We’d be forgiven for thinking that fashion and style are all about our shapes and our various body parts. This is the message we get from television, movies, Instagram, and some style experts. We’re told to “get the illusion of slim hips” or to “look taller and leaner,” or “lengthen our necks.”Please don’t get upset with me because I have a body shape that’s been culturally “in” for several decades: slim, with a modified hourglass figure. I don’t struggle to find clothes that fit me, and thrift shopping is easy at my size. That’s not the case for all of us over-40 women, though, and I want to shout out that whatever shape and size your parts are, you’re OK. You deserve to dress however you please and make your own style statement!
This is why I chafe at style “rules” that tell us how to “balance” our figures. I am not a big fan of rules at any rate, (you knew that already 😊) when it comes to dressing ourselves. I especially don’t like being told to elongate my torso, slim my ankles, or do something equally impossible, when I could be drinking a latte or watching Project Runway (miss you, Tim Gunn).
Through a friend, I had the pleasure of meeting Kiara online, a 16 year-old writer and artist. She has an awesome Instagram page, and one of her drawings caught my eye: a lovely curvy girl/woman who seems at total ease with her body:
So how do we manifest this contentment with our bodies?
Play and experiment as you come up with looks for yourself. Don’t dwell on any body parts. Show your 50 year-old arms any way you like – there is nothing wrong with any age woman’s necks, legs, or hands. Or height, or curves. This is who we are and no style book will ever change that.
Practice saying “My hands are fascinating – they have stories to tell.” “My hips are nicely rounded”, and “all the models in print and online are photo-shopped out of knees, elbows and necklines”. Use words that are neutral, if you can’t muster up a sincere compliment to your feet or belly.
I think it’s a happier day when we just put on something we love, in our favorite color, and head out the door with joy. We can dress for our hearts rather than our other body parts.
Are you feeling body positivity today?
Here’s some pieces that make me smile:
Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. Header image via this site.