Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Most Powerful Art

Back at the end of August, I completed a Birthday Challenge Vlog for my 21st birthday, where I sought to answer 21 readers' questions in 2 minutes and 10 seconds. The cool thing was: I actually received more than 21 questions to answer. The bad news was... Most of my answers took way longer than two minutes.

So if your question didn't make it to the video or I didn't email you back an answer, chances are high that it's been added to a list of blog prompts. If you hadn't figured this out, I'm just a weeeee bit wordy... So most of your questions have inspired full length posts rather than basic answers. Some questions were deep and some were things like my favorite ice cream flavor, but all were welcomed equally. A few questions, however, threw me for a loop, where I quite literally talked myself in circles trying to answer. One of them being this: 

Some fashion choices look more flattering than others on different body types. Since you call yourself a "fashionista" and a beauty distortion blogger, do you support unflattering or revealing styles to promote self love? 

Wow. Props to you, beautiful reader, for coming up with a question that not only requires an extensive answer, but also an extreme bout of self reflection. 

I value self love. Obviously. That's about 90% of why this blog exists; because it takes years to rediscover an identity of pure beauty in Christ, to break the boundaries society sets up for us, and unlearn everything we've been taught to feel sorry for. But there's no reason this newfound confidence has to be coupled with unflattering fashion choices, nor should it be. 

There's a common trend in the self-love world where strong, feminine warriors crusade against the prejudice and discrimination of society. I can't tell you how many body positive, self esteem bloggers I've read who praise women for rockin' the bikini despite their weight, who encourage skin tight ripped jeans despite curvy thighs, and justify women who wear crop tops even though their stomach isn't flat. And there's some accuracy to this as far as I'm concerned... A woman's confidence is the bottom line, after all. No woman should be confined to certain fashion choices because of her weight, shape, and natural body scars. 

But no woman should draw attention to those things either. Not because they're ugly or outside society's realm of acceptable beauty, but because outward beauty isn't what this is about. 

Do I think women should wear baggy tshirts and basketball shorts to cover their shape and outward beauty? Heck no. You better believe if there's a high-waited polka dot skirt in my closet, I'm rockin' the high-waisted polka dot skirt. But the goal of fashion is not to mask, flatter, or even create a sense of beauty for your body. It is to enhance what is already there. 
"Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It's movement, design, and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are, and who we want to be." -Blair Waldorf 

Any Gossip Girl fans in the house? Whether you love our Queen B or not, she certainly wasn't wrong. Fashion. Style. Elegance. We throw these words around as we flip through our magazines and critique our closets. But what do they really mean? Surely it is more than merely clothes. 

Actually, it turns out, fashion is just that. A popular trend, especially in styles of dress and manners of behavior, as defined by the dictionary. Fashion is defined by society. Fashion has an expiration date. You can bottle up fashion and put it in an hour glass and glue it to the table. Fashion will fade. 

You, dear reader, will not fade. You are stronger than fashion. You are prettier than fashion. You will endure. Fashion may not. So if you are chasing fashion, just as you are chasing society's toxic boundaries, you are selling yourself short of that new identity of pure beauty you fought so hard to attain. 

Style, however, is defined as elegant sophistication. Another definition {my personal favorite} reads: a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles in which something is designed. *cough* Or the principles in which someone was designed. 

You should feel comfortable in what you wear. You should feel confident in what you wear. You should feel beautiful in what you wear. Not because your body deserves it, but because you, as a whole, deserve it. 

In our self-loving attempts to ban beauty distortion, we often find women encouraging others to rock society's fashion trends even though we don't fit society's beauty trends. My question is... If we've fought our toxic world for so long, why are we trying to take our unparalleled, extravagantly beautiful self and clothe it in toxic trends? That seems a little counter productive. 

No, we should not alter our bodies to fit fashion's trends. I agree with these body positive, self love enthusiasts there. Likewise, I don't think we should alter our fashion trends based on our bodies. 

I think we should alter our fashion trends based on our identities. I don't know a single woman who doesn't believe her soul is more important than the body it lives in, or that her heart is more important than her weight, or that her mind is more captivating than her complexion. And yet, we select our fashion choices based on our bodies, our weight, and our complexion. 

What if we started selecting our fashion choices based on our soul, our heart, and our mind? What if, instead of fighting society to put beautifully diverse girls inside trendy clothing, we began to clothe those same beautiful girls in a style that reflected their design? Their identity? Their stunningly, captivating uniqueness that is unable to be duplicated? 

So, to answer your question dear reader, I don't support unflattering or revealing fashion choices because I don't believe any woman is unflattering, and I don't think her clothing should be what reveals her. There is far more to her than the way her body looks, so I don't think she should dress to draw attention to that aspect of herself. I don't think she should dress to mask it either. I just think she deserves to look the way she feels. She deserves to look the way she is, and unflattering / revealing fashion trends won't work in her favor because they won't take the strides necessary to unveiling her beautiful soul. 

Is your style reflecting who you are? Or is it reflecting what you wish society would let you wear? I know I'm just one person with one opinion, but it seems a lot more flattering to clothe yourself based on your beauty rather than your defiance. With that courageous soul, loving heart, and fiery mind, chances are high that the world already knows you're strong. Let's show them you're beautiful by showing them you, not your version of what they want you to be. 

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