Today’s post was going to be titled “Versatile Skirt/Dress Made from Sew Cheeky Fabric’s Retro Doodle knit” or something to that effect. I sewed up this great dress that can also be worn as a knee-length skirt or midi-length skirt depending on my mood. I did it without using a pattern – go me! And wahoo – not only did it come out well – I LOVE it.
So, I did what any person would do – I had my husband conduct a photo shoot. He’s become quite adept at getting photos of me. And before you think this is a post where I’m saying, “I don’t look good, build me up,” let me stop you there. I look freaking awesome in this dress/skirt. We had a lot of fun. I felt like such a goof coming up with my props – but I LOVE how the pictures come out. I look beautiful, and very diva-like in the dress, fun and playful in the knee-length skirt, and cute in the midi-length skirt. I was stoked, and I posted the pictures on my personal Facebook page.
Now, I’m well-past the age where I need outside validation to know that I look good/that I’m cool/ that whatever. I couldn’t give a flying rat’s hind end whether someone likes me or something I make. So that’s not why I’m writing this now. I’m writing this because there are many other women – those who never take pictures with their kids (and many who are far smaller than I), those who starve themselves even though there’s no weight left to lose, those struggling with medical issues of very sorts, and those who have had lifelong struggles with weight and body image – there are ALL KINDS OF WOMEN who might post something similar, and who, instead of standing up for themselves, may delete the images they’ve posted, and retreat into the background, hiding their body from further criticism or comment.
So what was the “offending” thing that happened when I shared my fabulous sewn creation? Someone, a person I’ve not met in person, but whom I know through another person close to me, took it upon herself to recommend that I “like” a Facebook page dedicated to low carb and high protein eating.
You know? I’d already had so many “likes” on my pictures and posts across the places I’d shared. I get that posting pictures of myself full-bodied and confident does open me up to possible criticism, and I’m good with that. It wasn’t even that such a suggestion hurt my feelings. No, it pissed me off.
You see, there are a lot of assumptions with a recommendation like that. One is that I don’t like how I am currently. Another is that I want advice on my weight that my doctor couldn’t give me (my doctors have never mentioned my size as a concern to them, by the way. That’s because on paper, I am extremely healthy, healthier than I was, actually, when I was 22 years old and a size 00 would hang loosely from my bony, too-thin body. By the way, when I was that tiny? People kept telling me to eat a sandwich. Sigh. Is a woman’s weight EVER off the table for others to comment on?). A third, more shady assumption is that I just couldn’t possibly actually be happy with my body the way it is.
Here’s the thing, though. I think that this person meant well. She probably really thought she was “helping” me. I think it was coming from a place of her own insecurities. It was a way of her saying “If I were your size, I’d want to look for this solution.”
However, I rather like my body. Here are many reasons why I like this body I have.
- I’m a corporeal being. I rather like having a body. If I didn’t, I don’t know that I’d exist. I mean maybe I would be chillin’ in the spiritual realm watching over my family, but my body allows me to do things. I can interact with the world around me.
- My body has nurtured life, twice. It is the body belonging to the mother of my two, very awesome children.
- This body has allowed me to build houses with Habitat for Humanity.
- This body has allowed me to hug those who needed hugs – even strangers who were hurting.
- This body is STRONG.
- This body has completed several 5K races. While I haven’t participated in one since Little Miss was born, it’s something I want to do again to help raise money for various causes.
- This body allows me to get from point A to point B.
- This body survived domestic violence, emotional abuse, and other trauma.
The list goes on and frankly, you don’t need to know the reasons why i love my body the way it is. You need to know the reasons you love your body the way it is. It’s uniquely yours. It allows you to do all the things you enjoy doing. You, dear reader, are beautiful. I know that sounds like mumbo jumbo hippy feel good crap – but it’s true. We get so caught up in what everyone else thinks or might think or may possibly think about us, that it’s hard to see ourselves through all of that.
My husband is my photographer (every once in a while Tiger Boy will step in and take a picture or two in his place). That means, the person on the other side of the camera is someone who loves me and who thinks I’m absolutely beautiful as. I. am. When he takes photos, and I look through them, it’s kind of like seeing myself through his eyes – particularly when I go through the photos and he comments on the ones he likes. Even without him, in those times I try to capture selfies, I find that I rather like what I see – a lot of the time. Now, I’m not perfect. There are times when I don’t feel so great. There are times when someone suggesting a weight loss page could really sting… and that’s why I’m writing this.
In a world where so many women do not take photos with their children because they’re “too fat” or have a pimple or aren’t dressed right, why the HELL would anyone be so stupid and irresponsible as to recommend such a page to any woman who did not specifically ask for advice on weight loss methods or diets? Would you say to someone’s face, “Oh hey, have you heard of Weight Watchers”, right after she said to you, “Look at this fabulous dress I made! I feel so great in it!”?
On that note, I’ll say to you, look at this fabulous dress/skirt I created. I love it, it’s comfortable, and I think I look amazing in it – especially when I’m wearing it as a dress. I made it using So Cheeky Fabric’s Retro Doodles. I was sent a yard of the fabric’s strike off to review. It was really easy to sew with, it’s stretchy in a good way, I didn’t use a pattern. Instead, I made it based off my waist and hip measurements (and incidentally my upper bust is the same). I cut the waistband out and sewed it up and hemmed it. It was a really quick sew – partially because I kept the “pattern” simple, but also because the fabric is both beautiful and easy to work with. Here it is. I have three different “looks” I created, and I was goofing off in the back yard while hubby was taking pictures.
Look 1: “Saturday Morning Farmer’s Market”
The sweater is Old Navy, tank top is from Gap, shoes are Monolo Blahnik.
Look 2: Coffee Shop Bookworm
Okay, so I’m not *in* a coffee shop. But still 😛 Top is oh gosh, I don’t know. I think I got it from Kohls years upon years ago. The shoes here are also older, I think from Target, actually. The sweater is super-vintage. I’ve had it since I was 16. It belonged to my grandmother before then. There’s one more “look” after this, and you don’t want to miss it.
Look 3: Full-on DIVA
My favorite. The cardigan is older, from Fashion Bug (I actually got it and a couple of tops and some jeans after doing a fashion show as a plus-sized model several years back while still in grad school). The shoes are Gucci.
And so, my lovelies, keep on keeping on. I’m going to head off and snuggle a cute baby.