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In style & in life, you gotta work with what you’ve got

Wearing: American Apparel skirt, Aldo shoes, Tarino Tarantino bracelet, all via Buffalo Exchange; Old Navy top via Savers

I went through something of a second growth spurt a year or two ago, around my 21st birthday. Before, I’d had slightly above average boobs that looked big on my small frame; suddenly, I had huge boobs, a butt and hips and thighs to match, and shimmery silver stretch marks that sprouted out of nowhere. I had no idea what to do with this. I wasn’t comfortable with my new body and I tried to make everything look smaller, smaller, smaller (because of course, that’s what women are supposed to do, and even strong-minded women with opinions of their own get sucked in sometimes).

I tried to hide everything, and when that didn’t work out so well, I thought I’d buy pretty, drapey clothes so that at least the architecture of the clothing would be distracting from my actual body underneath it.

As you can guess, it didn’t work so well. I didn’t like it. I didn’t feel comfortable or happy or sexy in these clothes and that, my friends, is not acceptable.

So I said, fuck it.

(As you can see.)

I could mask my curves, try to minimize the epic boobage, and the best I’d come up with would be dowdy, sloppy, Wendy Pepper-wear.

I don’t do dowdy, or sloppy. And I hated Wendy. Austin FTW.

 

Instead, I play it up. Exagerrate. Work with what I’ve got, as much as I can. The end result may not be to everyone’s liking, but you know what? Neither am I. And that’s okay.

Because when you spend so much time trying to mask your flaws, you’ll end up masking some fabulous things too. And if you’re focusing on “flaws” and “not flaws”, you’llΒ indubitablyΒ end up taking away everything that makes you – you.

(I instantly fell in love with Rachel in this interview, when she said that she loves the gap in her teeth and thinks it’s sexy. Damn straight, Rachel. Damn straight.)

And here’s how it works in life:

If you work on your weaknesses, or even your averagenesses, they’ll never be as strong as your strengths. You’ll just end up uninteresting, unhappy, and uncomfortable.

Instead of trying to level your inner playing field, revel in the unevenness of it, the peaks and valleys.

(The curves, one could say.)

Instead of thinking about minimizing “faults” (psst – who told you they were faults, anyways?), maximize your strong points. The end result is much more compelling – we want to see you, in all of your glory, in all of your aspects – not a cookie cutter vision of what’s trendy or how a nice girl should act.

26 Comments

    • LOL! Thanks Judi πŸ˜€ I’m not really planning on having biological kids (we think we might adopt)…and I think that’s a good thing because the idea of my boobs getting any bigger is a little terrifying πŸ˜‰

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  1. Wait- are you in Austin? We just moved here from out of state last summer, how random is that?

    This post resonates with me on so many levels. The body change I went through post kids has been interesting. The wanting to hide in clothes. I’m not much of a girly girl, so the whole clothing shopping thing (serious lack of patience there) eludes me. BUT! I think I have finally found my “style” and now it is just a matter of having the confidence to pick the pieces I think reflect that. I also moved from somewhere where looks and diversity were a rare thing and so very cookie cutter esq, so I would hide. Here, I feel like I mesh much more in my own skin and its caused me to do some serious self care.

    You look frickin’ hot in that pic- kudos for owning your style!

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    • You’re in Austin too? Awesome! We just moved here from rural Missouri almost two years ago. Hit me up if you wanna hang out or something – we could get coffee πŸ™‚ michelle (at) wicked-whimsy (dot) com

      I hear you about the cookie cutter stuff – I’ve always been a bit adventurous, but even though I enjoyed wearing funky outfits (and having multicolor hair) it could be hard in the town we came from. There was always that internal battle of “Well, I really love this outfit, but it’s fairly “out there” for Joplin & it shows my leg tattoos, which means I’m going to get stares/rude comments all day – am I up for that today?” Which totally sucks. Austin is a much more supportive environment. Although the time when someone asked me if I was performing in a play was pretty awesome.

