I am not everyone’s cup of tea.
I am on a personal journey to challenge the status quo and when I question your thoughts and beliefs, it can make you uncomfortable and want to naturally resist.
It won’t stop me though. I am on my own personal journey to question why we do what we do and how we feel what we feel when it comes to our bodies.
What triggered this obsession?
The trigger was deciding to become a personal stylist and that title and the traditional “fashion & beauty industry” made me feel icky. I was actually embarrassed to be called a personal stylist. I didn’t want to feed into what seemed like the collective pursuit of being “flawless” or the societal obsession with women having to do a million things that men don’t have to do in order to be desirable or to feel beautiful.
I struggled with wrapping my head around how I was going to add my voice to this industry. I am a feminist and even though I have loved make up, jewelry and clothes for a long as I can remember, I struggled in how as a feminist, I can become a part of an industry that I could not relate to. I never had a mom who wore make-up, did her hair and didn’t really care about clothes. She could sew and I got her to make me SO many clothes. So, whatever creative interest I had, I think it came genetically and I chose to use make up and clothes as my paint brush and my body the canvas (could also be why I have been tattooed 8 times). I was never exposed to any of it, other than being marketed to in magazines and commercials when I was older.
The thing is, I am selfish. And playing with make-up and jewelry and clothes made ME happy. I was not doing it for anyone else. With the exception of the teen years, where I was trying to find my own identity AND fit in with my peers. I still didn’t really care, but I probably held myself back and kept myself small so I wouldn’t be noticed.
Anyway, back to my tea analogy...did you forget I started with that? Don’t worry, I didn’t and I will get us back on track.
SO, when I decided to toss my hat into a saturated industry where there are a million videos on what to wear and what not to wear on Youtube. Titles like “how to dress skinny”, “what is making you look outdated”...I ended up feeling icky. Not that there's anything wrong with those videos...I just could not personally relate at all. It had me question, should I even start? It was obvious that this kind of content is what women wanted as they were getting millions of views. I thought maybe I wouldn't be as successfulI since I didn't want to give that kind of content.
But I am a determined woman. I struggled a lot with my messaging and with that inner part of me that felt compelled to provide what the masses will eat up. But I didn’t. I wanted to give another message. I want to not TELL others how to dress. Seems weird as a Personal Stylist right?! I wanted to teach women had to dress confidently THEMSELVES. I wanted to give them tools that they can apply themselves so that they could find out who they are, how they want to feel and show up for themselves. No one else. Not dress like all the latest fashion bloggers, not for their husband, not to hide their body and not to dim their light and keep others comfortable.
While this was all happening inside my head. I started questioning EVERYTHING. I love asking “why”. I have a passion for the social sciences and in human behaviour. So much so that I pursued a degree in Psychology and certificates in Behavioural Analysis. I studied, analyzed and changed behaviour for over a decade. So, when something makes me feel icky, I trust my gut and I ask WHY. Why do the majority of women who have fat and curves hate their bodies and want to hide it? Why do people diet? Why are we obsessed with anti aging? Why does wearing shapewear make women feel more confident? Why do we cover our grey? Why do women put 25 products on their face and none of that is even make up? Why do I shave my armpits?
SO MANY QUESTIONS.
When I look at all of them, the answer seems obvious. We have been sold on the idea that as women, we have to do all of these things to feel confident, worthy and accepted. How the hell was I going to be a part of it? I help women with what they wear...but I had to find a way that didn’t put even more pressure on them.
So, I have found my way and let me tell you...it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I am not going to shame you for believing in any of the above. I love makeup. I love heels. I love putting on an outfit that makes me feel powerful. I want to take care of myself and I honestly don’t want to grow out my armpit hair. But I want to create an environment that allows women who want to express themselves in any kind of way, without feeling judged or less then. I want women who have stomachs to not feel like they have to hide them or wear oversized clothes that make them feel like shit. If you want to stop shaving...then girl, you will never get a judgement from me. I will admire you for challenging the status quo and being true to you.
That is the ultimate right there. Finding out what feels good for you after you peel back all the layers of societal norms and pressures. I hope to get there before I die.
So, I am going to challenge the status quo. I am going to make you question why you do what you do. Judgement free. But I will challenge you. I will call out companies big and local (yup, this REALLY can piss people off) who use shame marketing to sell their products and services to women. Because again...I want to create an environment where women are not sold on the idea that they are broken and need to be fixed in order to hold space in the world.
If you can relate to any of this, then enjoy the ride. If I trigger you...ask yourself what belief am I challenging of yours?
If I just annoy you, then that is okay.
I am not everyone's cup of tea.