Friday, February 18, 2011

Friend Friday - Body Image

Hi All -

Below are my answers for this week's Friend Friday questions.  Please to enjoy.

1. Since you started blogging has your image of yourself changed?

I feel less sure of myself now that I’m blogging.  Not just of my body, but of myself in general.  Before I started my blog I thought I was a stylish, funny woman with something to say.  Now that I’ve started blogging, I’m starting to question if that’s true. 

Outfits that I feel comfortable in, and feel like I look good in don’t always photograph the way they feel.  So, I’ve start to question if I know what actually looks good on me.  I wonder if I might be delusional about what actually fits my body and what is actually flattering. 

And my style?  I wonder if it’s too ambitious referring to it as “style.”  It’s not high fashion and it’s not avant garde; it’s just average, everyday clothing.  Is that really worth writing about?  Is anyone really interested in the everyday wear of a regular girl, albeit a really tall one?  Is my style really anything to write home about, much less write a blog about?

Now, I feel myself stressing about what to wear – not in the usual what-am-I-going-to-wear-today way, but in the I-hope-people-like-this sort of way.  And I’ve never been someone who worried if people liked what I wore.  I don’t want to stop being me because that was the whole point of my blog – just me, rambling on about my style.


2. Are you self-conscious about any aspect of yourself? If so, do you go out of your way to avoid it or do you post it/talk about it anyway?

I have a love/hate relationship with my hips and thighs.  On one hand, I love how strong my thighs are and I recognize that my broad hips balance my broad shoulders.  On the other hand, I like to playfully accuse my thighs of trying to take over the world.  They’re big.  I have no illusions about that and frankly, there is no hiding these bad boys. 

Because of that, I don’t avoid discussion of them on my blog.  I talk about them a lot (maybe too much) but in a joking manner.  I don’t want to complain about them, because they are what they are.  But, they do influence my clothing choices and when I blog about what I wore that day, if my thighs affected my decisions at all, I’m honest about it.


3. Based on how you are feeling now, what do you think the future holds in the evolution of your body image?

I don’t know.  I use to be very, very thin, but over the past five years I’ve gained quite a bit of weight and am two, sometimes three dress sizes bigger than I was then.  All in all, I’ve accepted my new weight – I think the new curves are a good thing for my body.  But its still weird for me – I sometimes forget how big I’ve gotten and I’ll select clothes to try on that are two sizes two small.  I don’t buy them, which is a positive, but for some reason I still try them on.  And I haven’t gotten rid of everything in my closet that is too small yet – but I’m working on it.

Mostly when I think of the future, I wonder if I’ll just keep gaining weight.   And I wonder how I’ll handle it if I do.  Will I panic and go on a crash diet?  Will I become a shut-in?  Will I accept it like I’ve accepted this new weight?  (Which opens a whole other can of worms for me; is it a bad thing that I’ve accepted my weight?  Should I fight harder to get back to my old weight?) 

Whatever the future brings, be it weight gain, weight loss, grey hair or wrinkles, I just hope that I handle it gracefully.

4. Do you photograph yourself for your blog? If so, how do you feel about the experience when you're having your picture taken? If you choose not to post pictures of yourself, what prompted that decision?

I do photograph myself, although not very well.

For me the issue is not with having my picture taken, it’s with the end result.  I joked to a friend the other day that I needed a stylist or a director for my photo shoots because I’m always a bit of a hot mess in my photos.  My hair is messy, my pant cuffs are uneven and my necklaces are backwards.  I don’t mind so much for myself, because those photos are very representative of who I am (I am a bit messy-haired and uneven), but I’m sure they’re not great to look at.  Frankly, I’m just not certain that I look good in still photos.  I think I might be one of those people who look better in motion.

I also realized that I have a strange habit of pushing my pelvis forward when I’m taking my pictures.  It’s the worst possible thing I can do for my thighs, but it seems to be a habit for me.  I figure if I had a director they’d remind me to push my hips back and would fix my hair for me.


5. What would you want every person who struggles with body image to
take to heart?

That nobody is perfect.  I don’t care how perfect they look on their blogs, nobody is and I think they would tell you the same if you asked them.

Gracey

16 comments:

  1. Well, you look great, and I don't see the big thigh thing at all. But I know it's hard because I, like you, think back to when I used to be skinnier.

    And as for your "average, everyday clothing," I think there's value in showing off that, too. You know how to choose clothes that fit your body and look pulled together. That's something to brag about, especially for us tall gals.

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  2. Thank you, Rebekah. I think we're harder on ourselves and see things that others don't, but truly, my thighs are a force to be reckoned with. I appreciate your kind words though - it means a lot to me.

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  3. I think you're fantastic, and I truly love your blog. There's a place for high fashion, super-fancy, precise-era-vintage-dressing...and there's also a HUGE place for blogs with people wearing well-put together, easily obtainable outfits. I think you're doing a great job! The first few months of a blog are always a little wonky, I think. At least, mine were. And I think you look beautiful in all your pictures; even when you wear orange (my least favorite color)!

