Today I am partnering with Modcloth to share how wearing color can change your life. People always comment on how colorful I dress. Take for example, this bold, striped and pleated skirt from Modcloth. Even paired with a more subdued cream blouse, it’s still making a statement when I walk down the the street. I wear bright colors like this because I actually believe bright clothing means bright days. Science agrees. Recent studies have shown that looking at bright warm colors releases dopamine — known as the ‘feel-good hormone.” Increasing dopamine in our system can improve mood, increase our ability to focus and even boost our sex drive. Cool tones, can cause us to release oxytocin, as result making us feel calmer and refreshed.
Wearing Color Allows Me To Be Seen
Personally, I wear color because it feels rebellious. As a plus size woman, for years I’ve been told to hide- to avoid colors. “Dark clothing will slim your hips, darling.” Barf. As a result, the options that were available to me to be bold and bright were limited in my youth. Now as the tides have turned and brands like Modcloth are making colorful options in my size- I can’t help but indulge in all the hues. Colorful clothing helps me make a statement about my worthiness to be visually acknowledged. It says I am not hiding anymore. I want to be seen.
Color Can Be A Motivator
Wearing bright colors does more than give me empowered warm fuzzies. Color psychology is the scientific study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. It is shocking just how much color affects the decisions we make and opinions we form every day. Take the colors in this skirt. Reds can act as stimulants- giving you energy and a sense of power through out the day. Yellows can give you sense of confidence- increasing your likeliness to self-perceive as competent and happy. Blues carry an air of honesty and professionalism. That’s a lot of good vibes packed in one little skirt.
The Basics of Color Theory
Below is a high-level guide to Color Theory or essentially what different colors can evoke in us. Note: Color Theory is a very complex subject and saturations, tones and pairings can change how colors are perceived. I would suggest reading this three part series on color theory for designers for anyone really interested in learning more.
Add a Punch of Color to Your Look
Now that you know color can literally change your outlook each day, here are some ideas of how to add color to your day-to-day wardrobe. Clothing options are size inclusive (available from size xs to 4x) and are from Modcloth. Click the images to shop!
Thank you to Modcloth for sponsoring this post. I earn affiliate commisions off of some of the links included in this post.
Yesterday was, for lack of a better way to describe it, disappointing. I wore an outfit I loved and some people just weren’t into it. That’s ok- I do not expect people to love every outfit I wear. It comes with the territory. What wasn’t ok was the discussion that began about what was or wasn’t flattering for my body and how I should have posed differently to look better in the clothing.
First off, not all clothing I love to wear perfectly accentuates my curves. I don’t always want to be in a bodycon. Somedays I want to be warm or comfortable or just plain lazy. Some things I love to wear don’t make my body look more aesthetically pleasing. Those days and things are just as important and worthy to be seen as the perfect days.
Flattering is a Loaded Word
I’ve always wrestled with the word flattering, because of the context it is usually used in. According to the Cambridge dictionary flattering means to “making someone look or feel better or more attractive than usual.” To say something flatters someone is a shallow compliment, which assumes that the wearer is simply wearing something to look better. Additionally, as attractiveness is highly subjective, one person’s flattering is another person’s “oh hell no.” Plus, flattering often seems to be delivered dripping wet in the stereotypes places on idealized female bodies.
It’s as if flattering is used, in most cases, to deliver the subtext “your body isn’t ideal, but this dress makes it look better than it usually does.” How is that a compliment? And if you do think I look abnormally beautiful- why not just say that? Why use a word so loaded as “flattering’?
In a similar vein of thought, the word “unflattering” delivers the commentary that the individual is wearing something that makes them “less than”. Now there are situations where it’s appropriate to use this word- especially when a person asks you directly. However, most cases it is completely inappropriate to discuss. You’re literally telling a person “you look worse today then you usually do.” Instead just say something isn’t your cup of tea or -even better- say nothing at all. How someone else’s body looks is really none of your business anyways.
Tunic Sweater is from Yours clothing, paired with leggings from Maurices, boots from Evans, a vintage scarf and a hat from Goorin Brothers. On some links I earn affiliate commissions.
