Thursday, 14 September 2017

FACING YOUR FASHION FEARS


I think everyone feels insecure about the way they look from time to time; I know I certainly do. It's taken me quite some time to love my body just the way it is. I've accepted that I'm never going to be 'skinny', or have a typical runway 'Victoria's Secret Angel' type figure. I'm curvy and I always have been.

Glossy magazine covers frustrate me endlessly in their depiction of 'normalised' body types and how we should and shouldn't look. The likes of Vogue and Bazaar magazine have definitely had a role to play in cementing my own body image hangups (and I'm sure I speak for a lot of other men and women here too!) The way magazines and the fashion industry fail to acknowledge the lived realities of having a 'big booty' for example, by perfectly airbrushing over stretch marks, lumps and bumps and by digitally mastering a thigh gap on the cover girls, is another way in which I have felt insecure about my body before and questioned how I should or shouldn't look. I'm sure it's the same for many other people too. After-all, these kind of publications are breeding grounds for our insecurities to grow...

It's taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that what we are constantly exposed to by the media isn't real life. Society seems to be fixated on the one of two digit number or the letter which is written on the tiny label sewn into the back of all our clothes. This kind of fixation is dangerous, because it leads people into believing that there are certain styles for certain body types and that happiness equates to being able to squeeze into a size 10 pair of jeans....

I'm astutely aware that size doesn't matter. I truly believe that a size 8 is just as healthy and as beautiful as a size 18. For me personally, I range from a size 8 to a size 14 and although the latter number used to really bother me, I really couldn't care less now. Squeezing into something which isn't the right size just because you like the ring of saying 'I'm a size 10' doesn't feel or look nearly as nice as wearing something with confidence to suit your own body. It's also so important to realise that the numbered sizing system varies considerably across the high street. There has been tremendous interest in the matter, with many journalists and bloggers carrying out social experiments to test the sizing system, with the results being as variable as my own size; a size 8 in New Look rivalling that of a size 14 in Topshop. 

I'm not an idiot, of course I understand why we have a numbered size system. It makes it far easier for customers and shop assistants to communicate to each other for one. But in an ideal world, how great would it be if they didn't exist?! Because in essence, the number/letter on the label is a load of rubbish! Taking a handful of items you liked into the changing rooms, trying them on and feeling confident in them is the only validation you should need to wear something. That's what style is really about. Style is a celebration of who you are. It's certainly not conforming to or restricting your creative license to express yourself, through fear of what's on the label or assuming that there are certain styles for certain body types and sizes. 

It's one thing to anxiously try on the piece of clothing you feel insecure about in front of your bedroom mirror. But just abandoning those fears and accepting that certain clothes are not for certain people has made me feel a lot more confident and experimental in what I wear. So whatever it is that you've been afraid to put on, just put it on already! The assumption that there are certain styles for certain body types is such a load of rubbish. It truly is. There is nothing wrong with being 20 years old and buying a pair of jeans in a size 14 and a top in a size 8 or 10: that's just my body shape! There is no point in getting so hung up on the fact that you can't squeeze into a size 10 all over, just because so many models used in both male and female fashion campaigns are very similar in their size, height and build. 

Size really doesn't matter. Who gives a fuck what the label says! As long as you feel confident and happy in it, face your fashion fears and own it! 

Thanks so much for reading!

Antonia x 


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