Make Faded Jeans Look New

If you are anything like me, when an important event comes up you want to buy something new to wear.  However, that is not always practical nor something I can afford.  Looking at my jeans, I realized there is nothing wrong with the jeans I won, they were just faded.  So how could I make my black jeans go from grey to black again?  DYE! So, I decided to get to it and dye my back jeans.

Before Picture:

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I never got the memo that for dark jeans you should spot wash and only wash them in a machine very 6 months or so (at least according to Levi’s CEO). I happen to wash my jeans often, so the dark dye quickly fades to a gray.

Supplies:

fullsizerender-43 fullsizerender-44

I like Rit dye.  I’ve used it for dying other things in the past and feel comfortable with it.  There are LOTS of options though.  I made sure to read the instructions.  For this I used one bottle per jean.  I used a really big pot and dyed one at a time.  The part that is most annoying is rinsing it out after being dyed.  I tried to get as much out myself before i put it in the washing machine.  Living in an apartment building I felt no one else should have to suffer black dye on their clothes.  So, after about a 6 hour process, washing and drying included, the jeans turned out great!

fullsizerender-45

I am VERY happy with the results.  They look new yet have that perfect broken in feel.  It’s great!  And now I have an added boost in confidence for my outfit for the super fun event.  This is a win win if I ever had one!

Freedom, Period!

This post is about periods!  That’s right, periods.  Ladies, if you are anything like me, when it comes to figuring out what to wear for five to seven days when you are menstruating can be so horrible .  (we are going to get really real and personal here ya’ll!) I have never been able to use tampons during my period. The pain was too much.  Since I started menstruating at thirteen I have had to use pads ever since. This has lead to years of chafing, ‘diaper’ rash, unintended leaks or massive fear of leaks every single month. I could only wear pants because I was so afraid of any sort of disaster and would wear only black undies during this time. I was getting SO fed up.  I decided to try the diva cup, but honestly it was not much better than tampons.  SO, enter period panties.  While riding the subway into work one day, I saw an ad for THINX underwear.  Underwear designed and built to be your pad and underwear all rolled into one and specifically for that time of the month. I went to their website and was sold.  Here was my thought process:

  1. The cost of pads or tampons a year is more than the cost of a set of four period panties.  And since the panties will last longer than a year, I will be saving money in the long run.
  2. Waste: I will have less trash and waste I am putting in a landfill every month and who doesn’t want to do their little bit for the environment?
  3. I might be able to wear anything I want again!  Skirts, dresses, colors other than black!
  4. They support women in countries where the education and access to hygiene products are at an all time low so the women there can be empowered! How can I not want to help?!

HyperFocal: 0

SO, I ordered a set of four (they have deals if you order more at one time). Once I received them, the next month, I used them. I.Was.Sold.

After six months of using them now, here are all my thoughts.

PRO’S

  • The freedom alone has been amazing.  I never have to worry about stuff slipping, chafing, giving me toxic shock syndrome, etc. I just put them on and go and not think about it until about 8 hours later when it’s time to put a new pair on. I want to wear a dress? Done.  Skirt? Done.  I, as a general rule, never really wear white on my period, but these, I feel I could risk it (If only the underwear cam in flesh tone so you know, people couldn’t see my black undies under my white outfit!).
  • ‘Free Bleeding’ has never really seemed like an off thing since I have always used pads.  I can understand how women might freak out, but trust me, after the first few “OH NO, OH WAIT” moments, you will be fine.
  • They are easy to clean. Surprisingly enough you feel pretty dry (until like hour 7 on a heavy day).
  • The cut is surprisingly sexy.  The lace they use with the actual fabric is pretty and I don’t feel like an ugly bloated balloon the entire time I’m on my period.
  • and honestly it is just really empowering in my opinion to not be such a slave to constantly changing out things and making sure I am not leaking, offending, or uncomfortable.
  • For women who are even going through the change or have passed it this could be a nice option for other little leaks that happen with age (ladies, we all know it’s coming one day).

CON’S

  • After months of use now the underwear is stiff in the area with the extra padding in the crotch.  It is clean, for sure, as I hand wash and also cold machine wash, but after months of use it’s not as soft as it was when I first got it.
  • As a large girl, the hip huger panties do not stay up on me as it folds over my tummy, so the only ones I can wear are the high waist ones (pictured above).
  • The lace in the high waist undies are gone and it’s just mesh now.  I think the lace is sexier.

