In my opinion, navigating the world of fashion has some potholes.
Maybe a lot of potholes.
Fashion, at least as we know it in contemporary society, is rife with body ideals and
unattainable beauty standards. Models are such a small percentage of the population, body type wise. Actually, the ideal body type we see in the media and on fashion magazines is nearly equivalent to that of a prepubertal girl. Seriously, I am not kidding.
As someone who really loves fashion and clothes and expressing myself in this way,figuring out how to appreciate fashion without bombarding myself with image upon image of edited, manipulated, unattainable bodies has been challenging.
Here’s how I do it: I don’t.
I simple don’t look at fashion media. Occasionally, I search Pinterest for inspiration. But mostly, I figure out how to appreciate fashion through my own body and appearance.
Fashion, therefore, serves as a means of appreciation for my body. It is a neutral ground of body acceptance.
Through clothes, I work to acknowledge my body. I don’t necessarily LIKE my body, even if I like my outfit, but I can appreciate my body as a part of the art of fashion. Body neutrality.
Part of my recovery, past and current, is figuring out who I am both in what I like and how I present. Throughout my recovery, I experimented a lot with clothing styles. I went from dark and gothic, to dark vintage, to somewhat alternative, to a strange mix of all of the above.
Fashion style is personal. It doesn’t have to fit into a box with a label and a color and sit on a shelf that is labeled “me.” It can change and flow and be fluid. Much like us, fashion is not static.
Embracing the fluidity of my personal expression, though it means I have gone through lots of clothes, has allowed me to experiment with my comfort zones and boundaries. And, boy, have I learned how to thrift shop! (You have to, if your style keeps changing!)
Even now I look in my closet and wonder what in the world I was thinking when I bought this or that article of clothing, much like I look back at my past and wonder why I did something or why I picked what I picked or cringe because an experience was just really embarrassing and I didn’t realize it.
And, that’s okay. People change. Trends change. Clothes change. We change.
It’s all part of life.