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  4. Thank you, Erin. I appreciate your saying this and I know you're right. I was a blog reader way before I was ever a blogger, so I know what you're saying is true. That sometimes it's nice just to see a regular (giant) gal in regular clothes - that's what I look for in a blog - I don't know why I'm stressed that I'm boring the pants off of you guys.

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  5. I'm usually a lurker (no blog), but I wanted to encourage you to keep at it as well. I love reading your blog posts and enjoy your style. And, while I'm short, I know my quite tall mom appreciates the tips and tricks I pass on!

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  6. Thank you, Sarah. I appreciate that you read my blog and that you pass my tips and tricks on to your tall mom. I think that's just fabulous!!

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  7. Seriously, you're one of my favourite fashion bloggers. I suffer a bit from the stress as well, where I worry about my outfits being uninteresting, because my own personal look is something I'm still working on, and what I can tell you so far is that I'm never going to have a wildly unique and cutting-edge style, and I'm concluding that's OK. I love how diverse the fashion blogging community is, and the more I see of accessible clothing worn well by others, the happier I feel about putting my own self out there.

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  8. I love reading your blog and seeing what you wear! I especially like that you wear every day clothes, because that's what I wear too. And of course the fact that you're a beautiful tall lady is just icing on the cake!

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  9. Thank you, Ana, for your sweet comment. And I agree, the diversity of the fashion blogging community definitely makes it easier to put myself out there.

    And thank you, Allison - I specifically started my blog to wear everyday clothes, so I don't know why I'm fussing.

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  10. I know it's hard not to, but seriously, try not to worry about wearing things that we'll all like. Wear what YOU like!

    And I used to be skinnier too, but I hit a point where I realized that I'd probably never be that small size again, and accepted the way I look now. I eat reasonably healthy and exercise so I can maintain, but I've stopped longing for my thinner self. It's a long process, but I think your attitude that recent weight changes are working for your body is super positive!

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  11. I am a lurker (non blogger), or, I guess, you would call us readers, as well, and I enjoy your blog hugely. Don't worry so much! Also, I think you look better in jeans than most! Of any size. So don't be so hard on those thighs. They are fabulous!

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  12. Thank you, Anne. I just need to remember that I started my blog because it I, personally, like seeing average, everyday outfits and thought others might too.

    Thank you, Reader! If you don't think my thighs look as though they're preparing for a hostile takeover in the pictures, then I'll cut them some slack.

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  13. I used to worry a lot about what other people thought of what I wore, and so I wore clothes that I hoped made me invisible. But thanks in very large part to your blog, and a few more that feature real, funny, intelligent women of all ages wearing clothes that make them feel and look good, and write about the process and their thoughts, I've been doing the same thing more and more. The other day, I even wore a pair of goldenrod pants (with gray top, sweater, and boots) to the grocery store to counteract the February blahs. (I would have worn orange if I could have found any!) I felt great and it really put a bounce in my step--I felt more confident, taller, just generally more powerful. I never would have done that before starting to read your blog and others.

    And, you know, speaking as someone who for years has absolutely hated being photographed, I see none of the "flaws" you mentioned--hair, cuffs, backwards necklaces (hee hee), thighs, or whatever. We all of us are hypersensitive to the things we stare at in our own mirrors day after day.

    Footnote: There's an interesting post today over at Work with What You've Got. WWWYG was at a restaurant and some woman she didn't know told her (more than once), "You're such a pretty girl--you shouldn't wear those ugly glasses." Think of how aggression-filled and mean-spirited that comment is! WWWYG loves her glasses and how they make her look, and the people who love her love her glasses, too. That stranger had absolutely no right, none whatsoever, and furthermore, her opinion doesn't bleeping matter.

    Footnote 2: For an extraordinarily funny slide show by someone who probably gets a lot of nonsense from judgmental folks about what he wears (and other things) but who sounds like a wonderful person and someone I wish I knew, see http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/2010/02/cathys-latest-high-fashion-photoshoot.html.

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  14. Hooray for the goldenrod pants, Sue! I'm going to wear mine on Tuesday. I bet yours looked super with the grey. And I agree, they do put a bounce in one's step.

    And thank you for the two footnotes - I'll have to pop by for sure.

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  15. I read a ton of blogs, and there are very few with tall women. I like seeing you in normal clothes. While I don't think everything you put together looks perfect (your day when you were on cold meds wasn't your best outfit to date ;)) You usually look very pulled together and you take risks with color that are Sal worthy! I am tall and from the Pacific Northwest and I like seeing what you wear. You look cute and friendly. Someone I would like to know. I don't expect you to have magazine quality photos, you don't have a professional photographer as a boyfriend or anything.

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  16. Hi Sara! I agree that there is a dearth of tall women in the blogging community, which is one of the reasons I started mine. And I'm glad that you and others realize that my outfits won't be perfect and my photos are as far from magazine quality as one can get, but you still read my blog. That means a lot to me.

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Hooray! Comments! I love comments!! (And cake, but if you just leave a comment, I'll manage the cake on my own).