When you look in the mirror what do you see? This is a serious question; what do you really see looking back at you? Is it the beautiful human being that the people who love you see or is it something else…
…Body image is a truly complex thing. It is so easy to look at others and see the beauty in them, so why is it so difficult to do the same for ourselves? When a friend is verbally beating herself up because she’s gained five pounds or she thinks that her hair looks like there’s a pack of rodents nesting in it, our immediate response is to tell her that she’s gorgeous and those five pounds or nesting rodents are utterly irrelevant. And we mean it.
When we look at ourselves, we see the new wrinkles that seem to appear overnight (every night), the extra weight, the crooked nose, the cellulite or whatever your particular demon is. We for some reason don’t see what others see in us. Nor do we see the beauty that we so readily see in others. Why is that?
I have come to discover that one of the places that body image is truly a devastating mine field is in the world of the middle school girl. Although I’ve always been aware of this due to working with teenagers most of my life, it didn’t really hit home until I had a middle school girl living in my house. Fortunately it seems that my husband and I did something right. Our daughter is confident, strong and for the most part impervious to the mean girl syndrome that permeates middle and high schools everywhere. On a side note, it isn’t only mean girls, boys can be just as cruel believe it or not. Perhaps it has nothing to do with stellar parenting. Perhaps she was simply blessed at birth with a good head on her shoulders and a streak of self-assuredness that most grown women would kill for. Whatever the reason, I’m thankful for it.
The difference between just working with teenage girls and having one in your house is that you actually get a glimpse into the real inner workings of the mysterious realm in which they reside. And what I see and hear breaks my heart. There are a couple of girls in particular of whom I’m aware who are smart, kind, and truly gorgeous from a physical standpoint. But they believe themselves to be ugly. Or fat. Or dumb. Or all of the above. Like I said, it breaks my heart, but it also makes me feel helpless. I want to fix it. I want them to see what I see; what their true friends and their families see. But how does one do that? It’s in the nature of a teenager to disregard 95% of what comes out of the mouth of anyone over the age of 25. Ten adult women could tell a 13 year old girl that she’s beautiful and she won’t listen, but one snarky 13 year old tells her that she’s fat and ugly and it becomes the gospel.
Is that maybe why as adults we are still so hard on ourselves? Do we still hear the voices from our pasts telling us what’s wrong with us? Are those voices so loud that they drown out our own voice trying to tell us what’s right and good? Maybe our own voices need to be louder; they need to scream and shout and be heard above the negativity. And maybe, just maybe, if we are loud enough, the 13 year old girl next door (or in the next room) will hear it too. Perhaps if she hears it enough, it will be that little bit of extra she needs to help her drown out the voices that are her present.
The true stars of this outfit are the arm party and the shoes. Let’s start with the arm party and the super cool watch I’m wearing shall we? By now you may have heard of JORD Wood Watches. Lately this unique watch has been showing up all over Instagram and on fashion bloggers everywhere. I chose one of the Cora Series watches made with zebrawood featuring a turquoise face. I thought the turquoise was such a standout color, and how perfectly does it work with the bracelets? It’s like they were made to be worn together. I have always been a watch collector and it used to be I never left home without one. Somehow I’ve fallen out of the habit over the last few years, but this watch has definitely reignited my love of unique timepieces.
These skinny cargo pants used to see a lot of wear, but have been neglected for quite awhile because they didn’t fit. That should be a good thing right? Well, by “didn’t fit” I mean they were too big. And now they fit. I just reminded myself to go back and read my story above…Anyway, I kept everything low key and casual with the addition of the boyfriend fit chambray shirt because today the accessories and shoes got center stage. In keeping with the subtle theme I finished the outfit off with my favorite blush lace up flats from the Nordstrom sale this summer.
Give your clothes a break and let your jewelry and shoes do all of the work for a day. A unique watch, a well curated arm party or maybe a beautiful necklace or scarf paired with beautiful shoes is all you need for a standout look.
THE LINK UPS
Check out the weekly link ups I participate in for even more fashion and style ideas…
**This post was sponsored by JORD Wood Watches, but as always, all opinions are my own.
Would you like a JORD Wood Watch of your own? Well you’re in luck! I, along with JORD are giving you the chance to win a $75 gift code to use towards the watch of your choice. And guess what? You get a $20 gift code automatically just for entering! How cool is that?! Simply click the link to enter for your chance to win!! Contest closes 10/16/16 at 11:59 p.m.