THE SLIP DRESS
Since Christmas season is just around the corner I thought I should post the final outfit in the summer series.
I have to admit, it is one of those "I wish I wore this more" kind of outfits, although I wore the MANGO sandals and the Cult Gaia Ark bag many times, I never really though of pairing them with a slip dress. I guess that just emphasises my denim addiction even more.
So I bought this dress last winter. I planned to wear it throughout the summer months, but then I never did. I wanted to dress it down with my Birkenstocks, keep it casual by wearing a white T-shirt underneath and wear it with a denim jacket when it's colder. If you think of shiny black satin you associate it with formal wear, and every time I put it on I felt terribly self conscious.
This might sound odd, given what I do, but I have a very negative body image. I never had an eating disorder, I enjoy food way too much, but when I started working in retail I suddenly realised that if given I would compare my body to someone from the curvier side.
Although I danced for a few years physical activity was never a priority in my family, I tried a few sports here and there but team sports are just not my thing, especially girl’s team sports (scratching and hair pulling- no thanks). Both my mum and my dad have always been thin, naturally me and my sister are no different, so being in shape was just never a priority. I was also constantly mocked by most of my family members at quarterly family gatherings for being too thin. I never felt thin though, I felt normal – except maybe for that one time auditioning to ballet school when I was 15 and being told that my hips were too wide - which they are naturally on the wider side – and was for most of my adult life a standard EU size 36 at a height of 174 cm.
My weight did fluctuate here and there; I was the heaviest when I lived in the US for a year and was an EU size 40 (UK 12/US 8) for a few months, but coming back home and eating normal portions of food I lost the gained weight quickly; and I was the thinest while graduating from university and just no matter how much I ate couldn't keep weight on due to stress, I was nearly an EU size 34 then.
Because of this fluctuation in my weight and because I grew unusually quickly when I was a child I have stretch marks on both of my thighs, on my hips and on my butt. I tend to carry most of the weight on my hips and on my butt; and I am also genetically prone to cellulite.
The problem is, that our perfection craving society associates such things as stretch marks and cellulite with a problem waiting to be solved. Millions of women spend many millions every year to get rid of their imperfections, because they are told that otherwise they aren’t perfect. I never spent money on trying to hide my imperfections, but I definitely felt the need to hide them because I was ashamed of them. Being a teenager in the late 90s early 2000s was probably the worse for developing a healthy body image.
Then this past summer I finally saw a change online. It’s a slow change but it finally started. I see more and more people showing off their imperfections proudly, and more and more brands, especially lingerie brands using real women in their campaigns and on social media. I can only hope that this is it and the fashion and beauty industry finally catches up and does a better job at representing real women, and starts setting healthy examples for young girls. Doing “special issues” starts a conversation, but going back to photoshopping in the next one takes you two steps back.
At the moment I’m a size 38 on the bottom and a size 36 on the top. Earlier this year I started doing yoga once a week and I take ballet classes at least twice a week. I finally have biceps, something I never did. I didn’t start taking classes to become thinner though or to achieve the perfect bikini body (every body is a bikini body!!!), I just wanted to become a bit healthier and stronger. And by the end of the summer I could feel a change in my mindset. I was finally comfortable in my body. I didn’t want to hide it anymore but show it off, and nonetheless I began to love wearing this dress.