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Clothes Matter

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Well it's been... nearly a year. I will never become a blog-ist. But thinking is hard, writing is hard, and time is a construct so you know, pick one of those and that's why I haven't blogged for a while.

I also can't always descramble my brain in a way that I can make it make sense to anyone other than me, there is a reason my emails are always so short, and for a while now this blog has more served as overspill from my newsletter. When I get my teeth into a subject and as I type I am surprised to discover I am Having Feelings and have a lot to bloody say. Well, more than I'd feel comfortable putting in a newsletter, anyway.

As with a lot of these thought dumps, this one is about clothes. And this one came about due to a few things; Queer Eye; Valentines Day; the idea of self love. Now Queer Eye is AALLLL about self love and clothes fiend that I am, one of my fave of the fab five is Tan France. I feel like he think so carefully and with such delicacy about pushing people's boundaries and helping them not only to feel comfortable in their own skin, but to love what they see in the mirror.

To quote Carrie*, it made me wonder: When do we start hating ourselves? Is it when we're kids? Or is it later as a teen? What happens there? Why do we speak to ourselves and treat our bodies in ways that we'd never ever imagine doing to another person? What is that about? If I was being glib I'd say it's the patriarchy's fault (it absolutely is) but I'm sure there's loads of other stuff at play.

I recorded a stupid TikTok video today (I am way too old for that platform, but eh, small biz needs must) and I was recording my outfit, which incidentally, is fabulous. The shorts I'm wearing highlight quite nicely my little mama pouch and do I LOVE it? Not always. But it's a part of my body and it tells my story and it never asked to be there but it is so why should I punish it, or me, by hating on it if my clothing accentuates it? Layering on all the 80s silliness and gorgeousness today, meant that in the mirror instead of being like ARGH POUCH I was like AAOOOWWW YES amazing outfit! 

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Similarly, I'm learning to love my legs at the moment, so I'm really enjoying short shorts and tights or leggings, and plan to continue the leg love over the summer and letting them see the sun; blemishes, varicose veins and cellulite and all. I cannot tell you how long I've been hiding my bare legs for, since I was a teen if not earlier. I think I was afraid of dressing in a sexy way? Or a feminine way? I was incredibly uncomfortable with both those things as a  young teen. And as many women approaching middlish age, you think back to the things you hated about your body when you were younger and you think: You PLUM. 

This is the body I have now. I don't have any plans to change it (well.. maybe a couple more tattoos) now do I have any clever ways to suggest how to love your wobbly bits, cos I can't say I love mine. But I'm trying, and by dressing me wobbles and jiggles in colours and clothes I love at least I'm treating them nicely. Some might say this is a lipstick on a pig situation (Note: I am not calling myself a pig, or ugly, I think I look alright, as it happens!) but so forking what? You wear that lipstick, pig, you look effing fabulous.

Something else that comes up in Queer Eye is the challenging of gender norms, and the scene between JVN and the cattle rancher talking about being non binary was just... UGH heart eyes. I'm so thrilled by all the conversations and realisations people are having around gender constructs and how they present themselves because it feels like maybe, just maybe, we're collectively done with being told who to be and how to be and we're going to just let ourselves be.

So, here is my battle cry to you. Find something you love and absolutely wreath yourself in it. Put on those earrings, that hair tie, the nail polish, the shoes, whatever it is, no matter how big or how small, gift your body the gift of gorgeousness so that every time you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror you gasp and think WHO is that vision? WHO is this goddess? View yourself kindly, give yourself a hug; trust me, you'll really feel the benefit.

*who's watching THAT train wreck of a show? I had to stop, I couldn't take it.