Over the last 6 months I found myself dragged into the politics of blogging. I heard gossip, I repeated gossip and in the end no one was better for it. Before I get into some deep thoughts, here’s the outfit details. The dress and Jacket are from Fashion to Figure. They are worn with Maurice’s leggings, booties and a contemplative expression.
It’s so easy. You hear something- a tidbit, a thought, and opinion and next thing you know you’ve passed it on to someone else without even a second thought. It happens so organically it can be hard to realize you’ve even done it. But eventually the drama spreads and a small comment becomes something that might negatively affects someone’s life.
Over the past month I’ve reached out and apologized to people I’ve felt my gossiping might have hurt. It was overwhelming. I did it because I didn’t like this bad habit and I felt I dramatically needed to correct it. I did it because I was sorry. In most cases, it was much more meaningful to me than the person involved. One person laughed at me, shocked I would apologize for such behavior. It was normal, after all.
I am realizing that gossip is a toxic destructive behavior we pass off as common and acceptable. Its ok to posture. It’s ok to assume. It’s ok to take everything you hear as absolute truth. But it’s not. Gossip is just a manifestation of jealousy, inadequacy, and denial wrapped up a socially acceptable package.
I look back to the incidents where I found my gossiping. Sometimes it was easier to talk about someone else than myself. Sometimes I wanted what other people have. Sometimes even surrounded by people I felt lonely and just wanted to be included. Why didn’t I say these words. Why didn’t I let people react to me? Why did I hide behind the stories of others?
As I have begun to dissect why I gossip and what I am using it to deflect from, I have realized that I have never won by gossiping. I have only lost. Lost opportunities to really connect with people. Lost chances to be vulnerable. Lost chances to change my experience. I am painfully learning bad habits die hard- especially when they are ingrained into our everyday culture. However, as I have learned many times in my life- the hardest things to do are often the most rewarding. I’ll keep trying and as result keep growing in the process.
Today I did my make up, I gussied up my face and donned my finest selection of berry hues. I was ready to tackle this stupid snow bomb Glitter style. Insert clip of Zoolander faces, neon spandex and sassy wham inspired dance moves. In full sequin Merlot colored sequin pants , a berry cold shoulder sweater, a crimson turtle neck, maroon flats and random sassy accessories from my closet- I was fighting the weather with fashion. Slaying the snow with sequins. Destroying this water dust with dapperness. Crushing these crystals with couture.
Sometimes I get these big ideas and when I try execute them, about 50% of the way in I realize they are and absolutely terrible idea. This is a great example of one such idea. Within seconds I had snow mashed into my shoes and pressed against my bare feet, snowflakes was matted to my sweater, my fingers turned a bright rosy pink and I was literally soaked by the time I came in. I was so cold. The photos were, meh. Yes, It was a very dumb idea, but I am not in the least upset I did it. Why? Because roughly 1 out of every 10 ideas we think are dumb are actually game changers.
Game changers are ideas that seem impossible or silly or a waste of time, but actually grow to shape us unexpectedly. Starting my Instagram was once a dumb idea. Who would want to see what I wore every day and listen to whatever mental soundtrack was playing in my brain? What a silly idea. How dumb. But yet here I am 2 and half years later and that one dumb idea I had the guts to take a chance on has completely transformed my life. Now I worry less about the dumb ideas I wasted time on and more about the ones I didn’t have the guts to try. I’ll never get the pleasure of knowing where they might have led me.
It’s day two of the year that is new and I am oscillating between giddy optimism and terrified nervousness. January places so much pressure on each of us to be more than we were the year before, that you can’t help but feel the tension EVERYWHERE. Like this outfit. I loved this dress it when I styled it, but now I’m second guessing everything. Why did I put it with a coat no one can buy anymore? Berets are overplayed. Those earrings are like red snow man. Those flats again! I can do better. Why didn’t I do better?
I earn affiliate commission on some of the links used in this post.
