Have you spent a lifetime despising certain body parts? Almost to a debilitating "stop living your life" level? So did I.
They say that every healer heals for themselves first, then teach what they have learned—and it’s true for yours truly.
As a young teenager, Vogue magazine was my Bible of escape and expansion. How was I to understand at such a young age that Vogue wouldn't feature 5-foot-3 models with a DD cup and a tush that stuck out?
As I write this, I think to myself, the description above sounds HOT and it was me! But because I could not find my figure in Vogue during my teenage years, I figured I was wrong.
Sound familiar? The UBER TALL SKINNY string bean with a DELICATE bust was what I was supposed to look like?
I certainly couldn't stretch myself and become taller.
Plus, leave it to your childhood peers to create another. My clique of girlfriends in sixth grade jokingly, on our walk to school one day, presented me a prescription bottle with popcorn inside (mean) with the words 'maturity pills' for a sunken chest.
After the middle school prank years later, coupled with blooming late, I had no idea how much I would prove them wrong.
The boys I had grown up with were now in my junior year commenting on my DD bust size. It was all too much for me to absorb.
I became the master of disguise and extremely adept at covering the 'girls.'
Thank God for Norma Kamal, dolman sleeves and shoulder pads. I looked like I was wearing water balloons on a size 00 torso. Simply put, big breasts were not considered "in fashion" as they are by some of society's standards today.
At 22 years old, I opted for a breast reduction. My then-boyfriend wanted to break up with me and my family saw this as an unnecessary surgery.
You try carrying the extra 5 pounds taken off of me! I will never forget waking after surgery seeing my chest flattened by white bandages, it was and is a memory of pure joy and happiness.
No more double shoulder pads. Bruises from my bra straps gone and WOW I never knew I had a torso from the weight of my breasts hovering. Talk about a rebirth.
Shopping for clothing was no more the misery I once felt from ages 17-22. My new breasts fit every top/dress I tried on. Woo Hoo! Bathing suits? I could finally fit a triangle top!
Soooooooooo what do you think I did pretty much directly after fixing one problem surgically? I created another.
Looking back on myself now, I was dealing with self-worth issues. Societal messaging easily helped me move on to another part of my body to hate. Enter the "SECRET OF THE KNEES:"
It was 1987 and En Vogue was about to become the super HOT group… Remember all those booty/bandage dresses? Highlighting my new bust and waistline I loved, but where these dresses fell at the hem? I couldn’t do it.
This was my mantra for the next 20 years (no joke!): NO short skirt without tights, NO skirts above the knees and NO shorts EVER!
Skirts could be hemmed ONLY in the middle of my knee if it was a-line. When the Maxi dress began trending a few years ago—total leg coverage was now on trend—I said, "Yippee!"
But then again, I always say, when you get out of your comfort zone that's when life shifts—I was so fixated in covering that I didn't think about the styling concepts of uncovering.
At 44 I moved to the beach where my boyfriend Adam lives. Kind of hard to not do beach casual or work out.... So I bought some shorts, and began riding my new beach cruiser. Fun!
Hermosa Beach was my game changer; getting me out of my comfort zone and giving me the confidence I needed to get up and get moving so I could actually get over me.
I had the tools on how to strategically dress myself, but even my belief systems rooted in ridiculous got the best of me.
Styling is all about smoke and mirrors and having a good understanding of your figure in the positive to create the correct wardrobe choices.
Now as I look at the picture of me in my , purposely exposing my knees at 45, I say "YOU GO GIRL!"
And to you? I say GO GIRL!
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