So, in essence I say, give it a try ladies! What do you have to lose?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

I have only used THINX, but there are other companies that have undies or pads that are like this to.  They are below:

Lunapads

Anigan

Vv SkiVvys

Dear Kate

 

Halloween! My favorite holiday.

Dorthy Kid costume

Me at 3 as Dorthy from the Wizard of Oz. My mother made everything. She is amazing.

It’s my favorite time of year! Time to break out the pumpkin themed everything and prepare your costume for Halloween!  Sometimes costumes can be overwhelming because you 1-can’t afford to buy something, 2-can never find something in your size, or 3-have no idea what to be. Hopefully this post will help you.

1- Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy a lot of other things!

Halloween Sully and Liv costumes

Me, left, as Scully with a Funko Pop Mulder buddy. My friend, right, went as iZombie’s main character, Liv.

Money often gets tight around Halloween time because I start thinking about Christmas presents (and black Friday deals to buy for myself. What? I’m only human) and start saving.  This means I tend to look at what I already own and then create a costume around that. For example, last year I went as Scully from the X-Files.  I already owned a black blazer, black pants, my hair was short and red, and I could always use a white button up shirt for everyday wear after!  So, on sale, I purchased a white button up shirt to complete the outfit.  For a little added fun I bought on Etsy a Scully FBI ‘badge’ for $5 and a Funko Pop Mulder doll as my partner for the day.  All in all I only spent about $35 on the costume with only one item being something that I will never use again.  (My Funko Pop collection is epic).

My friend pictured next to me spent no money at all on her costume!  She borrowed a blond wig from a friend, rummaged through her clothing, and created an iZombie Liv outfit. She looked perfect, and most the look was finished with make-up! That is seriously one of the easiest ways to work around being poor on Halloween.  Make-up in and of itself can be your costume!

Need some inspiration from your closet?  Here are some great inspirations.

2- Why is everything so small?!

Adult Brave Costume

Me as Merida from Brave. I made the dress and had the belt already. I love this costume and still have it.

If you are like me and have walked through a Halloween super store looking at costumes only to be SO disappointed that nothing would ever fit or look good on you, then there are solutions.  I am a huge fan of making costumes when you can.  When the movie Brave came out I was determined to be Merida for Halloween.  Knowing full well that commercial adult versions of this costume were not going to come in my size I set out buying fabric and a pattern.  The pattern I needed to adjust for my height, but not for the size as the pattern went up to size 26. Thanks to the expert help from my mother we were able to turn a medieval dress into the outfit Merida wore.  All in all this cost me about $100.  Less than having someone make it for me, more than a ready made outfit.

Now, if you are saying, “I cannot sew and would never be able to do that!” I understand and hope is not lost.  Retailers are starting to understand that women who are larger than a size 10 want costumes they ca buy as well. Some Plus Size costume’s can be purchased here and if none of these inspire you, Torrid is also getting in the costume game as well as Hot Topic!

3-Nothing inspires me, everything is black, like my soul

Daria Costume

Me as Daria. It’s a sick sad world.

If you are literally uninspired to do anything for Halloween, yet your friends invite you to a Halloween party and expect you to show up in some type of costume, try this list. Rather be punny for Halloween, try this list. And Buzzfeed for the win of last second costume ideas that still work for anyone.

 

Hopefully this post has helped you figure out how to squeeze the most fun out of your Halloween costume.  Now who’s up for a horror movie marathon?!

Fat Shaming; It’s not OK

If you are an American it’s virtually impossible right now to avoid stories about the Republican nominee and the insane things he says. We just had out first Presidential debate and in it he mocked fat people three times.  I am a plus size person.  I’m 5’11” and a size 16. I actually am about the same size as the average American woman.  However, I am made to feel like an ‘other’ by the fashion industry, media, and now the possible leader of the United States.

When making fun of people who might be “400lbs,” or beauty pageant winners who “gained weight” or insisting that Rosie O’Donnell deserves to be ridiculed and no one feels sorry for her, it makes me cringe to think that more people will take this rhetoric as a sign to freely insult people based off their looks.  After all, the leader of country is doing it without any consequences, so why can’t they?

