BODY TALK

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Does a fertile amount of cleavage make you feel freer? Heck yeah?! Well then this is the dress for you.

Just kidding. . . this blog is not about cleavage. . . but actually, it kind of is. .

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A young and still soft-spoken girl, I remember arriving at summer camp one year, having enthusiastically put together the items in my suitcase that I felt best expressed who I was at the time. Unpacking in a golden oak cabin with other girls, I remember then being told by our dorm leader, a girl just a few years older than myself, that my mid-thigh shorts were not appropriate and could prompt other people to behave badly. Now, this wasn’t the biggest deal and didn’t at all stop me from enjoying my week away. However, before assimilating into the mass of other boys and girls that afternoon, I remembering wondering to myself, quietly, if my shorts could really be the cause of bad behavior in others and feeling as though my comfortability with my own body was somehow shameful.

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In light of this, shooting in this particular look, an ochre decoration on my body, felt something like going home.

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It also cued sensations similar to that of a trip down to Fish Creek that I’d made with a friend last August. Wading in shades of Nevada teal and parting the kaleidoscope of sun reflections on the water, that same sensation of being at home in my own body came over me. I’ve come to realize, in a very personal way, that acknowledging my sensuality and carrying myself with that in mind does not equate the loss of either my grace or purity. Quoting from a piece I’d felt prompted to write later that day, “In solitude, I enjoy both the impacts and rising curves of my body, acknowledging this sensuality as an approval of myself, to myself. This is personal. It isn’t for someone else”.

This ideology is also highly applicable to the way that we dress.

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In life and in instances such as this – my figure draped in a lushness that exposes the softness with which I was created – I think it so important to not associate our own bodies with shame. Regardless of the weight or slightness of our figures, being a woman is so beautiful. I will continue to shine, allowing myself to radiate through and be complimented by what I choose to wear on my body. Returning to the piece I wrote that day, I’ve worked hard to know that “my purity and grace are interlaced in the way that I carry myself. As a woman, these two things are not determined by the way that people choose to treat us.”

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xo

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Lustre and a look at interactive beauty.

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The scales on the wings of brown African butterflies thicken and evolve to reflect violet light, “if it suits them” – a letter of love to their surroundings, a stunning externalization of their own genetic make-up.

A friend and I are chatting while glazing the rims of our coffee mugs in bright, cosmetic reds. As it often does, the conversation turns toward expression and what it means to be noticed and influenced by others, while indulging in dress that’s true to who we are and what awakens us, internally.

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There’s a beautiful and unique conversation that goes on between the way we choose to adorn ourselves and the environments we reflect.

I remember myself – a little girl gaping up at “full grown” women in loud, elegant outfits thinking “twenty”, my hunger to be like them nearly seeping from my stomach. Not fully understanding why, at the time, the thought curdled nonetheless, coming out (then) in lipstick and in art and (now) in more ladylike garments and still in art. . . and lipstick.

Sometimes the little things that influence us stick around and become who we are, fashion calling them to sight in a rich and navy lustre;

Fibre vulnerable to the indents and folds of my twenty-something year old body;

Hoarfrost thread crowning neck and queuing delicate fingers, mind;

This is the response I don towards a visual culture that’s informed who I am.

This can only be had in the knowing that’s it’s OK to be influenced by the environments we espouse while seeking to express what make us . . . us.

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x

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