I remember being “that girl” in elementary school. You know, the late bloomer. The one who was always too skinny, to short, too flat-chested, too late to get her period…and the list goes on. I remember how much it sucked and how I wore my training bra in hopes that my boobs would catch-up and would make the boys stop pulling my bra strap during gym. I admired my friends who had bigger boobs or more of a booty and wondering why I got stuck in my body. My body never seemed good enough to me.
Fast forward and I’m the mom of an almost 9 yr old girl who seems more like she’s going on 14. She is taking notice of her body in a big way and I find her, much of the time, standing in front of her full-length mirror giving herself the once over. At which point I say:
“You are beautiful – inside and out.”
I try to use words that provide her with confidence and make her feel healthy and strong and like she can conquer the world. But the reality is that I can say it all I want and all it takes is one classmate or friend from the playground to make one comment about her appearance and it all unravels at the seams.
I went to see a child psychologist speak at my daughter’s school today. The talk ended up being more of a discussion around the room and I listened to moms of girls one year older than mine talk about how all the girls are talking about calories and only want to eat salads in their lunches and are constantly talking about being fat, who’s fat and who’s not. THIRD AND FOURTH GRADE GIRLS.
It got me thinking about how this all happens. Can we blame the media? Sure. Watching pop stars and kids on TV certainly has an effect. Can we blame society? Sure. Focus on being thin and looking perfect is definitely part of it. Can we blame coaches, ballet and gymnastics teachers? Sure. Sports and dance focus heavily on physical appearance along with body strength. But when do we as moms and adults and rolemodels start to realize we might be part of the problem?
In my opinion, self-image starts with one simple thing: looking at yourself in the mirror and actually liking what you see. I work with men and women of all shapes, sizes, skin types, nationalities, you name it, I see it all. And, the first thing I hear – mostly from the women but the men are just as guilty – is about that thing they hate: I’m too short, I have a muffin top, I have no chest, my boobs are too big, I have back fat, my calves are too small, my skin is a mess, I hate my hair, my booty is too big, I have no ass, I’m shaped like a boy, my shoulders are too wide…Do any of these complaints sound familiar to you? My guess is you have said at least one of these at least once. I am guilty too.
I will tell you though, that I have come a long way in my personal journey in being happy with how I look. I have stopped looking in the mirror and assessing every little bump or bulge or wrinkle. It makes you crazy and obsessive and does not lead to anything positive. What if the next time you looked in the mirror, you looked over all those things that make you crazy and just accepted you for you? I know that my girl listens to everything I say – I mean everything. Those little ears are bionic. If I constantly talked about how I can’t eat certain things or how unhappy I am with how I look or how fat I feel or whatever negative connotation you can think of…I will bet you that she would begin to assess herself differently. She would begin to look over every inch for flaws, instead of just accepting her beauty all around. Confidence is instilled or squashed at a very early age. Your confidence in your self-image is something your kids admire and want to emulate. They want to be like you. Give them every reason to love their bodies – just the way they are – and their confidence will be contagious.
As a fashion-lover, there are five coveted fashion events that I have on my bucket list:
1. The Oscars
2. Fashion Week Milan
3. Fashion Week Paris
4. Backstage at Galliano, McQueen and/or Valentino (there is a longer list:)
5. The Met Gala
Jessica Alba looking stunning
You’ve probably heard of the top 4, but The Met Gala is one that doesn’t get quite as much press, except for the fashionistas like me who drool over the gowns. Known as the “Oscars of the East Coast,” The Met Gala celebrates the annual opening of the NY Metropolitan Museum’s fashion exhibit at the Costume Institute. Hosted by Vogue Magazine, the red carpet is rolled out for the fashion industry’s night to shine and this fabulous star-studded ball is regarded as the hottest ticket in town (fetching over $15,000 per ticket.) This year, I was wowed by the gowns. You know how it goes, there’s always those fashion “omgs” where you wonder what the hell she was thinking. This year, I had a really hard time picking my favorites. Thanks to the always stylish, Kim Kardashian for pulling together her list, which had all of my faves too.
My favorite was the always stunning Jessica Alba in Michael Kors. I mean come on. You could put that girl in a trash bag and she would look stunning. It was the gold, the one shoulder, the hair swept to one side, the red lips. The whole thing was glam, vintage Hollywood and I loved it.
Tom & Gisele - hated the hair
What did I hate? Okay, you’re gonna kill me and I cannot believe I am saying this but I hated Tom and Gisele. Okay, maybe, just maybe, it’s an eincy wiency bit of jealousy but, what happened, loves? Did you get in a hair-gel fight? I mean I love the slick look but it’s so extreme and Tom’s looks more like that scene in Something about Mary (you know the one). Most gorgeous couple on the planet and they missed it for me last night. Sorry guys.
Trends on the runway from The Met Gala:
- Open back
- Red lips
- Gold and glitter
- Side-swept hair
- Sheer/see-thru fabrics
Hilary Swank doing the side-swept look
While these trends don’t work for all of us, there are ways to incorporate a little gala into your every day life. Have you ever tried a red lip? I will tell you this. If I am ever having one of those days when I wake up not feeling like P. Diddy, I put on red lipstick. It makes me feel like I am either Marilyn Monroe, Coco Chanel or Madonna (depending on the day.) It’s a great evening look too – pare down any other make-up to focus on the lips. If your locks are long, what about a side-swept low ponytail that drapes across one collarbone? Or even a low braid on one side? Very sexy. Gold and glitter in moderation, my friends. A fun gold belt or shoes, some glitter polish or maybe a fun clutch – all great ways to add some celebrity glam to your look.
Who was your best and worst? What trends did you love/hate? Can’t wait to hear!
What are you doing on Weds May 9th? Would you love to enjoy an evening of art, philanthropy and fashion? Yeah…I thought so:)
I’ve been following Bryan Finocchio, of Boston Catwalk for a Cure fame and overall amazing, compassionate and creative guy, as he founded OpenHeARTS, a non-profit organization dedicated to organizing events that combine art, the surrounding community and philanthropy. Doesn’t get much better than that! The OpenHeARTS launch event is being held next Weds May 9 at the super-fabulous W hotel at 100 Stuart Street in Boston’s Theater District. The event is the prelude to the OpenHeARTS June fashion show and will feature fashion inspiration by designer JacquelineQuinn, hair by Salon Acote, makeup by Joanna Petit-Frere and accessories by Stella &Dot Jewelry. Tickets are a bargain at $20 and include music, dancing and hors d’ oeuvres.
Jacqueline Quinn 2012 Collection
I continue to be impressed with Bryan, Nick, Neira and the rest of the OpenHeARTS team and their commitment and pursuit of amazing causes that combine arts, fashion and entertainment…all while doing something really good (and fun) for the local community.
Get your tickets here!
Look forward to a great event and now…
…to decide…what to wear…
See you at the Launch!