I had an epiphany recently, thanks to my love affair with Project Runway and Project Runway: All Stars: I’m a mega bitch. Not to others, though. Just to myself.
It’s really thanks to Lori Goldstein and a little interview snippet that QVC shared during commercial breaks that I started to realize maybe I needed to rethink the way I talk about myself. In my internal monologue. Okay, I guess I talk to myself outloud sometimes. FINE, all. the. time.
In the commercial she’s wearing several different funky outfits, all her style. Almost none of the pieces are anything I would ever wear, but I still think, “Damn, she’s rocking it.” Put me in those clothes and people would be all, “Oh, are you letting your toddler dress you for the week?”
The more I saw the commercial though, the harder I thought about it. “I actually like that vest,” I’d say to myself. “I love the color of her pants.”
“But it would never work on me…”
Jumpers. Skinny jeans. Fluorescent colors. Red lipstick. Shin length skirts. None of those things can be incorporated into my wardrobe. As much as I love them, they look too weird on me. Out of place. They work on these people I see on TV, but they’re pioneers. They are leading the charge in what it means to have style and a sense of fashion.
Lori, though. Lori says, “…make these clothes your own. Buy one piece, or 100 pieces; whatever works for you! What is so exciting is that everyone is really making it their own.” And she means it.
This week I’ve been trying something. I’ve been wearing the outfits that I put together in my head when I buy new clothes or shoes. High heeled ankle booties with my skinny jeans. Long maxi dresses and oversized shrugs.
It’s not contained to just clothes, however. My writing, for one, always feels out of place. The timing isn’t right. Or the platform is better suited for a different voice. The theme might be right, the subject matter and technical aspects are spot on, but the delivery is off. Like a pair of jeans that’s just an inch too short, if I was a hair different (and by ‘different’ I mean closer to average), we’d go together like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong.
The suckiest part in all of this is that I see others who, like me, don’t fit that average mold and I think they’re amazing. More than that, I cheer them on. Breaking the made-up rules we have for ourselves left and right with their style, their voice, their lifestyles.
Case in point: Women in bikinis. I want to wear a bikini so badly. But I can’t. Because stretchmarks. Because jiggly thighs. Because weird armpit-fat sideboob things. I will rip my physical appearance in a bikini apart up one side and down the other so hard that there are barely shreds of myself left to shove into the control top skirted one piece I always fall back on. I could, however, see a women with a body identical to mine, blemishes and cellulite included, and think, “Whoo, look at her rocking that bikini! Way to go, mama!
WHY?! Why does this person who I have no freaking knowledge of deserve celebration more than I do? Am I so much better than her that I should be holding myself up to insane standards while cheering her on for just being the way she is? What makes her so much better than me that I can applaud her self confidence but bitch-slap myself for thinking I am vain for feeling good about myself?
I am a troll. I am a hater. I say the worst things about myself, always. ALWAYS. Whatever horrible thing you may think about me, I promise I have thought it 1,000 times and worse.
No more though. Starting now, I am just going for it. I will be one of those women I admire for owning themselves. Their style. Their voice. Their path. Their destiny.