      And thank you for the compliment! πŸ™‚

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  2. Also- totally going to add the term “epic boobage” to my vernacular. Yessss!

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  3. Gotta say, that is a really GORGEOUS pic! And thanks for the encouragement here — I struggle to like my body (stomach is too big, breasts too small, stretch marks from where I put on a lot of weight when I hit puberty … I could go on!) — but you’re right, it shouldn’t be about trying to hide ourselves but making the most of the lovely bodies we’ve got!

    I’m a bit envious of your breasts πŸ™ I keep hoping that when I have kids one day, my breasts will suddenly grow!

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    • Thanks Ali! πŸ™‚ Life is too short to get down on our bodies, especially since they do so much for us (and since, you know, most of the things people complain about are nigh impossible to change, short of spending thousands of dollars on plastic surgery).

      If there was a way to do it, I’d be happy to give you some of my boobs πŸ˜› I’m used to them now, but buying bras is still a pain in the ass! (And I’ve heard that pregnancy can indeed cause ballooning breasts…also, birth control seems to have that effect as well on some ladies!)

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  4. I love your post. You are wise beyond your years young jedi! My looks is something I’ve been struggling with lately – and it is such a stupid thing to waste time worrying about. Your post helps sooooo much!

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  5. Yeeeeessss. I used to think I needed to cover up, too, even though I don’t have your epic boobage or sweet curves – I just thought my “flaws” were yucky, so I hid it all. But eventually I realized that I don’t like wearing big, shapeless stuff all the time. I want to wear clothes that fit, dammit!

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    • And the sort of funny thing about that (not funny haha – you know what I mean) is that we think that wearing shapeless things will hide the flaws, and make us look better, but EVERYONE looks 110% better when they’re wearing clothes that actually fit their body. And it’s bizarrely more comfortable too, at least for me – I find that when I’m wearing shapeless stuff, even though it’s not going to be constricting at all, it affects my mental state in weird ways – makes me feel much less “together” and sort of slow/sleepy/etc.

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  6. I think too many people try to live up to some ‘ideal’ and end up not enjoying what/who they are. People are beautiful…all of them…and to select some kind of ideal is myopic. It’s like lamenting getting older only to find that you’ve spent all your time lamenting and none of your time enjoying what comes from that age. Cheers for you Michelle!

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    • Exactly Gillian! Let’s all blow big raspberries to body “ideals”, whether of size or shape or age or hair color. Glad you liked the post – thank you for commenting πŸ™‚

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  7. My curves and stretch marks didn’t suddenly appear, they came with the babies. I wasn’t comfortable with them at all even though my hubby thought (thinks) they are hot. It took me awhile to get used to the way I look. I still have a huge problem with clothes shopping, but it isn’t cuz I want to hide anything. It is cuz I have very limited store choices (wal-hell) and can’t find thinks I love & fit.

    I am voluptuous and so delicious and So Are You! Thank you.

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    • Thank YOU for commenting, Delisa! Glad you liked the post πŸ˜€ I end up shopping at thrift stores a lot…just because so much of the clothing that’s out there and mid-range is total crap and way overpriced. Without eBay (which I have to be careful with, it can get addicting!) and thrift stores, my wardrobe would be a looot more boring.

      Good luck in your self-love journey <3

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  8. Oh Hell To The YES. Great post doll & you is smokin hot! I am ALL for the workin what you got, feeling comfortable in your own skin and not following fashion.

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  9. I love this & agree with you completely! I experienced something similar when I randomly gained 15lbs seemingly overnight last year, after being consistently the same weight almost my entire life… it was a lot to get used to, but I grew to like my “new” body instead of constantly criticizing it.Β 

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    • I’m so glad you liked it, Lem, thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚ Those sudden weight shifts can be hard to handle and bring up a whole host of body issues that we’d rather not deal with. But learning acceptance and eventually love for our bodies is so worth it. Β 

      Reply

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