This week’s links are sprinkled at the end of this post. Yay! No Writing or Vampire links. This week is about Curves, Self-Esteem, and Retro Fashion.
It must be the time of year, but almost EVERYONE I know is looking to lose some weight. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favor of losing weight for the right reasons. If you’re trying to lose weight so you can be healthy, I’m going to be your biggest cheerleader because losing weight is hard work.
I have to watch my weight because I have a bad knee. Interesting fact: One pound of weight equals four pounds of pressure, or more, on your knees. That’s significant! If you move a lot of heavy furniture around like I do, that’s even more significant. If I get past a certain weight, my knee aches like a son-of-a-gun, but I hate using a scale. I tend to use my knee and the fit of my pants as my guide. This works for me. I’ve lost a few pounds, but I’m not trying to be skinny. I don’t mind my curves and I’m practical. I’m on my feet all day and I want to feel healthy. Right now, I’m feeling good. Knee isn’t crabbing at me. Pants are fitting better. This is my yardstick for success.
I’ve never been one to look at the models posing in magazines and wish I were built like them. Why? Because I think the last time I was that skinny was when I was ten! Most women aren’t built that way! Women have curves. They are supposed to have curves. Sure, there are LOTS of different body types out there, but the majority of the population is NOT a size zero! I’ve only know one person in my life who was naturally that thin, and she used to complain that she looked too skinny. Trust me, that girl could eat! 🙂 Thin was just her natural body type. And before you think anything negative about her, she also had a weird fear concerning the use public restrooms…and was so active she was hardly ever at home. You do the math. No binge and purge issues for this gal. If she could have given up using the restroom completely, I think she would have! She REALLY did have a medical problem with her metabolism. She had a difficult time keeping weight on, and if she didn’t eat often enough, she felt terrible because she had NOTHING left in reserve. We used to get chocolate milkshakes when her blood sugar ran low. I probably didn’t need the extra calories, but she sure did! Happy memories. She taught me the wonders of GOOD chocolate. 😉 She helped me appreciate who I am, curves and all, and taught me that being a size zero wasn’t the magical world the fashion magazines would like to portray. Don’t believe me? Try shopping for jeans for a size zero. What a nightmare! Poor Sweetie!!! That’s an extra-large chocolate milkshake kind of traumatic experience, maybe even a chocolate malt!
No matter what size you are, I don’t think most women are comfortable in their own skin. When I was in my early twenties, I worked for three years in a women’s clothing boutique. Over half of the business came from an extensive array of woman’s swimwear, racks, and RACKS, and racks of every kind of swimsuit in every size imaginable. If you hate shopping for swimwear, try dealing with it practically everyday! I learned a LOT about people, women in particular. In all those years, I saw MANY different body types, but only a small handful of women who were comfortable in their own skins. Size had little to do with positive body image. Why? Because most women seem to have unreasonable expectations about the female form and what women’s bodies are supposed to look like, and I think it’s even worse now than it was back then. You can’t look at a doctored up photo plastered across a fashion magazine and expect to look like the woman on the cover! The model doesn’t even look like that!!! Her arms are made to look longer and thinner. Her waist is elongated. Her face has been altered. She’s been nipped and tucked through some computer program until she doesn’t even look human anymore.
If you want to see what real women look like, you need to take a little walk back through time, and even that’s a bit deceiving. I love retro fashion, especially the old-school pin-up girls. Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, Bettie Page, and of course…Marilyn Monroe, there are sooo many beautiful women, I could go on and on. They have curves and that iconic hourglass figure. These women were NOT super-skinny, so pin-up style clothing tends to work well and look good on women with curves. There are some really gorgeous plus-sized clothing out there if you’re interested in retro fashions from the 1940’s and 50’s.
But not so fast! You can’t expect to to throw on a “Marilyn inspired” fashion and expect it to look the same on you as it did on them. These gals wore some heavy-duty foundation garments underneath their clothing. Yup! I think women tend to forget that. We are so used to throwing on whatever, we assume these women did too. There’s a website that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE called PinUpGirlClothing.com. You NEED to click the link and give them a LONG perusal. They’ve got GORGEOUS retro inspired fashions sized from XS to 4X and I think it’s awesome that you can click on an image and see how a dress or swimsuit looks on different models with different body types.
One of their models, Margarita Rodriguez, posted a great tutorial, with pics, on the importance of wearing the right foundation garments in order to get the “pin-up girl look” while wearing retro inspired clothing. You can check it out by clicking on this link HERE. I think she is very brave to have posted up her before and after pics. She’s 220 lbs and beautiful. And while she’s not advocating…well anything, she does an amazing job showing women some of the inside secrets the models use. If you’re struggling with self-esteem issues, her blog post is inspiring.
This post was geared more for us ladies, but seriously, you hardly ever meet a guy who’s worried about his love handles. 😉 My hubby has NEVER asked, “Do these jeans make me look fat?” He’s happy in his own skin. I think we women could use a little more of that kind of chutzpah in our lives.
Have a great day!
PS If you’re interested in fashions from the 18th and 19th century, take a look at Before the Automobile‘s blog. Lovely stuff! She sews her own historic everything, including her shoes! That is AWESOMENESS!!!