I’ve recently discovered a unique fashion blog that I really love. It’s written by a fellow IF vet, and it’s called Danimezza.
I have, like most women, a complicated history with body image. I have very small bones, and am tall, which are ingredients for a body type passable for fashion. My hips are a bit wide, which is a problem area I attempt to mask. I went through a phase senior year of high school when I ate two things: light yogurt and a salad. I worked out every day for two hours. I weighed 110 pounds (at 5’8″), and was exhausted every day: it’s a miracle I got into university. My clique of friends all dieted extensively. At the senior cruise, one of friends almost died. She had become so thin that her blood pressure plummeted dangerously.
Once that happened, I decided to chuck the starvation plan. I ate normally but continued to work out. I gained ten pounds, but was still passably thin. Being skinny stopped being an obsession. This lasted throughout my twenties, with a brief foray into dieting for my wedding day. (Which was stupid and unnecessary: I look too thin in the photos. My dress was a Vera Wang: I used to make a decent amount of money, and this was my one splurge on myself. I thought I had to be thin for the dress, because it was FASHION.)
When I started to go through infertility, the drugs I took added weight. I got into the high 130s. My friend, on a shopping trip, told me, “It’s OK! You’re not thin anymore, you’re just normal.” Ouch. That day, nothing fit me well and my love for fashion died a bit.
I’ve always had mad love for fashion. In high school, I would cut out ads and editorials from Vogue and try to piece together my own version of a signature style: at that time it was California girl meets Bridgette Bardot. It was a bit weird: cut-offs with fancy flats, French twists with jeans and dressed-up t-shirts. Denimn shirts tied at the midriff with a polka dotted skirt.
Photo credit: By loungefrog (claudia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Karl Lagerfeld once said: “Fashion is the best reason to diet.” Unfortunately, that stupid stereotype has remained with me, however: I thought fashion looked best on the thin.
In your thirties, I think most people have to work hard to be thin. Where once it was OK to work out regularly, now you have to also have to monitor your calories to stay within a range. With a few exceptions: the women trotted out as the “naturally thin”. I just discovered that one of the “naturally thin” women I know eats a chocolate bar, then skips eating for two days. She has help with her children. If I attempted to watch the twins without eating food, very, very bad things would occur.
I have deplored the fact already that our bodies are supposed to be ornamental, not functional. I am not advocating obesity or unhealthy eating habits, but I would like to wean society at large away from the actress moms who are supposed to be our body role models. They don’t eat much, have help so they don’t have to do the heavy lifting of childcare and work out excessively. Their job is to be thin.
Photo credit: By Captain Catan from Frankfurt am Main, Germany (ParisDay5 roll1 268) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
As a SAHM, my job is NOT to be thin. It’s to be at the very top physical condition I can be in so I can do the physical tasks, discipline, food preparation, cleaning, reading, and being engaged in play. Surprisingly, none of these things keep you thin. So, I have given up the dream of being a skinny minny.
Back to Danimezza: what’s so inspirational and eye-opening about her blog, is that she is incredibly stylish and fashion-forward. She knows what fits and flatters her body, and she looks unbelievably put-together and fashionable. It’s a revelation: you can love fashion at any size, and look good in it.
So take that, Lagerfeld.
Do you agree that we don’t have to be thin for clothes to look good? Can all sizes look good with the right cuts and styles? Why are young women pressured to look like Jessica Biel and mothers pressured to look like the Gwyneth Paltrows of the world? Is this all a bunch of nonsense because I am terrified about wearing a bathing suit in 3 days, in front of my friend who represents SELF magazine?