The YBIF series was started as a result of a book I started writing many years ago, “Your Body Is Fabulous: Dress Like It,” because I feel style and fashion is nothing if you don’t love the body you’re dressing. So, every Thursday I feature a lovely lady, bloggers as well as other gorgeous ladies I know or meet, who tell us what makes their bodies fabulous! The purpose is to empower women to to accept and love their bodies’ as they are by showing women with various body types, skin colors, hair textures, and more. This week I bring to you the lovely Terra of Stylish White Female!!
What makes your body fabulous?
My body is strong. For the longest time, I didn’t believe that though. I remember thinking I had a mild form of asthma when I was in high school because I couldn’t run without hyperventilating at the end. The truth was, even though I was young and kind of active, I didn’t really push myself. Some part of me didn’t want to know what it felt like to approach my physical limits. It scared me. That has since changed. And I’ve been amazed with what my body is capable of handling. Feeling physically strong can bleed into the psyche. At least it has for me! That combination is what makes my body fabulous.
What is your favorite thing about how you look? And why?
I enjoy being petite. I’m just 5 feet tall. Most people are surprised when I tell them how tall I am. They often say they think I’m taller. I attribute that to my big personality. I’m good at distracting people from my size.
In my experience, people seem to underestimate petite women, and not just in their ability to reach the top shelf. I love the opportunity to surprise people who write me off.
What are your favorite things to wear to flatter your body or just help you feel good?
There isn’t much that can make me feel better than wearing a great dress. The simplest ones seem to have the most impact. When I think of moments that I’ve felt my sexiest or most powerful, I was wearing a dress.
When it comes to finding clothes, what are some issues you come across? And how do you solve them?
As a petite woman, clothes rarely fit me off the rack. I learned to sew from my mom when I was about six years old. So I can do some basic editing to my clothes. Hem here, swap buttons there. But for the bigger jobs that I just do not have the skills for, I use a tailor. I recently discovered Jen Rocket in Pittsburgh. She’s wonderful! Every woman needs a great tailor. Even the least expensive clothes can look amazing when they fit properly.
What role do you think the media plays in body acceptance?
Media plays an enormous role in body acceptance. We, both men and women, are all bombarded by images of the perfect form and an endless dialogue about what it means to have the perfect body. While men experience it, women are immersed in it like a vat of tar. About six months after I had my baby, I started to feel like something was wrong with me because I couldn’t get my body back to what it was before the baby. Because there is no forgiveness from the media for a woman who doesn’t bounce back in record time from having a baby.
We don’t have control over what the media covers. But we do have control over what we will consume. I’ve been consuming so much garbage. I am working on staying away from those messages about body perfection. It’s impossible to completely avoid. But it is possible to stop clicking on those links that tease a Best and Worst Beach Bodies article.
What are your thoughts on female body acceptance and appreciation?
Female body acceptance and appreciation is the key that unlocks the shackles self-doubt, self-loathing and hesitation around a woman’s neck. But I have found that no matter how much I work out, no matter how strong I become physically, it’s nothing if I don’t also exercise my mind. It’s a daily fight against my own negative thoughts and against the media. There isn’t much worth having that comes easily. A happy marriage, a successful career, great kids. They all take serious effort. Body acceptance is no different. You have to make it a priority and then set yourself up for success but abandoning those toxic sources.
Isn’t she fab?! I love the point Terra made about choosing what we consume! We are jut as responsible for the influence the media has on body image as the media itself. Surround yourself with images of beautiful bodies in all of its forms, and it can help change the way you think about your body or ensure that your positive personal body image remains in tact. I know I am certainly empowered by all of the women featured on this blog and think of them any time I have a moment of issues with how I view my body :-).