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Friday, March 23, 2012

Derrière Delusions

“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”~ Steve Maraboli

Ah, the dreaded 'does this make my butt look big' question. So much anxiety. So much worry.  So much wanting to change body proportions that cannot (at least not without mucho $$$) be changed. You can lose/gain weight, but for the most part your proportions- how your various parts relate to each other- remains essentially the same.  And so many bizarre wardrobe decisions based on this anxiety rather than a realistic assessment of what will look best on us.  Instead we just find clothes to cover the backside and then don't think about it anymore because the whole thing just makes us so unhappy. We go into the delusional state where we think that if no one can see it it somehow looks better.

Ok, first of all, lets get some perspective on this.  You need to make peace with this whole thing- you need to make peace with your backside, your thighs, your belly, your bust- all of it.   I guarantee others don't look at any of it nearly as critically as you do. If you're the type to look in the mirror and have a derogatory thought or feeling when you see a part of your body you don't feel good about realize that the imagined ideal that you're comparing yourself to doesn't actually exist. Not even the models in the ads we're bombarded with look like that. And besides, being hypercritical of your body won't motivate you to work out better, eat better, sleep better, or anything else: it'll only make you feel bad and drain your energy. So it serves NO PURPOSE. Only say and think positive things about your body. Every time a negative thought creeps in, consciously follow it with a positive one. Then, when you do work out it'll be more pleasant and you may have more energy. You may feel less anxiety. You may feel more confident. Any improvement is a gain, and it's totally free to boot. Bottom line- (sorry) you have a body, it gets you through life- love it and treat it well. Don't say nasty things to it.  As pointed out earlier it serves no purpose and after all, it really doesn't deserve that. Louise L. Hay is a fabulous resource for positive self talk- you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

So, have we properly disposed of the scary and counterproductive tapes we play in our head about our perception that our body is less than perfect?  Please?  Can we move on to the fun part??

Now down to what it's really all about- proportions.  There's a trick to this; if you have an hourglass or pear shape, whatever your size, place the emphasis below the waist on the vertical lines- from the waist or just above the hips straight down to the hemline or feet. Avoid having a horizontal line- a 'line break'- the hem of a blouse, jacket, sweater, etc., right at the middle of your hips, below your bottom, or anywhere in between. If it's a fitted top, like a sweater or other knit, and it's the same color as the bottom, then most likely this will not visually 'read' as a line break, or horizontal line.  The goal is to have the eye see an uninterrupted line from the waist or high hip (just below the waist) straight down to the skirt hem or feet if you're in pants.  This visually elongates your legs, and makes your backside 'blend' nicely with your proportions.

If you're very tall with long legs, or you have a short torso compared with your legs you can most likely cover your behind, have the line break at the widest point of your hips or below your backside, and the proportions may well be good. If your behind is on the larger side though you'll have to be careful- don't wear bulky things that add too much width around the widest part of your body (hips) or you'll make yourself look bigger than you are, and that could throw off the proportions. 

If you have more average length legs and/or torso and you wear things that stop at your lower hip or completely cover your behind you're probably going to make your torso and hips look wider and make your legs look shorter.  Not always, but most of the time. If it's say, a 'tunic' style top or a t-shirt and has no defined waist, and you do have a defined waist, then you've also just visually added inches around your middle.  If the top is a different color than your pants or skirt, then you've also added a 'line break' at what could be a wider point in your body, drawing attention to it, rather than to your smaller waist, or a pretty neckline, or pretty shoes, or whatever else you can dream up. 

Whether your short or tall, thin or voluptuous, if you wear pants make sure they fit nicely- that's half the battle right there.  If you simply can't find jeans that you feel you look good in, try custom jeans or simply forgo jeans.  If you don't look great in pants then think about going mostly with skirts. It's the job of the clothes to make you look good and serve as a form of self expression.  That's what you're paying for.  :-)

Happy Dressing!