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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On pursuing yourself.

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As I’m sure any of you can relate to, I find that no matter how many times I free up my inhibitions to have my photo taken in public, I’m always still a little bit intimidated at the number of people who will stop to peek at the girl making funny poses, or so I presume. While this doesn’t sound like a very big deal (and really, it isn’t), it does make me wonder about the way we react, in general, to being observed vs. the way other people observe us. .

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I’m sure we’ve all been there – at a show or concert watching some cutie on stage, completely in his or her element, charismatically doling out chords. In instances like this, I’ll often find myself mesmerized by the experience of watching strangers exercise their passions – an intimate experience rarely had with someone I don’t know personally.

In fact, I’ve found that whenever I’m most in my element – most myself – is when I’ve felt the most appreciated.

 

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I’ve found that if I try to keep this in mind, it helps me to relax into a sort of exchange with the people who stop to watch the action. I feel as though most of what we perceive, in life, to be potential judgements on us are actually just mere curiosities. I really do think there’s something to the statement “we’re our own worst critic”. And I guess that’s one of the nicer aspects of getting older – allowing personal insecurities to meld and transform into strengths to be indulged in, by both ourselves and others.

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And, as always, this can be applied to what we wear. I feel so fortunate to live in an age and on a continent where freedom of expression is possible, where women can choose to adorn ourselves in a way that speaks to our souls. Stepping out of our comfort zones and into looks or behaviours that make us feel at home in ourselves, instead of clothed in insecurities, can be just as intimidating as the judgment we fear, but is So worth the risk.

While people often begin their new resolutions in January, I don’t think there’s ever a wrong time to learn to gently pursue ourselves.

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xo

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