Yoga in the Park

Me on the far left doing yoga. I might be big, but I can still move and do exercise like anyone!

When thinking about these things I have very personal feeling about it due to my own experiences.  I have been ridiculed about my weight since I was nine years old.  I can remember the first lasting insult that become imprinted on my psyche.  I was in 5th grade. We were lining up outside our classroom to go back in.  I was talking with my fellow students and somehow one of them decided to insult me by asking “Was that you I saw bouncing down the stairs this morning?”  Everyone laughed.  How could you not?  After all he was the cool popular kid and you didn’t want to feel left out, and you were certainly glad it was not you being made fun of.  I on the other hand starting crying and was sent to the Principles office to calm down because I just could not stop.

It went on in more subtle ways over my lifetime. And more like snide comments than outright insults.  One time, at a shoe store, I was lamenting to the salesman why shoes were not made in my size (I’ve always had some big feet!). He replied in a condescending tone, “Companies just can’t spend all this money to make things for bigger people.” You would think telling a girl of 14 that she is too big to look cute would be poor customer service. Guess not since I was not the same size as the other teenagers.

My most recent out right fat shaming insult happened not once, but twice, while trying to meet people through online dating. I was asked point blank if I was really a man because I am tall and fat. I had no idea how to answer this, both times!  I just tried to laugh it off and assure them no I was a woman, but I made sure to delete them quickly from my matches.  I 1-belive that transgendered people are really women and are beautiful, so what the hell is wrong with these guys?! 2-Women can be tall, and fat, and still be women, not men. And 3-If you are trying to get into bed with someone, how is insulting them a good jumping off point?!

Needless to say when you are a bigger person, height or weight, or both, life is hard enough without people in power lobbing insults at you.  Elected officials are supposed to represent the people.  No alienate them, but maybe I’m basing this ideal off an outdated system at this point? This type of critique on people and judgments based off of size has got to stop. It serves no purpose other than to make someone feel less than.  And there is no scientific proof that being bigger means you cannot be healthy, fit, a productive member of society, loved, beautiful, and an all around amazing human-being! So, for me, this election is about more than just who will be the leader of the United States for the next four to eight years. It is a very personal.  It is personal for my gender, my size, and my environment as well as for the generations who will grow up watching all of this unfold for the next few years. Let’s hold us all to a higher standard of interaction and dialog.

My Hair is Not My Beauty

Ah, hair.  One of my all time favorite subjects.  For my first blog post about hair I thought I’d share my own life long hair relationship.

Red at 6 years old, blond hair

My father and myself at a Girl Scouts Father Daughter dance. It was football themed. He has on a Bears jersey and my Mother made me a Girl Scout cheerleader outfit.

Red with a pageboy hair cut

Pageboy. I’m so cute though, right?!

When I was young I started out life with naturally straight blond hair (see left-SO BLOND!).  I like all children was at the mercy of my mother’s hair styling choices. Pageboys were the go to style until about age three (see right). It was also the early 80’s, so 70’s styles were still holding a death grip onto the last bits it could.

When first grade arrived I started to take some initiative in what my hair looked like.  For a school portrait in first grade I felt it was imperative that I wear a classic side ponytail for my photo.  Hello 80’s style, we are in full swing now!  My mother, after much persuading, agreed we could do this.  After she painstakingly got the hairstyle perfect for the picture, I went to school confident I was going to have the best pictures. These portraits however were taken after recess.  The end result was not pretty.  Needless to say I think I destroyed all evidence of this portrait and my mother, rightly so, informed people she did not send me to school looking like a disheveled mess. Thus my love hate relationship with style and hair began.

Being born in ’83, I was not really old enough to truly embrace the 80’s fabulous-ness (except that side pony). As the 90’s came I was not a grunge kid (I’d heard teen spirit on MTV, it was cool, but I could not understand what this guy was singing about, plus I had a little sister so we listened to Raffi in the car. See, I was SO cool!). While I was busy navigating getting new friends in Marin Country California I understood that I was not as cool as these Californian’s, but I did not understand how to achieve this level of cool.  I hated jeans and skirts. My life was so hard.  I used my loud mouth and humor to get people to like me, not my clothing or hair!

