. Rarely does one recognize the construction of our enclosures until they are already built. We are fooled by their illusionary appearance: they look like security, beauty, prestige, power, influence, money and acceptance. It is only when the construction has been completed that we realize that we are enclosed in splendid isolation. When did it happen?, we might ask ourselves. We've looked down at our work or our lives or at ourselves for only a second, and then we look up to find that our illusions of security have become a benevolent prison.  We have misjudged our priorities. We do not want the isolation of success and acceptance at any cost. Somehow, we thought we "could have it all" and now, all of it has us. Prisons have room for fantasies, but prisons have little room for dreams. 

xx, JL

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