You'll Have To Take My Word For It

I had good intentions today, I really did. Had my outfit all picked out, was up bright and early. But things did not go as planned. The light was terrible, my daughter was cranky and my husband was running late — all of which resulted in a very brief and unproductive photo shoot for me this morning.



This was my take on today's Style Me April prompt, "Matchy Matchy," with my scarf matching my pants and my sweater matching my shoes. I actually wore this outfit a few weeks ago but never blogged it, so I decided to give it another go.


Since I don't have a lot of photos to share, I thought I would post about something else that's been on my mind. And, honestly, if you're just here for pictures of pretty clothes, I won't be mad if you just decide to stop reading. But I feel like it's important for me to say this, so here goes:

Part of what held me back for a long time from doing daily outfit photos was the feeling that I wasn't pretty enough to be a fashion blogger. But then I decided, screw everything about that, I am who I am and I'm not ashamed of that. So I'm doing it. However, I'm also conscious of the fact that most of the other women I see posting their daily outfits are about 10 years younger than me, and I'm not going to lie: Sometimes I feel old and dumpy.

But, we all have our hang-ups, right? I guess the important thing for me is to not let those hang-ups stop me from doing what I want to do. So I'm going to go right on posting photos of my crow's feet and gnarly hands (seriously, I have the hands of an 80-year-old) and other features that are less than glamorous, because that is who I am. These things don't make me a "real woman" because, of course, all women are real. But they are part of me.

Some people have asked me, why post outfit photos in the first place? The thought being that it's a vapid and narcissistic exercise. And maybe it is for some people, I don't know. But for me, it's something more. I wrote a column for the newspaper a few weeks ago in which I said, "I’m not going to pretend that I don’t derive creative satisfaction from putting together a knockout outfit. To someone else, it may just be so many ladies in pretty dresses. For me, it’s as close as I can get to creating art. And I’m not one bit ashamed of that." (You can read the whole column here.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me, fashion is a really important tool for personal expression, and I'm trying to embrace what I can do with it instead of feeling self-conscious about what I can't. Thanks for listening, and I would love to hear your thoughts about what fashion means to you.

Comments

  1. YES. I really appreciate your perspective/position on this. I think the dismissal of fashion as an art is pure misogyny, honestly. It's regarded as the domain of women and therefore frivolous and unimportant.

    I started my blog as a self care exercise. At the time I was doing an intensive outpatient program for depression, feeling like an utter failure academically and just generally dysfunctional. Outfit blogging was (and is) a way to celebrate myself, to say that I'm cute and awesome, in defiance of society's strict, self-esteem-killing body standards and achievement-driven idea of human value.

    I try to present myself genuinely, because other people's honest, vulnerable blogs have really helped me become more confident and secure in myself. I want to show other girls with acne and chubby knees that those things aren't a barrier to being the star of the show; you just gotta create your own show. I love that the internet allows marginalized people (many much more marginalized than I: people of color, trans women, etc) to represent themselves instead of having to rely on nonexistent or biased representation from the mainstream media.

    I dunno. Overly long comment. Those are the thoughts that came up for me after reading this.

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    Replies
    1. "You gotta create your own show" — I love this. And it is fantastic to be able to see a spectrum of ages, sizes, colors etc. on blogs and social media that don't always get represented elsewhere. I guess I also wish that more people (myself included!) would also feel more comfortable being honest about their struggles — so often blogs come across with a veneer of perfect happiness. I was talking with some other moms about this on Facebook recently and said that we should declare one day a month as "Honesty Day" and post pictures of our kids throwing temper tantrums in our messy houses! But it's such a tough balance. You don't want to throw yourself a pity party and be all, "Waah, I'm not perfect," but at the same time, I don't want to pretend like it's all sunshine and unicorn farts.

      Anyway, overly long response to your overly long comment :) but thanks for sharing!

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