Flash forward to Arizona at the end of July right before my 7th grade school year. I decided that this whole being hip to the current trends thing might help me in a place where everyone knew each other from elementary school (I had been in CA and knew no one except those whom I had 6th grade classes with). I was also going to be in ‘smart’ person math with 8th graders!  It was time to step up my game. In my mind the coolest way to start the new year was with a pixie cut. I thought this was the cutting edge of cool fashion trends. However, the rest of the student body let me know how wrong I was from day one

red short hair

One of the best “Short Hair” styles of my life.

[flash forward a few years and the pixie was all the rage! I was a fashion maven before her time].  The ridicule I received scarred me for the next 15 years.  I refused to get a haircut until I was a sophomore in high school.  This resulted in some terrible mullet hair for the next year and a half [I even refused to get the Rachel and it was the 90’s people!].  Only my father still has a picture of this truly  terrible hair time.

In high school my hair had grown out splendidly! This was also the time to experiment with color.  My blond was turning into a mousy brown and it was oh so bland. I went first with blond highlights, then chestnut brown, and then auburn. After auburn I wanted more red! I had the worst hair dying experience of my entire life because of this.

Tip:If you tell a hair stylist that the last time they dyed it a deep red and it faded to a light red, and you want it to be a light red again, don’t let them convince you that they need to dye it the deep red color and let it fade to the light red.  It’s a lie and your hair just ends up magenta for six months. If you want magenta hair, it’s great but I wanted copper red.  The minute I left the salon I burst into tears and called my mother immediately sobbing telling her how horrible it was. The minute I got home (literally 5mins later) I washed my hair four times in a row to get as much dye out as possible.  I cried all night long about the horrible color. Dramatic huh? I refused to let anyone dye my hair for a full year, even myself! When I finally got my butt back to the salon I talked to the hair stylist for a good half hour before I even let her show me hair swatches of reds.  She at least got me to trust a stylist again.  She was amazing.

Natalie Portman with Short Hair

My inspiration! I did not look this stylish when I did it.

At 24 I got the most dramatic hair cut I’ve ever gotten in my entire life!  I was inspired by Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta.  She looked so good and was such a bass ass.  I wanted to be that to! SO, off to the salon to get a cut like the one on the right.  The hairstylist asked me for 20 minutes if I was sure this is what I wanted. I was sure.  I certainly looked bad ass after this was done. When my friends asked me years later why I did it, I feel that the real reason was I needed chop it all off to prove to myself I had more beauty than my hair.

You see my hair for 90% of my life has been the only part about myself that I have loved unconditionally! After the middle school bullying about my short hair I was extremely protective and sensitive about it. After my coloring fiasco, even more so! These thoughts and feelings about my hair had been my constant gauge of self worth.  It’s what people always complemented me on. Nothing else physical seemed good to the rest of the world. Why should I value anything else about me if others didn’t? Chopping it all off really broke that cycle.

No longer having hair really forced me to look at every aspect of myself and start loving more about me than my hair.  It was liberating and empowering.  It was also down right scary to be so exposed.  Hair can be a curtain to hide behind and I did not have it anymore. I learned to love new parts of me and appreciate them as well.  [I learned I have three cow licks on my head as well.  Styling my short hair soon became very very hard.  Faux hawks were my go to for quite some time.] This also really broke the cycle for me of allowing others to dictate to me what my hair should be!  No longer would I ever let people make me feel bad for my hair cut.

Red with long hair and bangs

BANGS! Great idea if you want to constantly style them and do the upkeep. Not a good idea if you don’t (me!).

Red short hair

The hair chop to blend in those grown out bangs.

Now I can go from long to short and not think that my world has ended because I don’t have long enough hair (left and right). I  know for certain I LOVE having long hair. It is not the only thing that defines me, just a really great part that defines me.  I have finally found a copper red color I LOVE and if I had a dollar for every time someone asked if it was my natural color I’d be able to have a professional dye my hair on the regular.

So, what can I learn from my hair journey so far? I think all to often in our culture we assign value based off a person’s looks and hair is a huge part of it.  What color is it?  Are you bald or balding? Are you styling it every day or not?  Because of my love for hair and hair styles I tend to notice someone’s hair first.  I can be very judgment, I admit it.  However, thanks to a lot more body positivity in our culture and in myself it’s changing.  In my opinion this is the best time to be alive and have hair! Want rainbow hair?  No problem.  Want it short, a symmetrical, shagged, vintage, or anything in between?  GO FOR IT! Tell me about your hair loves and hates below.

