Sunday, April 29, 2012

Own Your Style Decalogue 2: Own Fashion... and not the other way round.

What does this mean?

It means, first and foremost, that what you wear suits YOU. It is flattering for YOUR body type, for YOUR complexion, for YOUR budget, and for YOUR lifestyle. It is not what what somebody out there hopes to sell to you in order to send their children to a private Swiss school with your money. Really, there should be only one type of clothes in your wardrobe: the ones that fit you and flatter your shape.
It also means that you are avoiding the feeling of dissatisfaction one can sometimes get with the constant bombardment with things to buy. It never seems to be enough.
It is a change of point of view that is empowering. Instead of the passive recipient of media artillery, try to cast a critical look out there and say: "OK, but what of all these is really for me?".

Why does it matter?
Because it matters to others.
We live in an image-dominated culture. I can very well believe that people should not be judged by what they are wearing, but that is not what happens. In fact, all sorts of signals are sent when you wear anything, and it is a perfectly normal human behaviour. So let's not fool ourselves, the world out there not only notices how you are presenting yourself, it also judges you by it. In consequence, many things depend on image, both in our personal life and our professional live. I think things are still especially tough for women, who are judged by what they are wearing much more than men are, or perhaps I should say, in more senses.

Because it matters to you.
The importance of image in our culture is very often reflected in issues of body image and self-confidence.
How not to? We are constantly bombarded by completely false images (digitally altered) that are impossible to meet. There is also a lot of attention paid to our (perceived) defects, and the remedies (mostly false or just plain ineffective) for it.
Many of us may cover our insecurities saying we don't care, but we do, even if it is only in a very small voice when we are alone. We hold so many misconceptions about our own body that the image we have of it is sometimes highly unrealistic or, worse, terribly unflattering. Younger women are especially vulnerable to this pressure, but sometimes the situation prolongs itself into adulthood.
Most women start talking about their bodies pointing at what is wrong with them, and many magazine articles and books like to use those parts as the starting point of any conversation about clothes.

What you wear plays a huge role in your self image too.
We both trust our clothes to introduce us to the world every day in the most convenient way, and we also want them, at the same time, to make us happy. We need to to fit in AND be us at the same time.
However, there is so much information and so much pulling and pushing in different directions, that one finds oneself quite lost.

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