Tag Archives: body image

Dress Your Best #3

Yesterday, I dressed to highlight the part of me I’m probably most familiar with: my face. The color and neckline of my blouse frame it nicely, I think. I pulled all of my hair back, which is something I almost never do because, somewhere along the way, I got the idea that it makes my face look huge. Well, it doesn’t. I should pull it back more often.

I read once that the more you look at a part of yourself in the mirror, the more comfortable you become with it. Years of applying makeup and fixing my hair mean that I’ve looked at my face in the mirror a lot. I know its peaks and valleys intimately.

My face does have some quirks. I have a scar right in the middle of my forehead that I got from jumping into a TV stand when I was about eight. (I was aiming for my cousin.) And yet, though it’s clearly visible in many of my photos, it’s not something I’m very conscious of anymore. I have to remind myself that it’s there. One thing that I do notice in my photos, but not as much in the mirror, is the slight asymmetry of my eyes and eyebrows. I cannot purposely cock an eyebrow to save my life, yet I often look as if I’m raising my right one. I’m not judging you, I promise!

I’ve battled with breakouts for years now, and I’ve recently stepped up my skincare regimen. I’ve been trying to wash my makeup off every night, no matter how tired I am. Being vigilant about cleansing and applying benzoyl peroxide and moisturizer is slowly but surely improving the quality of my skin.

I used to want blue eyes more than anything, but now I love my distinct brand of hazel. (The person I know whose eye color is most like mine is not a family member, but my very best friend. Isn’t that odd? I think it’s a sign that we’re soul mates.) I love the shape of my eyebrows.  I love my cheeks – they’re exactly like my beautiful grandmother’s. I love my smile. And as a makeup junkie, I love that I can use my face as a canvas for a rainbow of colors.

My face has character. What’s the saying about getting the face you deserve when you’re old? I hope when I’m an old woman, my face is the face of a gracious, kind woman who has laughed and loved with all her heart.

God has blessed me by having compassion on me.


Dress Your Best #2

Another Dress Your Best day. Today, I am celebrating my overall body shape.

One of the reasons I love my shape so much is because it’s like my mom’s. I am of medium height (around 5’6″), and my mom is pretty short (about 5’1″). I look like a giant next to her, not even kidding. And yet our bodies are shaped almost exactly alike. Take my mom, scale her up a bit, and you get me.

Though I am constantly in a state of wanting to shape up and feeling disappointed in my lack of fitness, I think I have a pretty great frame. My wrists and ankles are small. I’m not a classic hourglass, since I’m a bit bigger on the bottom than on the top, but I have a defined waist, and I love to punctuate it with fitted tops, full skirts, and belts.

I love this dress, which I think I will nickname The Poppy Dress. It’s bright, it has a retro feel, and I got it on clearance at Macy’s for something like $13, I think. But the best part is that it fits and flares in all the right places, and I feel amazing in it.

God has blessed me by giving me times of reflection.

Dress Your Best #1

I am participating in Dress Your Best 2011! I love the body-positive message this challenge sends, and I hope that by highlighting some of my favorite things about myself, I can boost my confidence a bit.

First up on my list is a feature that I have a dramatic relationship with: my hair. It’s been all shades of blonde, all shades of brown, and a few shades of red throughout the years. It’s been short, long, straight, curly, wavy, fringed, and fringeless. I joke that I have no trouble committing to a man, but can never commit to a hairstyle for long.  A few of my previous styles:

I’ve recently decided to ditch shampoo, in the hopes that I can rock my natural curls/waves more often, and that my hair will bounce back from some of the damage I’ve done to it with chemicals and heat. I’m also trying to grow it out. I’m still transitioning, but I have to say that I’m coming out of a long period of feeling  not so hot about my hair to feeling like it looks pretty good. Today, I dressed to highlight my locks.

All of the fiddling I’ve done with my hair for the past several years has resulted in my realizing that I feel the most “me” when I have longer, dark blonde, wavy locks. As weird as it may sound, I think a lot of my hair experiments have been the result of feeling less-than-good about myself, particularly my weight. I can’t drop 20 pounds instantly, but I can buy a box of hair color, or head to the salon, or hack into my own bangs and have a new look in 30 minutes. A part of me really loves being fearless with my hair – people are often shocked by how willing I am to change it. Another part of me, though, is ready to stop running from my insecurities and settle into a comfortable style for a bit.