Fall Fashion Means Boots

FALL is here!  This is my absolute favorite season.  The colors of the clothing and the colors of the leaves are a harmonious blend of beautiful crisp air change.  I can start drinking hot tea and getting cozy in sweaters! Also, did I mention boots?  I never liked boots until I moved to New York where boots are a necessity.  Follow me on my wish list for wonderful fall fashion finds below:

Sweater:

H&M: I have a love/hate relationship with this brand.  They make cute clothing,hmprod but never in plus size I feel.  Take this hooded sweater for example.  As a tall girl, the idea of a sweater being able to cover my hand, AMAZING!  But this sucker only goes up to size 12.  BOO! Look how comfy it appears though.  I could snuggle up in this for days. If anyone has an APB on a sweater like this in size 16, you let me know!

 

Skirt:

16waut_wg675_spk_w01Boden: I am quickly falling in LOVE with this clothing company. Their product is really well made and almost everything goes up to size 18, and TALL! This tweed pink skirt is so bright and modern retro, I’m in love.  It comes in 5 color options.  If you want to look smart, classic, and a bit original, this skirt is for you! Also, if you want to get me one while your at it, I wont say no!  Size 18 Tall please!

 

 

Hat:

cn11046282Old Navy: I am a Gap Co. obsessive, I can’t lie.  These days there is a lot of cross over in the three brands, Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic, when it comes to accessories. SO, for that very reason, I’m digging the less expensive but just as cute felt hat from Old Navy.  It comes in tan as well. I feel like I should wear hat’s more often and this style has now worn on me enough to warrant me wanting to sport it!

 

Boots:

160182_6_1400x1400Payless: If you follow my Instagram feed it is no surprise I LOVE Payless.  They are a very reasonably priced shoe that goes up to size 12 with cute shoes.  These create a trifecta of wonderful and also painful as I often want enough shoes to break my bank three times over.  This Fall, these cute ankle boots, which are all the rage, come in brown, olive, and black.  AND these go up to size 13.  Holla’ at us big footed mavens!

 

 

Splurge:

c9131_pk5651_mJ.Crew: I have a confession to make.  EVERY fall and winter I want to buy every coat J. Crew has!  The cuts, color, styles, everything!  This year they have tweed, velvet, and more.  This vibrant pink jacket I think would go great with my dreamy Boden skirt.  J. crew also goes up to size 16 and has tall options.  ALWAYS a plus in my book. Christmas presents accepted year round.

 

Do you have any Fall Fashion finds you are excited about? Share them with me in the comments! Happy pumpkin (carving, eating, decorating) everyone.  I’m off to debate grabbing my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season 😉

 

You have a date, now what do you wear?!

Confession: It has been over two years since I have been on a date.  This mostly happened because after being so sick and tired of dating apps, I decided to try real life and try and make a connection there.  That didn’t happen.  Three months ago I activated not one, not two, but THREE dating apps and decided this was my time to break some relationship karma once and for all.

Flash forward to today after many failed attempts at meeting someone face-to-face, I had a date all lined up.  Now, I normally am not a nervous person.  However this time, I had the full on jitters about everything from how fat I felt or think I look to if my skin would behave in this muggy weather to what my hair will do if I try and style it.  I had to really take a minute and calm myself down. One of the ways I did this was think about what to wear.  Which also got me thinking, what are the parameters I should consider for date night clothing, especially for date number one? This is what I cam up with:

  1. Comfort!  Whatever it is you choose to wear, make sure you are comfortable!  There is nothing worse than constantly having to adjust your clothing or feel self conscious about what you are wearing when you are trying to get to know someone.
  2. Be you!  Sometimes the desire is to make a really great impression and wear something you might not normally wear.  My general thinking though is that you should make sure you stay true to your own personal style and look and not try and be someone else.
  3. Dress for the environment, please! when thinking about what to wear, you have to take into account where you will be going and what the temperature will be like.  I’m most comfortable in a sweater and jeans but with 99 degree weather and enough humidity I can swim through the air, that might not be a great choice.  Same if the date consists of a lot of walking, 6″ heals might not be that wise (unless you can do it and in that case, I bow down to you!)
  4. Have fun with it! No matter what, at the end of the day, this is really for you and not the other person.  Chances are they could care less what you wear as long as you show up and a nice person who treats them with respect.
Gap Dress with Nine West shoes

