Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Little blue jacket!

I am so incredibly in love with this new Torrid white label dark wash cropped jean jacket. It is probably my most favorite new piece of clothing. I'm never sure how things are going to be, since Torrid doesn't often carry size 5 or 28 in the store. When the jacket arrived and I pulled it out of its plastic and was instantly in love.

It's the perfect weight for spring and summer and the fabric is buttery soft which makes rolling the sleeves a brief. I think it will be a great layering piece in the fall as well. It looks hot with all of my skater dresses and empire cut tops. It's definitely become my go-to piece and I would recommend it for anyone.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


So I participated in this little campaign.  The point is that everybody is a bathing suit body.  It was the first time I had done a project quite like this.  I really enjoy the meaning behind it.  I think so many people get so caught up in their heads about how they have to look before they can live.  It's so unfortunate.  What are we waiting for?  There is always going to be something that we think we should change.  I say suit up and play!  It's what life is about... 


Saturday, April 25, 2015

There are so many reasons why I should hate this photo, but I don't.

I participated in a photo shoot for an event called the #suitupcampaign.  It is the hope of the woman organizing it to have a more varied representation of body types in swim suits, which would in turn  invite other women to feel comfortable "suiting up" for summer if they saw bodies that looked like theirs.  I was asked to submit a picture of my suit and so I set out to take a couple selfies.  As I was going through them and I started to notice something; I looked beautiful.

As a fat, white, cisgender, femme-presenting, often mis-identified queer woman who is currently partnered with a cisgender man, I have received many messages about my body over the course of my life. From a very young age my body was labeled as fat.  I understood the resounding message that my worth was directly tied to in how much space I was supposed to take up in the world.  I understood that it was always open season on my body - from family, friends, doctors and even strangers.  Sometimes couched in love, sometimes in fear and other times what just felt like hatred - it always felt destructive and hurtful.

I was a happy active child.  I rode bikes, played hard in the huge empty fields that littered our rural community.  I played soccer, volleyball, basketball, softball and was on the swim team.  I was in Girl Scouts, Job's Daughters, University of Oregon Children's Choir, local theater and played in the school band.  I got leads in plays and sang solos.  I got good grades, had lots of friends and was in a loving family, yet from a very early age I clearly understood that all of that was not good enough.  It did not matter if I traveled to the moon and back in a spaceship I created myself, my body was not good enough.  I was not good enough.

I have some of the sweetest memories of growing up.  I lived in a neighborhood filled with children my age.  I spent hours outside riding my bike, building forts, climbing the local butte and swimming in rivers. I forged relationships that are still intact nearly 40 years later. Thinking back now, my body was so strong and healthy.  It made it possible for so many adventures to happen.

I remember hearing, "you have such a pretty face, now if you just lost "the weight.""In my mind I can still see the stark white walls, awful florescent lights and the "clink" of the scales in the Weight Watchers office.  I remember going to the hospital and listening to a talk about a medically monitored liquid diet my help my 10 year old body shrink to the "appropriate size." I remember the pediatrician that had my parents take a "before" picture of me.  There I stood sheepishly with my hands in front of my slightly rounded belly, eyes not making contact with the photographer and feeling ashamed on our pool deck in my navy blue Speedo.  This was the very same suit I lived in every day while swimming lap after lap with my team mates, winning ribbons for my athleticism and developing a life long love of swimming.  That picture followed me all the way to college, tucked into my medical record, where I hope it was eventually shredded with my medical records long after I left school.  All this to say the message that my body wasn't good enough, therefore I wasn't good enough was loud and clear.  These feelings of shame, embarrassment, unworthiness and ugliness stuck around for a very long time and interfered with me feeling truly comfortable in my skin.

Yet, I was out there living.  I was participating.  I was smart and successful.  I was outgoing and adventurous.  I was good at making friends and keeping them.  So good that some of the people I love the most in the world have been my friends since early childhood.  I was never told I couldn't do something, in fact it was just the opposite.  My family expected so much from me.  They encouraged me to shine, to be whatever I wanted. Yet somehow the constant message that  my body was not good enough, not pretty enough, not worthy of being loved by someone also existed in my psyche as long as I can remember.

