Vintage High-Waisted Swimsuit + Thoughts on Body Image

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My head has been swirling with all kinds of thoughts after listening to a podcast about body image yesterday.  There was a wise and well-respected counselor on the podcast talking about how prevalent the struggle with body image is for women and how women have been subject to so much objectification of their bodies for the pleasure of other people.

This is a huge problem, and I absolutely hate that society has told women for centuries that we must look a certain way to have value- it truly breaks my heart to hear beautiful women around me talk about themselves in disgust.

One of the counselor's points; however, was that women constantly feel the need to wear makeup or fix their hair or wear pretty clothing to make themselves feel more accepted by other people (often men), and this I feel I must challenge just a bit since I find myself in this space as a style blogger.

Let me start with this.. IF you feel like you must wear makeup or wear a specific type of clothing solely for the sake of being aesthetically pleasing to another person, please, please don't do that to yourself.  You ARE valuable. You ARE absolutely beautiful. YOU. ARE. ENOUGH. If you truly despise the process of fixing your hair, putting on makeup, or wearing high heels, you should absolutely not do those things.  Life is too short to waste time on things that don't bring you joy. 

But here is my challenge.. I believe I am not alone as a woman who truly does derive internal joy from creating outfits (yes, even fun swimwear- gasp!) and doing my makeup.  I married a real-life professional artist, and I am always amazed at his ability to express himself so profoundly on a canvas.  I most certainly do not harbor that gift, but I do choose to express my creative/artistic side through what I put on my body.  I see fabric anywhere, and instantly, I am creating dresses and tops and outfits in my mind.  Since I was a small child, I have done this- cut out pictures in catalogs to piece together new outfits, made lists on my closet doors of different ways to style clothing for a new outfit each day, rummaged through anyone who would let me's closet so I could lay outfits out and play dress-up.  It is a passion that I truly believe I was born with.

All of that to say, if you DO enjoy clothes and beauty and all things pretty as I do, it's okay.  This isn't a character flaw. It doesn't mean that you are superficial, have low self esteem, low confidence, or that you feel you are desperate for the approval of another person. It doesn't mean that you aren't also smart and wise and kind and compassionate and care about a whole wide world of other things.  Do not allow someone to make you feel less than for the things that you enjoy- whether that be sweatpants and ballcaps or high heels and red lipstick. 

With swimsuit season upon us, I think it's time that we stand together as women and stop painting each other with broad brushes and unnecessary labels.  There is space in this world for every type of beautiful, every type of passion, and every type of expression of self.

My hope through this blog is that I can inspire you to begin to find some of that joy out of the mundane, everyday task of getting dressed, and I pray that when you find a swimsuit you think is beautiful, you wear it with all the pride and joy the world can muster. 

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Cody Rains