My Outfit of the Day Today

So, after taking all of this into consideration, this is the outfit I choose.  I really like this Gap dress in the summer.  It is light and makes me feel cute.  The pop of yellow from these Nine West shoes is so me!  I love yellow shoes more than any other color there is. The belt and accessories just add some fashion flair which I personally like to do, but just the outfit would be fine as well.  After I picked this out last night I was excited to look cute all day and night.  Good thing to, because my date got cancelled at 10am.  <Cue sad music> However, I was not that upset because I felt that I already was putting my best foot forward for the day and was going to look damn good no matter what!

Rio Olympics Fever!

Brazil_Rio_2016

Brazil Olympic Team entrance for the opening ceremonies. Look at that print! So tropic and fun!

It has been a while since I’ve written anything.  I’ve been busy enjoying my summer before I head into the Fall semester [got to love the academic calendar!].  This summer is particularly wonderful because we have the Olympics to watch!  I am always blown away by the  talented people from every country that have one goal; be the best. You can fin

Maldives _at_the_2016_Summer_Olympics_opening_ceremony

Maldives uniforms and entrance at the opening ceremonies. Just love it.

d me in front of my computer crying quite a bit right now.  I am inspired constantly by the stories of the athletes.  The struggles of their lives, their harsh training schedules, and their support systems, everything gives me all the feels.

I also happen to enjoy all the uniforms for every country during the opening ceremonies parade of nations!  It is great to see how each country represents itself through their uniforms.  This year in particular I felt the opening ceremonies were vibrant with diversity and splendor.  I mean just look how colorful the Brazilian and Maldives teams uniforms are! I also love the gymnast attire.  I love that every country can still stick to their countries colors, or move away from them, but with so many crystals they just sparkle as they tumble.  It makes me giddy like a little girl.

This got me thinking about Olympic uniforms through history, and thanks to Google, I found some very fun articles with slide shows of the USA Olympic Uniforms (sorry, shout out for my country!). As well as this interesting visual history of female uniforms in the games.  My respect for women who competed in the early 1900s went sky high when I saw they competed in corsets!  CORSETS! And they managed to still take home medals.  Respect. I hope you enjoy the games this summer as much as I do!

 

Fashion Through History

Fashion defines us as a culture and as a person.  It has been the way since mankind started living in communities.  Long before I was a fashion blogger in NYC I was creating art. During this time I started thinking about how fashion defines us, in particular how it defines women; specifically in history women are defined by what they wear.  Social status, marriage status, work, or the ability to survive without working, could all be read by what a woman wore. In many ways it still can. When portraits were painted of women for potential suitors (the original selfies, am I right?!), their necks were painted long.  This was not because women had longer necks then but instead it was to highlight the jewels they wore.  It was a way to say “Hey, this woman comes from wealth!  You should marry her!”

With this in mind I set out to create an art series showing the evolution of fashion through western history. This series was fun for me to create.  Looking at it now I want to add works that reflect a more global perspective of the evolution of fashion and how it relates to women of other cultures.  But for now, you can enjoy the images below.

For more works of art you can check out my artist web site: www.redladylocks.com.

Roman Woman

Roman Female Apparel. Fun fact (or misogynist fact, you decide)! Women in this era were not allowed to wear silk as the male leaders felt women wearing silk was too suggestive and revealing.

MidEvil Woman

Mid Evil Upper Class Woman Apparel

Elizabethan

Elizabethan Upper Class Women Apparel. Notice how there is more ornate embellishments which evolved form the more streamlines Mid Evil apparel? History has an ebb and flow to style.

MarieAntoinet

This is specifically a French dress a la Marie Antoinette [who was responsible for transforming an entire nation, and then the European continent’s way of dressing]. If you can, look up the paintings by Vigee Le Brun. She expertly pained the Queen and her family showing the fashion of the time.

JaneAustin

Regency Era Apparel.

Victorian

Victorian Era Apparel. The corsets! I can’t breathe!! 😉

1920

1920’s Flapper Apparel. Is it wrong that I want the 2020’s to have the same fashion?

 

 

Body Positivity and Me

This weekend I listened to a pod cast from This American Life called “Tell Me I’m Fat.”

