Your Body Is Fabulous- Casee
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. Today, I share with you the lovely Casee of The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower!
What makes your body fabulous?
Simply that it’s mine! The way I see it, I came into this world with only this body and God working in my life, and they’re the two things I’m guaranteed for the long haul so I should embrace them every day. Feeling fabulous in my own skin isn’t always easy; my body might fall short of fitting into some peoples’ ideals (especially, on some days, my own), but body image is both a journey and a destination. It takes time to learn to love how we look, but the only way to get there is to try. And working on self-acceptance constantly is the best way to see results, I think. I’ve learned to cultivate a special brand of self-love that takes root deep inside and I think that’s helped to shape a healthier perspective on what I see in the mirror. When you learn to love the woman inside, you have a better appreciation for the body that carries her.
What is your favorite thing about how you look? And why?
Well, I’m pretty fond of my hair. I have the thick, dark locks of my Italian ancestors and I’ve always loved that. It’s not always easy to work with, but at the end of the day I’m happy it’s mine. In the last two years I’ve cut it off and donated it to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program where it contributes to wigs for women with cancer. It’s been a very empowering feeling the two times I’ve done it, but this last time was a little different because I went super short, which is something I haven’t done in a very long time. I’ll admit it: a few days later I had some serious regrets, and I felt miserably selfish for wanting my hair back. It affected my entire body image vibe. I thought about how, much as short hair is fun and exciting, long hair will always be the thing. And I’m embarrassed to say that I felt a bit like an outsider. But then I realized that life is about celebrating what makes us different and even if long hair is “the thing”, now short hair is MY thing.
What are your favorite things to wear to flatter your body or just help you feel good?
It’s interesting because I’ve been on a weight loss journey since last summer and I’m still very much getting to know the way my shape has changed. I used to live for leggings, dresses and cardigans, and as much as they’re still a very big part of my style I think I used to hide under them. I was insecure about showing my legs, insecure about showing my arms. The weight loss gave me confidence not because I lost weight, but because I gained a better understanding of how little the number on the scale matters – my perspective isn’t dictated to by what’s in the mirror, but what’s in my head. This season I’m wearing shorts for the first time in maybe seven or eight years! I love pops of color and overall just experimenting with what’s in my closet. I love the feeling of putting together pieces I haven’t paired before. I think those are the sorts of outfits – the ones I get really excited about – that make me feel best.
When it comes to finding clothes, what are some issues you come across? And how do you solve them?
Pre- and post-weight loss I’ve always been busty, and that’s just frankly annoying sometimes. Button-down shirts are so difficult, but they’re so chic! I want to wear them. Perseverance seems to be the key, just trying and trying and figuring out which brands work best for my personal shape. Two years ago at a consignment shop I found a pair of wide-leg pinstripe trousers by Marc Jacobs and I was ecstatic, but they were much too small. After losing weight I tried them again and while they’re too big in the waist they’re still really tight through the thighs. It’s the perfect example of something just being an impossible fit, and I’ve learned that that’s not something to be discouraged by – my brilliant friend Anika says, “If the clothes don’t fit then they need changing, not me.”
What role do you think the media plays in body acceptance?
I think it plays a very big, predominantly negative role for the majority of society, but I also think it’s our responsibility to shape the media and not let it shape us. Easier said than done, but by surrounding ourselves with only the things that inspire us we’ll be making great strides for that area of our happiness. I’ve always gravitated toward admiring celebrities who don’t fit a lot of stereotypes, women who have a really individual, stand-out look and a great deal of character. When there’s something to their style that, to me, defies convention in some way, I love that. Tilda Swinton and Helena Bonham Carter are two great examples. I also love women like Adele, Drew Barrymore and Beyonce who advocate something more than self-acceptance – really a self-pride of sorts. I think Marion Cotillard is beautiful, I love her style and how she carries herself. But I think it’s about finding the styles and attitudes you relate to, what you admire, rather than focusing on the things that are your opposites. There’s a difference between inspiration and aspiration, I think. What’s inspirational makes me happy while the aspirational things make me less content in the moment – and I think having a good deal of self-love right now is vitally important.
What are your thoughts on female body acceptance and appreciation?
Respect for our bodies, finding joy in what’s in the mirror, I think this is something we carry through life, and not without a struggle. We’ll all have our bleak moments, those bad days when our head isn’t in the right place and we can’t shake the negative enough to embrace the positive. Sometimes they’re bad days, but sometimes they’re bad months, maybe even bad years. But if we try our hardest to be willing to love ourselves every day then I think we’ve done the very best we can do – and I firmly believe that good things will come from that!
Oh my, how I love Casee’s answer to the first question (she dropped so much wisdom in this interview)! Body image is definitely a journey and a process. I hope this series is helping someone in their body image/acceptance journey . While I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m very happy with my body, I still get inspired and encouraged each time I read someone’s interview!