Is Womanliness Out Of Fashion?
BY MARTINA HUGHES
I enjoy shopping in moderate doses. My Mum is more of a heavy duty shopper. So when we are together is a good time for me to shop. Also she’s about the only person who I would ask to bear with my fussiness and inclination to try on 30 pairs of jeans and still not buy anything. She can be impatient but she never gets impatient whilst shopping with me.
During the last few shopping excursions I have noticed more and more this tunic style of dress, square shaped tops and now a dress, which is all puffy around the hips and buttocks.
My figure is an hourglass, voluptuous at the breasts and hips with a small-ish waist. So this current fashion hides my shape and is quite unflattering. I look great in halter neck dresses, which come in at the waist. I can easily wear a structured dress that is fitted through the middle.
So this current fashion has me thinking, what is going on with women’s bodies? Why are we hiding behind shapeless clothes? Now I know women come in all shapes and sizes, so the tunics work for long legs and no waist or for those who want to hide their middle.
Chatting with a storeowner this morning she was insistent about how there are many styles for many different shapes. But as I looked around her store there were no tops or dresses that would highlight a small waist.
And it leads me to ask are we hiding our womanliness and our curves? And if so, why?
Fashion tells us so much about the era we are living in. 60s was soft and flowing, 70s was sexy and slinky, 80s was power dressing. I wonder what will stand out in this era?
I notice outfits in my wardrobe that are a little reminiscent of each of the aforementioned decades. Because of course everything comes back around again.
But I am still left wondering is womanliness out of fashion? For hourglass women like myself, where are the clothes with beautifully fitted shapes?
Culture drives fashion. Or do women’s choices and body images drive fashion? Or does fashion drive how we feel about our bodies?
Maybe that’s an endless debate. Chicken and egg type.
I know we live in times of immeasurable body image issues. Everywhere I look there’s body image at play. I am not immune. My weight fluctuates pretty consistently whilst remaining hourglass like. But there’s a point at which hips, buttocks and thighs are overly generous, like right now.
The remedy - see my body, accept it and love it as it is. After 30 years of being body aware (since my early teens) I know that change is around the next corner, and struggle will keep me locked into a pattern. So loving my overly curvy body as much as my smaller curvy body works a treat for not getting stuck on body image.
I have worked intimately and deeply with people for over 12 years now through Tantric Blossoming retreats and workshops. I know that even those women who others project as having the perfect body have their own concerns. “Not enough breasts.” “Legs too skinny.”
These are the times we live in. Sometimes my heart breaks for girls and young women growing up in these times were body image is more prevalent than ever.
I heard a story recently of a fit and fashionable woman who is overly concerned about her 18-month-old baby being too pudgy. Aren’t most babies pudgy?
I experience people at their most beautiful when they are naked. I love clothes; I love colours and shapes that fit well. But when I am facilitating a room full of people and they are all naked, my heart bursts wide open. I can look around and feel and see everyone’s beauty so close to the surface no matter what size or shape they are.
Relaxed naked bodies sitting in circle; naked bodies dancing; naked bodies massaging each other create a different energy. It’s not a grabby or needy energy, there’s nothing untoward about it. People who come to these events are there for the transformational gifts, not to check each other out.
They radiate love and knowing and vulnerability and connectedness. They appreciate each other as they know each other’s inner journeys. They get what it takes to be so bold and so vulnerable at the same time.
Loving our bodies as they are is the only way. Appreciating skinny legs, generous legs, GG cup breasts, A cup breasts, big bums, small bums, square through the middle, curvy through the middle, short or tall.
Women: we are our own harshest critics. Start loving and appreciating the body you have. Offer generous praise to other women.
The man you are worried is judging your body is most likely proud to be beside you. When you are sitting on top of him worrying about fat thighs or saggy breasts, he’s not seeing that. He’s thinking how amazing it feels to have you sitting on top of him.
Embrace your womanliness, it will change how you feel about yourself, will shift your connections with others and maybe fashion will shift again.