Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I don't know if any of you are familiar with Sal from Already Pretty, but I've been reading her blog for a while and really love her positivity and inspirational viewpoint on beauty and self-esteem. I've wanted to talk about her posts for a while, but in particular she had a post yesterday that really floored me. Already Pretty: "The Big Secret" Sal talks about the secret that none of the retailers/makeup companies/diet brands want you to realize: "There is nothing wrong with you. You are gorgeous and glorious and goddesslike right now, today, just as you are. You don't need a lick of makeup, or a pair of Spanx, or towering platform heels. You don't need Botox or the 30-day Shred or Nice 'N' Easy to cover those grays. You don't need Louboutins, or taupe nail polish, or whatever trend is gonna be trendy for the next seven seconds. If you WANT any of those things, then by all means go for 'em. Every sentient human being is entitled to make choices. But you are utterly complete and undeniably marvelous without them." (you should read the rest of her lovely post, too!)
This is a great self-esteem booster about being content with yourself as you are, but I realized that there's more value to me in this paragraph than just the "value yourself" message. Reading this, I realized that Sal nicely cuts through the debate that I so often run into in my head about style/fashion/weight/etc. If I am to believe that I am good enough exactly as I am, if in fact I'm perfect as I am, then I often feel that I SHOULDN'T put as much effort as I often do into my appearance. Isn't wearing dresses and "looking pretty" and trying to lose a couple of pounds just buying into the "you don't look good enough, you aren't thin enough, you aren't attractive enough" trap that fashion magazines and the media are setting? Especially as a feminist (I think I'd call myself a feminist) in a technological field, I'm occasionally worrying that it is a waste of my time and energy and mind to care about what I wear or what I look like, that I've just been brainwashed into thinking that more than basic presentability is important. But there's that other level that Sal points out -- we are entitled to our own choices. If I WANT to put on beautiful shoes or a velvet skirt or a dress that makes me feel like a million dollars, if I want to take joy in my self-presentation and my creative exploration of clothing and my finding beautiful garments at thrift stores...then those are choices that are perfectly good too, and I should, in Sal's words, "go for 'em."
Yes, one can argue that what we WANT may still be (is almost certainly) affected by what we are shown by our culture and the pervasive media that tries to tell us what we should want. (As well as by the others we see in real life or online wearing lovely floral rompers and Jeffrey Campbell shoes.) But it's a very interesting, and satisfying, point of view that we are neither "bad" for not buying/wearing/doing all the things we're told to want, nor "bad" for wanting (and getting/using/doing) things that we actually do want. So, thank you, Sal!
In any case. I should be heading to the lab, but I wanted to put down some of my thoughts here first. (and I've already been working on my thesis for a while this morning). It's supposed to be 85F today, which is staggeringly warm for April!
And a quick picture of what I wore yesterday. The color scheme of this outfit came from a page in Harper's Bazaar with all kinds of yellow and white pairings...I started with the yellow shirt/tunic (the only one I own in yellow, actually), and added one of my long-time favorite skirts. At first I was going to put the skirt over the top, but that made a strange double waistline...so then I layered the top over the skirt and added the belt for some shape. I liked this outfit, though the texture was a bit strange with the light jersey over a very textured skirt.
Yellow top: Forever21, thrifted (dollar-a-pound)
White skirt: Forever21
White tank top: Express
Sandals: Liz Claiborne, thrifted
Belt: thrifted (dollar-a-pound)