I feel it so much with blogging. This is a good look, but when you’re bombarded with everyone’s best of lists from 2017 and their extra invested new content for 2018, it’s hard to just appreciate…anything really. I feel plagued with constant evaluation. Am I doing enough new? Did I change my game enough? The a number has changed in the way I write the year in date and now I feel like EVERYTHING MUST BE BETTER. Bigger. Louder!!! Bolder!!!! But, what happens when it’s not. In fact, I very well might be less today then I was a week a go. What now? Have I failed 2018? Do I have to return to 2017 because I am being held back in the middle school of life? I think I echo many people’s sentiments when I say- Oh god please don’t make me redo that year. So I stopped. I took a deep breath. I let it all go. The reality is growth and development take time and there is no magical date where if I complete complex puzzle of goal setting mixed with alcohol all my problems sort themselves out. I did not fail 2017. I have not already failed 2018. Change isn’t just for New Years. Change is for when you’re ready. I share this today to remind you that if you are feeling overwhelmed right now and if you feel like a failure, you’re not alone. It’s hard in a sea of messages reminding us of the things we need to fix to not feel overwhelmed. It is normal at this time of year. it will pass. And don’t worry; the opportunity to do and be better will always be there regardless of the date. Change when you are ready. Grow when you can.
Recently I’ve seen a lot a of discussion about what is and is not “body positive.” I’ve done a lot of research and it seems there are a lot of articles pointing out what is and is not body positive, but very few attempting to explain the movement, why it’s important and what being body positive means. In order to help facilitate debate, educate the masses and also kind of sort out my own thoughts on the subject, I thought I’d take my own stab at it. This is 100% world according to Glitter and if you disagree, let’s talk about it. Because it’s through discussion, movements get solidified and organized.
What is Body Positivity?
For me body positivity is the belief that every individual has the right to exist, in whatever body they have today, tomorrow and in the future without pressure to attain an “acceptable body” or rejection from society if they don’t. In this perspective regardless of race, gender, size, disabilities, health, hair growth and whatever other variant you throw into the mix, a person’s worth and dignity is equal. They deserve the same rights. The same opportunities. The same access to knowledge and experiences. They also deserve the same representation in media and leadership.
What About Self Love?
You’ll note in my definition there is nothing about self-love, because to me body positivity has nothing to do with how much you love your body. Often times people use the phrase “I’m body positive” in exchange for ” I love myself”. But loving your body- even if it isn’t the societal norm- isn’t what body positivity is about. Your own self-love does nothing to increase the access to basic rights for people with marginalized bodies. Sure, the body positivity movement might have helped you find self-love, but they aren’t the same thing.
An important point to also acknowledge is that we often learn to love ourselves, but do not learn to accept and appreciate others. If you love yourself and judge someone else’s body, that is counter to the culture body positivity is trying to create. In line with this thinking, if you try to create any type of boundaries on which bodies deserve respect (the classic, ” I’m all for body positivity, but…” phrasing) you are actually hurting someone’s ability to exist freely in their body. In this regard, it’s totally possible to have self-love and not be body positive. They are decidedly different things.
What is Diet Culture?
Right now, there is a huge effort to re-purpose the political side of body positivity and use it sell things, primarily to women. You’ll often see body positive bloggers talk about “diet culture” or the idea that people are taught they need to constantly be trying to achieve the idealized body type. Now if you choose to go on a diet based on your own goals and ambitions or health- that has nothing to do with body positivity. It simply means you’ve made a decision to change your body and that’s really no one else’s business. However, if you write a post about how to lose “13 pound in 30 days” to be your “sexiest self” that is anti- body positive. Why? Because you’ve associated a change in your body (losing 13 pounds) with having a body this more accepted by the community (sexiest self).
Why is Representation Important?
Seeing different bodies and elevating images of different bodies is important because it creates a new norm. There was an experiment on racism- If you held up a flat picture of an unknown black man in front of a white person, the sections of his brain committed to anger and fear would fire. However, if you normalized the black man by giving him thoughts and feelings or showing him performing an everyday activity, the white brain would then show significantly less firing in these regions and expanded action in parts of the brain used for comprehension and compassion. The study found that one of the ways to decrease racism to was to integrate and educate different races about each other. Ignorance and avoidance were keys reasons for unnecessary anger.
Representation in the body positive movement is needed in the same way. If we can show all sorts of bodies doing all sorts of things to the world, the more comfortable and less fearful the general public will become of them. The opposite is also true, the less we see different body types, the scarier they become.