Perhaps that is why now as a clinical therapist, I love dialectics in behavioral therapy so much.  I know that often two seemingly opposite ideas can exist.  I know know that I am fat and I am beautiful.  One does not prevent the other from existing.  It wasn't an easy journey to where I am today.  I have many more stories of struggling with my own self-worth, however as I scrolled through these pictures of myself clad in nothing but a bathing suit and a smile, I just saw beauty.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Oh, heeeeyyyy...

It's been a minute since we last chatted.  I'll admit I have been having loads of fun on Instagram as a means to explore fashion, HAES and the world around me.  I keep meaning to come back and actually blog and I get myself so worked up over the idea that I just let it go.  So I am going to try to come here more.  Share some of my fun fashion stuff.  Explore my thoughts on books I am currently reading.  Here's to new adventures together!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Playing with fashion...

I remember as a young girl hating to go shopping.  I was a fat kid and a relatively small town.  Mind you, this was long before Lane Bryant, Torrid, The Avenue or anything like them existed on the West coast, if at all.  There was no hopping on the internet and having the latest fashions shipped to you in two days time.  In fact, it often took several weeks when ordering from a catalog, assuming there was anything that I liked.

Shopping was a chore.  It was a time that I was reminded that my body was broken and that I must be immoral, lazy, and cheating on my diet, because if I wasn't then I should have been able to shop in the "right" section.

But I couldn't.

When I was a little kid, I was wearing teen sizes.  When I was a teen, I was wearing larger women's sizes.  In 1989, when Guess jeans, Vuarnet tank tops and Keds were in style, I was wearing Sears women's jeans, men's cut Vuarnet shirts and knock-off Keds from the K-mart.  It was fine.  I survived, however I never truly understood what it was like to go shopping with friends, pouring over the latest fashions and figuring out what I liked.

There was one time a year that life came close to that.  It was when I would get a giant box of clothes and accessories in the mail! My mom's parents lived in a suburb of Washington DC.  Their neighbor's granddaughter was a few years older than me and plus sized too.  Every year around the holiday's, she would pack up a box of hand-me-downs and ship them to me.  I WAS IN HEAVEN!  Fashionable, fun, young-looking and like nothing I could find in Springfield, Oregon.  I would pour through every item, trying to figure out how I would put outfits together. For those first few days, it always felt so amazing.  I felt trendy and chic.

Finally in the early 90's we got Petries Plus and Lane Bryant.  I was able to purchase items that were a bit more reflective of who I was, and still, I felt so far behind my peers.  I had two options and they were stores that catered to my size, so it wasn't as if I could even shop with my peers.

I've come a long way since 1990.  I have slowly but surely grown into my fashion skin.  With the help of many fashionable friends, I feel like I have honed my skills and on occasion have been able to help others "love the skin they're in." Clothes are funny that way.  It's so amazing how a comfortable and well fitting bra can change the way my clothes hang and then that influences how I accessorize.  Next I am exploring funky hair and maybe throwing on some make-up.  All this can completely change the way I feel about myself and how I walk through the world.  It helps me feel empowered and when I feel more able to empower others.  When we are all empowered, we change the world.  Fashion certainly changed my world...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Budding fashionista!

Yesterday I got to play dress up all afternoon.  It was sooooo much fun.  Through some luck and random connections, I was introduced to the fabulous Jessica Kane who is an amazing fashion blogger, owner/publisher of Skorch Magazine, talented photographer/model and loving mama and wife - so basically a really cool role model and inspiration.  We spent the afternoon shooting some basic shots and details on several really cute dresses and tunics from SWAK Designs and Simply Be.  Jessica, along with her lovely friend Brit, and I had some great conversations about how fatshion often misses the mark.  It has a difficult time finding space for a verity of bodies, in my case, bodies farther up the size scale.  We are often overlooked and not marketed to, even though 1) we exist 2) we have to clothe our bodies 3) like everyone else we want to look and feel good in our clothing.

Needless to say, it was an amazing afternoon and I am looking forward to many more conversations about fatshion, body pos movement, inclusion and intersectionality!  2015 is starting out pretty great!

Just one example of what we did yesterday.
Styled by Jessica Kane. Photo by Brit Evans.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Go Ducks!

It's Rose Bowl day!  Woohoo! I have to work this morning, and it doesn't mean I can't get into the spirit.   Notice the shirt, necklace and earrings.   GO DUCKS!!