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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Horizontal Stripes: Learning to Love My Body

Think about all the rules we have for what you can and can't wear. Like, how some people shouldn't wear certain colors or some body types shouldn't wear certain dress styles, whatever. Pick up any fashion magazine and I guarantee you'll find at least one guide of how to dress better for your body... which inevitably comes with a list of Do & Don't. Over the years, I've embodied a lot of these "Rules."

I've come a long way in learning to love the body I've got. I was in high school when skinny jeans became all the rage and although I was desperate to adopt the new trend I didn't. I thought my legs were too fat. I finally bought my first pair of black skinny jeans as a freshman in college. Similarly, I swore off horizontal stripes. Imagine my horror when they seemed to come back over the last few years (or maybe they never left?). I thought to myself, "Great, another trend just for model-thin girls." After spending entirely too many months pining over cute, horizontally striped tops, I decided to order one from jcrew factory (on sale on sale). And, guess what? It was totally cute when I tried it on!

I've been thinking a lot about how many messages attack us daily and tell us that our body isn't good enough. Now that summer's coming, how many people are starting to talk about their "bikini body", implying that some bodies can wear bikinis and others can't (or shouldn't). I've written previously about how frustrated I was by pursuing fitness tags on Pinterest and finding them overly body-shaming, and frankly I'm getting sick of it in the fashion industry as well. Why can't we embrace our bodies, whatever shape, size, and color it comes in? Why can't individuals choose to wear whatever we choose, without being patrolled by society?

Since getting over my fear of horizontally striped tops, I'd say that I'm a bit of an addict. Maybe I'm just making up for lost time? But, the truth is, it's freeing to wear what I want to wear and to feel really confident in myself. Is there anything on your mental, "I Can't Wear That" list? How do you challenge that assumption?

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