As much as I love fashion, it is not something that defines me or establishes my worth or expectations. The fashion industry is exclusive to the nth degree. It is atrocious. Not only do you have to be abnormally thin and tall, but wealthy as well. I don’t buy into that. I’m not a size two, and I never will be. I’m not wealthy. I’m not six feet tall. I’m not 115 or 125 pounds. That doesn’t mean I can’t have killer style or that I’m any less of a person. I make the most of my strengths and I work really hard, mentally and physically, to be the best version of me I can be.
The most important thing is that we are healthy. Our bodies and needs and metabolism are all different. The expectations I place on myself are unique to me. So what I’d say to fashion vs. fatshion is that women need to be truly comfortable with themselves. If you claim to be happy, but deep down you are not, you owe it to yourself to do what it takes so that you have peace within. Because self-hate will permeate and pollute every aspect of your life, from your career to relationships. A person who is truly at peace with themselves radiates positivity and happiness, and that’s what makes them attractive, not just their exterior. There are plenty of gorgeous, vacant people walking the earth. Despite their beauty, they are lost. If there is nothing compelling or redeeming within, it doesn’t matter one iota what package it is wrapped in.
I think we should all strive to be the very best versions of ourselves. That is not tied to a number on the scale or in your checkbook. It has to do with genuine respect and love for yourself, knowing who you really are, and a real acceptance of that.
Fashion and labels don’t make style. People—and their own idiosyncrasies and interpretations—make style. I tend to appreciate eccentricity and the underdog, because it takes more balls to march to the beat of your own drum than to buy something off a mannequin that some fashion conglomerate deems “acceptable.” I am far more interested in how real-world people digest trends and make them their own. I never put myself into any box. I wear—and do—whatever feels right for me at that moment in time.
My three favorite looks (that I’ve shot of myself so far):
1. A mix of a bathing suit and cover up with street wear and neon bright nails and lips (I don’t wear a lot of color in my clothing, so I often wear it on my lips and nails instead). Cover-up from Target, Old Navy bikini top, Celsius ruched leggings, vintage gold chain necklaces, Beachcombers glass bangles, Michael Kors sandals, Orly Hot Shot on nails.
2. A ’70s vibe with a big floppy hat…but crazy hybrid/sandal boots. Target hat, Lily Whyt dress, cotton Old Navy scarf (worn as belt), Jeffrey Campbell Mucho sandal boots.
3. A more polished look, hair up, wearing my favorite new cheap sunnies. $15 sunglasses from a kiosk in the mall, Banana Republic safari shirt, Fossil belt, Kookai skirt, Gucci bamboo platform sandals, LOFT leather clutch. On fingernails: OPI Louvre Me Louvre Me Not.
It forces me to stay sharp as a writer, and it has made me a more technical person. I’ve connected with people all over the world and have learned so much as a result. But it is hugely time-consuming, That is the downside. Right now I have the time. But soon I’ll have less, and then blogging will have to play second fiddle. My relationships are much more important.
Love yourself, listen to your heart and follow it. Celebrate your strengths and individuality. If you aren’t happy with yourself, do what you feel is right for you to find happiness within. If someone thinks you sold out because you lost weight or gained it, they don’t have your best interests at heart and don’t deserve another moment of your time. It took me a long time to learn this, but the sooner you eliminate the negative voices in your head and/or life, the better. And if you can’t eliminate them, research ways to manage them. Life is too short. You have to make the most of what you have and where you are.