Radvent: Style (and being happy with your self)

Radvent 18 on Style by Princess Lasertron

Princess Lasertron’s Radvent on Style has a fabulous opening:

“Ladylike dressing is making a comeback,
opening the door to beautifully defined silhouettes,
exciting accessories, and life with grace and style in all the details.
The exciting thing about being a modern example of style is that
we don’t have to look a certain way
there’s no correct blouse or skirt or suit or pair of jeans, but
we should leave our house every day
feeling like we simply did our best.”
~ Princess Lasertron

Radvent 18 on Style by Princess Lasertron

Image re-blogged with permission from Princess Lasertron. 

I love the egalitarian notion of this post. Style icons have gone from curvy (Marilyn) to scrawny (Twiggy), and fashion from bodiced to shapeless to padded and everything in between. I was wondering why my thoughts about style immediately shifted to body image when I remembered this quote:

Three minutes looking at a fashion magazine
makes 70 percent of women of all ages
feel depressed, guilty and shameful.

Average American Woman: 5’4″ tall, 140 pounds

Average American Model: 5’11” tall, 115 pounds.”
~ America the Beautiful movie

Our body image is defined by advertisers who photoshop their models to sell a product and a fashion industry that considers a size 12 “plus-size.” I am currently that average (though not quite American) woman above. I went from size 14 to 12 over three years and since 2008 fluctuate between sizes 10 and 8.

We get so obsessed with the number on a scale that we do not appreciate how we look as we are. My home scale indicates I’m 10 pounds lighter the same day I get weighed at the doctor’s office, so how does that help? I love Alexandra Jay‘s notion of putting a smiley face on your scale where the numbers are supposed to be. Celebrate your body because it is YOURS!

happy scales

I know absolutely beautiful women who wish they were born with slimmer hips, a rounder tush, larger or smaller breasts. But when I look at these lovely ladies I see:

  • the glow of their personalities
  • their shiny hair
  • a beautiful smile
  • the sparkle in their eyes
  • the graceful way they walk
  • their intelligent insights
  • their lovely vibrant outfits

Whatever “flaw” they consider themselves to have has no significance to our interaction.

No one who matters ever said: “I’d like you much better if you lost weight.” It’s really the media who do that (and sometimes one pesky person in your life whom you shouldn’t listen to anyway).

We should take a cue from those guys who are sexy and know it!

“My motto is that there are no bad bodies, 
only bad clothing.”
~ Gwendolyn Evans in Where Women Create Magazine Summer 2009

standing tall in pretty shoes photo by Maike's Marvels

 Standing tall in pretty shoes

A big eye opener for me recently was this belly project, a gallery of photos real women submitted of their unphotoshopped bellies. My best (lightest/most toned/smallest) shape was when I was rehearsing every day of the week for a bellydance performance incidentally to “Move your belly” by Said Mrad–but even then my belly had a jiggle. Looking at XO Jane’s images made me realize that even though I might be “pillowy,” my belly and the rest of my hourglass body is blessed to be healthy, non-scarred, and in pretty good shape for my age.

MarvyMaike before the Move Your Belly performance

Best shape of my life, in 2007,
yet still sucking it in! 

“You have to consider yourself to be your own style icon.
You were born with a body, and you get the fun of dressing it!”
~ Princess Lasertron

I haven’t found a style icon in the fashion pages for my particular body shape (my abs will never be flat enough). As much as I love the outfits in her movies–Funny Face in particular–Audrey Hepburn’s look wouldn’t work on me. (Did you know she was self-conscious about her lovely swan-like neck? GO FIGURE!).

I take my cues from European Royalty Magazines, where women my age like Princess Máxima wear stylish outfits that are definitely not size zero, and the queens age gracefully without nips and tucks.

What I love these days is to see how fabulous my friends dress. I won’t necessarily be able to pull off the outfits that they have on, but the way they select colors and accessories inspires me to look at my closet and see how I can repurpose the same outfit into three new ones. Pairing colors or patterns you think shouldn’t go together can garner refreshing results (something Princess Lasertron does with flair on her weekly outfit page).

my fun closet to play dress-up with

My fun closet to play dress-up with

Style is about personality as much as the clothes we wear. As long as we dress true to our character anyone can be an icon. The key is to find what flatters us, whether it is a size bigger than before or if you have to take in (or out) the hemlines, waistlines and other parts to best flatter the radiant you that you are. That is where the only nips and tucks should be, on the fabric, not your person. The most important accessory is pride-holding your head high (yes, posture is key) and owning that you love your outfit and therefore others should too.

Mike Dooley posted this on Facebook the other day, and I added it to my new years resolutions:

“What if every time you put on a piece of clothing,
you said something really nice to the part of your body being dressed?
“You rock, toes’.”
Mike Dooley

Let’s all rock our toes, sway our hips, move our bellies, raise those arms and cheer our totally unique, sexy and perfect bodies on every day of the week.

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