What's Your Body Image Secret?

Barbra writes about overcoming body image concerns, remembering a middle school prank and her "secret of the knees."

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

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

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
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

I was so fixated 
in covering that I didn't think about the styling concepts of

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 

And to you? I say GO GIRL!



The special deals website Gilt City is teaming up with Barbra Horowitz to offer up to 54 percent off personal styling and wardrobe consultation—check out the deal online.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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