I have just completed another personal styling course in Sydney with an absolutely beautiful group of women. Spending four days with a group of diverse women and witnessing their interactions and transformations inspired me to write today’s blog.
As you may know, I facilitate stylist courses within my Professional Styling Academy, training beginners in the skills of personal styling.
I have women completing the course for many different reasons, some for business purposes and professional development, and for some, it is purely for their personal development and love of fashion.
Over the four days, I spend with these ladies, I am witnessing the emotional journey that they inevitably face when they unpack and address their issues around their own self-esteem and the benchmark to which they compare themselves.
At the beginning of the course, when our lovely women are all meeting for the first time, I can clearly see they automatically begin to expend a lot of emotional energy comparing what others have to what they ‘don’t’.
This can take many forms, but commonly I hear comments on how they wish they had another’s shape, height, or complexion. Another typical scenario is admiring another’s clothes and putting down their own, remarking how they wished they had another’s confidence, skills and creativity.
It would be fantastic to receive such compliments, and it is lovely to give them; however it should never be at a cost to your self-confidence.
It is sad but true that commonly a compliment can arise from an individual identifying something in another that they feel they lack in themselves. Their frustrations feel very real for them, and they are easily dragged down by their own negative perception.
Why is it that we compare ourselves to others when it does not benefit us in any way?
If you spend all of your time focused on your negative aspects all that negative energy will permeate around you – that’s what people will see, and this will make you feel down about yourself and cause people not to see you for all that you can be.
I can think of many reasons why women are feeling suffocated by ‘perfection’ in today’s online and social media driven world.
In any given day we are bombarded with fashion, beauty and celebrity imagery that has been unashamedly edited and airbrushed setting an unrealistic benchmark of beauty and perfection.
Where celebrities are concerned, it is their job to look good. They are in the public eye so it’s a job requirement that they look ‘beautiful’; but if you look at it from a realistic point of view, the amount of work that goes into a public appearance, the team of people, money plus the magic of photo and film editing that make this happen it is astounding!
Even with the help of airbrushing and clever angles, if they were perfect, or more importantly if they believed they were perfect, then they wouldn’t be getting botox and tummy tucks. They are the perfect example to the rest of us how insecure most of us are about ourselves.
We look at someone and think ‘she is perfect’, but when you discover how much work she has had done on herself, or needs to do to maintain her weight, and the energy and sometimes even trauma behind this façade, the reality might not be as it appears. Nonetheless, too many of us take that façade and hold it up as the benchmark for how we should look and with that standard set, when we look in our own mirror we start to feel insignificant in comparison.
This is plainly ridiculous! Please don’t ever think that there is nobody else in the world with imperfections and back yourself into a corner where you are too embarrassed to even talk about it. Every single person is concerned about one of more of their bits.
I would never have believed when I started out in this industry that it is more about psychology than fashion, but the reality is I’ve needed to be a pseudo psychologist to do justice to the stylist services I offer my clients. What I do is more about helping women to feel good about the clothes they are putting on than the clothes themselves.
Every single day I hear from women who think they are alone, who think these issues are their issues alone and no one else could possibly have the same doubts, fears and concerns or loathing of their bits as they are experiencing.
They expect they should have it nailed, and that just somehow they should be born with the knowledge of how to do it all just right because it’s a gender trait right? But that is just not how it works; everybody has issues, and the most rewarding part of what I do is witnessing the transformation of mind, spirit and lifestyle when I create a transformation in the appearance of the body.
Which brings me back to the women in my stylist course. Given the opportunity to sit down in an open forum with a diverse group of women and openly discuss their insecurities about how they dress, how they shop and their wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear they found great comfort in knowing they are not alone!
Draw a line in the sand today and stop being fixated on what you don’t have and be grateful for what you do have. I know that it is not easy, I know that it can seem overwhelming, but tell yourself positive things, until you truly believe them.
We are all unique; we have this body and only one life to live! Look at that perfect magazine image, take in the fashion and then turn the page, be grateful for your own positive attributes!
If you can’t wear something, wear something else! Focus on all of the other things you can wear and how fabulous you look!
You have to trust that if you are happy with where you are in your life and focus on all of your positive attributes and be kind to yourself, you will give others the opportunity to look in and see your beauty!
I challenge you to start now!
Write below something about yourself that you’re grateful for!