The very concept of a beauty ideal negates the value of women as people. Yet, throughout the ages and around the world, women are expected to act, be and look a certain way that fulfills a man’s desires, depending on the cultural context. In Nigeria, there are spaces that provide women a place to gain weight in order to attract a male partner. Meanwhile, restrictive eating disorders are on the rise in China, as Westernization, alongside other “socio-cultural factors that include gender roles, economic opportunities, religious values, and the cultural objectification of women,” create unrealistic expectations of not only what a woman has to look like, but who she is meant to be.
In America, the history of “ideal beauty” has fluctuated over time. Post-World War II advertisements told women to gain weight (“Men wouldn’t even look at me when I was skinny.”), and a decade later, the same advertisements convinced women to shed the pounds so they could find husbands. Written by men in male-dominated industries, regardless of what the beauty ideal was, these advertisements said one thing: be “this” or men won’t love you.
Each season has its own characteristics, its own ups and downs, and highs and lows. Much like the seasons change, people go through different periods and different phases throughout their lives.
Every woman is beautifully and uniquely designed, no matter how society shapes us, we are all meant to shine. We are all wonderfully made, and fashion shouldn’t be something to fear, but let’s face it, sometimes it can become quite intimidating when setting out to be the next fashion trendsetter. Some women can have doubts when trying new things. We can be our own worst critics, however, fashion shouldn’t be something to fear -- it should be something fun and a time for you to get creative no matter what size you are.
Breaking the ‘Rules’
If you feel vibrant in a piece of clothing, wear it! No one should tell you what you shouldn’t wear. Your body is your own and you should dress it however you like. There is nothing better than a strong, confident woman who feels amazing in her skin, regardless of her body shape or size. But let’s face it, not everyone is there, yet. There are several women who just feel lost when they go shopping and they are looking for a little advice. If you are further along in your self-love journey and have a personal style all your own, this article isn’t for you. This article is for the women who are struggling to find their own style and can’t seem to find anything that looks ‘good’ on them.
This article is for the women whose heads spin every time they go clothes shopping. We want to give you a starting point. Don’t look at the tips within this article as ‘rules.’ Look at them as a baby-steps in your personal style journey. The goal is to help you pull together a look. After you get started, add in other pieces and experiment until you create a look that is all your own!