Tuesday, 30 September 2014

It's about the Clothes, Not the Pose...

Ever thought modeling and posing was better left to the lollipop-princesses who could cut a can open with their clavicles? Think again.

I believe we should never take life (or ourselves) too seriously. We should enjoy our time on this planet and not be afraid to have fun with new and trivial things. This is how I became addicted to a guilty new hobby, LOOKBOOK.

In an age of selfies, instagram filters and flocks of It Girls parading their top purchases on our social news feeds, I realize that I am still in love with the world of beauty. I say ‘still’ because I have been undergoing a transformation over the past few years where I have often times blamed (or at least highlighted) the problems caused for women, myself included, by the standards of beauty the media constantly shoves down our throats. But swallowing skinny-isms rather than real food is not what I want to talk about today.

Today I want to celebrate my newest hobby. I may not be the Editor-in-chief of Vogue or even a lowly, though somewhat knowledgeable, fashion blogger, but I have decided that if I like the way someone looks, then I like it – no matter what the trending body-shape tells me. If I think a crop top looks cute on a girl who is closer to a size 14 than an 8, then I think it looks cute on her. And that’s ok. In fact, there should be a lot more of that in this world. Our natural God-given diameter shouldn’t dictate how we dress.

 As an ex model who gained a few dress sizes over the years, I have often times struggled with my new body. I wasted so much time hating the way I looked as I filled out, rather than accepting and enjoying the newer, stronger, more energy-filled body I was in. The irony is that I hated the way I looked back when I was super skinny too. It took some time, but I no longer look in the mirror and tell myself I am ugly because of a few lumps and dimples. I now look and go ‘Oh well’, and get on with things.

But it’s not good enough to simply accept. We should love our bodies, celebrate them, and I believe that I should enjoy mine as much as I can while in it on this earth. Why have a Porsche in the garage if you are never going to drive it? (albeit a Porsche Cayenne, the 4x4 version, in my case) I have a wardrobe of gorgeous clothes, carefully browsed, picked and purchased over the years, (and the shoes - Oh the SHOES!) and I love to dress up. So why let that all go to waste over a few centimeters?

I am an awkward size. At 6ft tall, I start out as an almost 14 in my Nordic shoulders, slim to a 10 in other areas, and elongate to a size ‘not-yet-catered-to’ all in one troublesome package. Therefore dressing this package over the years has become something of an art.

But not without its artistic temperament. I’ll look at pictures of models dressed in an outfit and love how they look, but the second I try the same thing on, it looks all wrong. I tell myself that cinched waists obviously just don’t work on my body, or if I could just lose some weight…and give up. Yet, I still love the clothes.

But what if I got it all wrong? What if cinched waists looks just as good on my body, only in a different way, but I’ve been blinded to the fact by comparing myself to a tween in a sexed-up ad campaign? Like comparing apples and cats…How silly!

I decided to stop filling my life with so many outward images, inward judgements, and start enjoying the way I dress. To have fun dressing the way I want, when I want, no matter the circumference of my waistline, is a much better use of my time than waiting and hoping to drop a few pounds before I try on a pair of high-waisted booty-shorts.

Enter LOOKBOOK. It’s like FaceBook, only all about daily outfits. Posing replaces posting, and capturing a perfect outfit for a perfect situation (or just because you love it) is what is celebrated. Sure there is still a strong lean towards the skinny-white-girl, but if you look hard enough you can find normal people, men and woman, all shapes and colours, wearing fabulous things that would brighten any fashionistas day. Look a bit harder and you discover pure gems of delight in the greater blog-verse! Like the poetess who calls her blog ‘I dream of bunnies’, posting her looks with links to elegant prose.

This isn’t a high-school sivvies day, friends. From London to Brazil, Canada to little ol’ me in Cape Town, people are dressing in the things they love and showcasing it to the world. Your number of ‘hypes’ tells you how much others appreciate your garb, but at the end of the day, I only care about feeling good in what I choose to wear, while getting some awesome inspiration from others and seeing what is trending. (A Kimono paired with ripped jean shorts and cowboy boots? That might just have to be my next get-up!)

If you don't mind the American Apparel ads that assault you visually at every other moment, it’s a great place to have some fun in a body-positive, friendly way. No negative comments are allowed and the more you love on someone else’s ‘look’ the better your karma points - not that I know what karma points are for ;) Being an amateur fashion-hobbyist has never been so much fun.

While not every day is an occasion to wear a ball-gown, there are thousands of beautiful (and entertaining) ensembles I would love to try out, bundle on, and swish around in in my world.

I decided to become my own model and pose for the camera once again – only this time - as a full (improved) version of my former self. Why don’t you join me and create your own LOOKBOOK account? Be sure to send me a note if you do so I can follow you – or find me here directly. Good luck and happy dressing!

Love, lust and fairy-star-dust,
Cherry Blossom

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