I recently looked over photos that others had taken of me on a trip we took two months ago, and I guess I hadn’t been to many other photo-worthy events recently, because it was the first look I’ve had at my body in clothing in photos in a long time. I’m happy to say that although I looked fatter than I generally think of myself as looking, it didn’t bother me–it was just a little visually surprising. I was able to view the photos much more criticism-free than in the past, and even to appreciate some photos that were perhaps not the most “flattering”, but were interesting. But the main thing I wanted to talk about was clothing.
So there’s one outfit that I wore one day, and in looking at the photos from that day I though “Wow, I look great! That’s such a great outfit! I should wear it everyday!”. And then I realized that what I loved about the outfit was that I don’t look so noticeably fat in it, and I look very traditionally hour-glassly proportioned (I’m pretty hour-glassy anyway, but obviously some outfits play it up and others distort it). And…this makes me uncomfortable. Despite really appreciating a much wider range of body types these days, and exposing myself to images of fat people to the extent that when I look at “normal” fashion sites everybody looks unnaturally thin (no offense to thin people!), I still hold thinner and traditionally proportioned as a standard of beauty for myself, apparently. I really feel that this is a hurdle I’m going to have to get beyond in order to really feel comfortable in my skin out in the world. I’m pretty comfortable in my skin in the solitude of my own apartment–which is actually a huge accomplishment–but I want to take it to the next level, and I’m not sure how to do it.
How do you completely subvert your own standard of beauty? I feel like I’ve gotten away from the obsessiveness of mainstream culture’s beauty standards, but my preferences still trend towards standard (if slightly larger than standard). I think I might try doing a daily photo of myself, in whatever I’m wearing, just to get used to me in all types of “costumes”. Maybe costumes is the way to go–to think of clothing less as something there to enforce standards than as something which allows you to be different roles as you see fit. Hmmm…I’m going to think on this, and perhaps report back at some point.