You can listen to it here: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/this-american-life/e/589-tell-me-im-fat-44948070?autoplay=true

Listening to this was hard, wonderful, inspiring, and difficult as well as so many other

things I cannot put into words to describe, all at the same time.

Red at four years old

Me when I was 4 years old. One of my favorite pictures of myself.

To understand why I was a tornado of emotion I feel like I should give you some history about my life.  When I was very little, (3, 4, & 5), I was very active.  I ran, I danced, I swam so much my hair turned green every summer.  Then, being molested changed how I interacted with the world.  I stopped my fun activates and become more withdrawn.  Then, another tragedy stuck my family.  My sister’s father, my step father, died before my sister was born.  The double punch a few years apart in my life left me with few outlets to express my emotions because as a child I did not have words to describe what and how I was feeling.  So, I did the only thing I had in life, I ate.  I ate for everything.  I can remember sneaking food.  I remember feeling ashamed about it.  But mostly I remember having to buy fat girl clothes at the age of 7/8 for my first grade year.  I absolutely hated shopping.  Kids being kids, I was ridiculed for being tall and fat. And each comment landed hard.  And with each comment I just kept eating.  By the time high school rolled around, all 5’11” of me was still over weight.  I joined weight watchers my JR year of high school and got pretty thin, for me.  And then more emotional crazy happened and gained it all back.  The next decade of my life has been filled with losing weight, keeping it off for a while, and gaining it back.  It was not until about the age of 27 I started to like myself and by the age of 30 I have embraced who I am, extra weight and all. Everything in this pod cast brought up every negative experience I’ve had with my weight from myself and others around me throughout my life.

Red at 25

Me at 25. This is the thinnest I’ve ever been at 170lbs and a size 10.

From being ridiculed by my peers when I was younger to all the experiences I’ve had trying to date at my current weight. This is why I had to write a blog about it.  I know how hard life can be at my size and have become more aware of the types of scripts I say to myself about my size, and others size as well.  I’ve grown more compassionate about all women and their bodies over the past few years.  I’ve really worked to embrace the body positive movement.

It is hard for me to be so body positive  because just this year I realized my relationship with food was a disastrous one.  I have an eating disorder.  I am an over-eater, also known as a compulsive eating disorder. So, admitting this to myself, it is hard to reconcile being a large woman and also needing to work on and control how and what I eat. Does this mean I cannot like myself at this size since I’ve gotten to this size due to my compulsion?  I can’t eat cake and candy anymore, so am I a hypocrite for saying other women should never feel shame if they eat it when I myself feel ashamed in myself for eating it? There are a lot of emotions that have come to play every day of this journey so far. As a result I’ve had to do a lot of work on my mental and spiritual self.  I have always considered myself a healthy person and my doctors would agree.  According to my blood work and test results I am a perfectly healthy woman.  However I’ve come to realize health is a very malleable concept.  I am working on removing emotions from how I eat and just eating to survive.  To me, when I can have an emotional day full of my current eating triggers (like a random guy telling me I am gorgeous or talking about

Red at Art Show 2015

Me at 32, 215lbs, size 16, at my art show in the summer of 2015. I’m wearing shaping undergarments for this dress.

spending money I don’t have) and not immediately eat my feelings that will be when I am truly healthy. Whatever my outside becomes or is once I’ve reached that level of healthy, I have to be OK with and right now, because of how I got to the weight I am, it is really difficult for me to be OK with it, but I am working on it every day. This is why most of my photos are only selfies these days like the featured image here, and the image to the right is the first full body picture I’ve let anyone take in about five years.

Now what does this have to do with fashion you might ask? Everything.  How we view ourselves directly relates to how we present ourselves to the world.  And part of that presentation is the clothing we wear.  Every day I make a choice to wear something that I know I’ll feel good in.  There are days where I challenge myself to wear something I would not have chosen a few years ago because it “exposes” me in a way I never allowed myself to before, even at my thinnest.  This has helped me in slowly building my confidence.  And this can be applicable to anyone of any size.  Do you love wearing that pink sweater?  Then wear the hell out of it! Need a confidence boost?  Wear that outfit that makes you feel sexy! Let us all strive to be someone who loves themselves regardless of our size, shape, or cultural pressures.  To me that is what being body positive is. How about you?