- On November 11, 2020
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- body image, enclothed cognition, finding your voice, intentional dressing, personal style, self-care, self-love, womxn in politics, womxn stand up
Finding my voice
As a teen and for much of my adult life, I hated my body. Along with that came shame, lack of confidence, and a desire to disappear into the woodwork. For years, I hid in hugely oversized and baggy clothing – clothes were the enemy, until they became the key to finding my voice.
Negative body image trickled into everything – how I participated in school, work, and social life, how I expressed my thoughts and opinions (or didn’t), and how I showed up in the world. It was a painful way to live.
Fast forward to my 40th birthday. I was married to a man (and still am) who saw past all that and loved me for ME. And we had a 4-year old daughter – whip smart, inquisitive, empathic, and highly observant. It was time for me to put negative body image in its place. I wanted my girl to love her body and herself. And I knew for that to happen, I needed to walk the talk.
My journey to positive body image and finding my voice started with the show What Not To Wear (read more in this post). What began as curiosity around “the rules” in a reality TV show became a trajectory that has transformed my life. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly showed me that no matter your body type, how much you weigh, how old you are, (insert all other physical characteristics judged by cultural norms here), you can look – and FEEL – fantastic in your clothes.
I learned later about the science behind feeling good in your clothes – enclothed cognition. It is the foundation of the work that I do, and it has changed everything for me. How I show up in the world – both physically and emotionally. What I do for a living. How I interact with people. And most importantly, how I feel about myself.
Using my voice
Clothing is a tool for empowerment for me. And that is how I approach my work with clients: clothing can help make your life what you want it to be. The right clothing can foster confidence. It can help you feel strong. Clothing is an extremely powerful tool for expression of self and of self worth. And it can help you speak out for what you want.
Clothing has become the avenue in which I work for womxn’s rights. I work with people of all genders and identities, and womxn in particular. And the longer I do this work (7 years and counting!), the more I feel compelled to support other womxn in reaching their goals – in work, in personal life, and most recently in politics.
I launched Womxn Stand Up this year to support womxn running for office to make change in our community and nation. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” Womxn’s voices need to be heard, and more womxn in office will accomplish that. Our nation took a giant step with the election of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. She is breaking barriers for many womxn to follow, and I aim to support them.
Finding Your Voice
A few weeks before the election, I offered a second free daily practice series, The Finding Your Voice Daily Practice. The timing was intentional, and part of the series included a Get Out the Vote effort. If we want to see change in our nation, we must vote – it’s a way for our voices to be heard.
For womxn especially, it has become increasingly more important for us to use our voices. According to the Center for American Progress, womxn make up 50.8% of the US population, yet lag far behind men in holding leadership roles and elected office. It’s time for womxn to speak out. Womxn approach leadership differently than men, offering another perspective. Womxn should have more influence in our policies, and in womxn’s issues particularly.
I’ve decided to offer the series again, because even though the election’s over, The Finding Your Voice Daily Practice is a way to explore using your voice in a more intentional way. It gives you the opportunity to think about what’s important to you and how you might channel that into action. Action is what’s needed right now. And action from strong women, all the better. SIGN UP HERE