I’m pretty close to my natural color at this point, with some highlights. I’ve always found that blue seems to work best with my natural coloring, and I felt bright and fresh today. I did not get any full-body pictures of this outfit, which I wore to Daniel’s ten-year class reunion (!), but just picture a denim skirt and cute sandals. It was perfect for the low-key festivities.

So what about you? Do you change your hair with your emotions, like me, or have you stuck with what works for you?

God has blessed me with amazing friends.

Treasure(d) Chest

I’m still dressing my best, and I’m enjoying the challenge.  So far, I’ve dressed my hips and my waist.  Yesterday, I shifted focus to the upper half of my body, and I concentrated on dressing my neck/chest/shoulder region (is there a singular word that covers all of that?)

I chose a dress with a deep V-neck to showcase my chest and neck.  Perhaps I would have further directed attention to my upper half had I covered my legs, but Daniel and I were headed to my parents’ house for a casual dinner, and the evening was so warm and lovely that an easy summer dress seemed perfect.

This area of my body has been a favorite of mine for a long time.  I love its planes and curves; I love the way the light plays off my collarbone; I love how the bones and tendons under the skin create such fluid, graceful lines.  Even at my heaviest, when I felt like nothing about my body was worth celebrating, I could dress to show off my neck and chest and feel somewhat good about myself.  I’m blessed to be moderately enough endowed that I can wear revealing necklines without showing too much (unless I want to – it’s all about the undergarments), and I take advantage of that in the summertime.

I got this zebra print dress last Tuesday during my shopping trip for $7.99, and I think it will be fun to find different ways to style it this summer.  The opportunities seem endless!  For its debut, I paired it with gold accessories, and it was comfortable and fun and perfect for eating grilled steak and shrimp (yum!).  We had a lovely time.

So which feature will I feature next?  I know the suspense is killing you.

A Waist is a Terrible Thing to Waste

So this is my second post for Dress Your Best Week, and I’m pretty excited.  I feel like I did a good job of accentuating my body-part-of-the-day, my waist!  This is a sequel to yesterday’s post, because my waist and hips are kind of like a team.  They help one another be the best they can be.  I love my hips partly because they contrast so nicely with my waist, and vice versa. I feel like when one looks good, the other automatically looks good.

If you’ve read very much of this blog, you’ll know that I’m working on losing weight.  I’ve lost over 30 pounds in the last several months, and I still have a good bit to go.  However, I’m finally feeling comfortable in my own skin again, and I’m feeling pretty confident overall.  I did wear this jacket most of the day, however, because I thought this outfit might be just a little too accentuating for work.  Here it is without the jacket:

I’m finally wearing the Breton top I bought on Tuesday!  I love it so much and can already tell it’ll see a lot of use.  I also just went for it with the red lipstick today, and I really like how it looks!

Anyway, back to my waist.  As I’ve been working on getting fit, I’ve been taking my measurements every whipstitch.  I was extremely disappointed in the last waist measurement I took, because it hadn’t changed from before.  I’ve been discouraged about the fact that I haven’t lost inches very quickly.  So it was really good for me today to just decide that I was going to feel good about my waist, pick out an outfit that makes it look its best, and head out the door with a smile on my face.  And now that I see my pictures, I’m very pleased with the way the look came together, and with the definition of my waist.

Stay tuned!  I’ll be finding another body part to love for tomorrow.

I’m Hip!

So the gals over at academichic are encouraging us all to love our bodies with Dress Your Best Week.  I’m a little late to the party, but hey, better late than never!  Today I will be paying homage to my hips.

I love the way my hips flare out so gently from my waist.  I love the way they look in form-fitting pants or skirts.  I love the way it feels when my husband rests his hands on them.  Someday, my hips will help me bear children, and provide a comfy seat for them (though for the time being, they provide a nice spot for laundry baskets).

The fit of the pants and the length of the blouse draw attention to my hips, and I’m pleased with the way this outfit turned out.  I also just really love the cheerfulness of this floral top.

So that’s one body part celebrated!  Though today is technically the last day of Dress Your Best Week, I think I’ll keep it going a few extra days.  I doubt anyone will say, “No!  No more finding things to love and celebrate about your body after today!”  It just really feels good to focus on the positive.