What Ashley Graham and I Have in Common

 

 

Do you notice a swing in the media?  Probably not, because only a small percentage are actually jumping on board.

By this time we are all aware of the touching-up (or maybe we should say manipulation) that is done to photographs for magazines.  It has created tens of thousands of insecure young women who are trying to squeeze into an unrealistic ideal.

I know: I was one of them.  When Allure magazine came out in the 90s, I was so excited because their initial commitment was to be body-conscious and low advertising.  But when reality hits and a business needs to pay the bills, the magazine abandoned their mission and started advertising like everyone else.  They became part of the industry standard of creating a luxury catalog for high-end designers.

I know we all like to know what is on trend out there.  I am guessing less than 1% can actually afford most of the clothing advertised in Vogue, Bazaar and the like.  I assume that is why many high-end brands like Missoni and Balmain have collaborated with H&M and Target to reach more of the masses.  Knocking off their own designs for a fraction of the cost.  Pimping them out to people who would never be able to touch their high price-tags.  This is why all over the world there were lines over night to get into H&M during the Missoni and Balmain sales.

It is true we all want to look good and feel good.  But the standard is unrealistic and there is a very refreshing shift in the landscape happening.  Its called Body Positivity. 

Now, we all have a negativity bias.  This is the concept that our thoughts inherently will shift to a negative thought process.  It is imperative that we work on training our minds to up level a negativity bias.   It actually takes 3 positive thoughts to transform a negative thought.  How’s that for work?

For example, you are out shopping with a friend.  It’s a fine Friday afternoon and you have some cash to play with.  Wouldn’t it be nice, you think, to find something you love.  So you go through the stores, but nothing really fits. You might have noticed the sleeves we too short, or the hips were too boxy.  Then you notice your desire to find the next great accent in your closet slowly draining away.  

Little do you know, your brain has slowly shifted to: “Nothing fits me.  What is wrong with my body?  My hips are too big, my arms are too long.”  And, yes, steam starts to burst out of your ears.  A simple fun shopping day with a friend turns into an internal battle.  You are at war now.

Your conscious mind realizes what’s happening.  “Its ok, lets try another store.”

You stroll further down the shops and think higher end is better.  Yes that’s it.  I need to spend more money on something that will really fit.  You hit All Saints. 

Notably a little more edgy.  You think, “Yes, I just need to find a little more edge to what I wear.”    

Kid you not, this is what happens.

In All Saints you pick out some cool $80 tee-shirt with rivets on it and think, “This is it.  Funky and different.  It will fit.”  Now normally you are a medium, but you notice that the shirt runs a little small, so you try the large.

In the fitting room your heart starts to melt… the Large does not fit!  What? How can this be?  And the spiral begins.  

“I am fat.  My body is too big for these clothes.”

I will let you in on a little secret.  The fashion industry has lost control of its sizing pool.   So we end up body-shaming instead of accepting our choices, our curves, and loving the gift of freedom.

One of the leaders of the Body Positivity movement is Ashley Graham.  She is really shaking up the way women are seen and portrayed in the fashion world.  I love this article; Ashley Graham Is Breaking Gender Barriers and Promoting Body Positivity in V Magazine

Ashley says in the interview with Chelsea Handler.

“I’ve been doing this now for 17 years, and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve spoken up about the label ‘plus-size,  I don’t think women should be labeled at all. I think that it’s completely divisive. But, for whatever reason, I am the one that has been given the opportunity to be on so many covers and to have a voice. I don’t take that lightly, and I think that being the voice and face for so many women that haven’t been represented — in fashion, or film, or TV — is encouraging, it’s amazing.”

Let’s start right here.  I believe everyone needs a judgment detox and needs to take massive gulps of acceptance to break though this negativity bias.  This is an inside-out game.  It is all about noticing how you feel when you are triggered by external, unattainable forms of so-called beauty.

When you feel that moment of the inner critic on high alert just stop and breathe.  Say, “I am beautiful.”

I cannot tell you how many of my clients feel this way.  So know you are not alone in finding your true beauty.  It does not come from the outside.  It comes from deep within.  Try some hip circles to feel it.

Leave a comment on the blog and let me know how you feel!  I am here to support you.


Much love,

Carrie

P.S. I am offering Mic Drop Mission packages for the next month at an incredible price. You will learn:

  • What in your body is holding you back
  • How to dress to support your body
  • How to express your soul’s style
  • How to incorporate your personal style into your branding and marketing

You will get your own personalized manifesto to help execute and build your style for business and life.  I can't wait to meet you!