Dress Yourself Up and Believe

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France

It’s the first day of the year. And on this day is the start of new beginnings. 2010 what? Who? Man, just reflect and release! It’s done. Start over. Let’s start this year off by being kind to ourselves. Stop the self-loathing and love yourselves as much as we can. Who cares what people say? Those people can kick rocks. You don’t like me because I’m fat. Too freaking bad. There I said it. Life is too short to be worrying about the naysayers.

One of my favorite songs to get ready to is “Dress You Up” by Madonna. There’s nothing like getting dressed and doing your hair while listening to some Madonna, lol. Let me tell you...Madonna is one of my heroes. She has been with me since the 80’s and has helped me in accepting me in all my weirdness and uniqueness. She made me feel okay with putting blonde streaks in my hair or letting out the hem in my jeans (to fray them) when it wasn’t cool back in the 80’s. She is the queen of reinvention and say what you will about her, we can learn a thing or two from Homegirl.

We can dress to the hilts but if we don’t feel right on the inside, whatever you wear on the outside doesn’t matter. You can wear a beautiful dress but the look of unhappiness with yourself will show through regardless. You have to dress yourself up on the inside first with love. When you don’t love yourself on the inside, usually you don’t care how you dress yourself on the outside. are uncomfortable with wearing pretty clothing or will wear the same type of style and be afraid to change it up.

I remember when I was in LA back in October and my friend Donna and I were going to Trader Joe’s. I walk out the house and she says to me, “We’re only going to the supermarket!” Not that I had a ball gown on but I was put together...hair in place, nails and feet done, makeup on, pretty sandals on, my nice hand bag, you get the picture. Now if I didn’t love myself or care, honestly, I’d probably roll out of bed and go to the store looking a hot mess. Not that I am high maintenance because I don’t wear a lot of makeup and etc. But it’s all about caring about you and taking the time to dress yourself up. Doing it for you and not the public. For me, I just like to feel pretty.

So I know that Madonna song is all about her dressing some dude up with her love but to me, it represents dressing yourself up in your love. Because we all know that when you love yourself, no one or nothing will rob you of your swagger. You will own the streets...walk with your head up high and that confidence will radiate from you and onto to others. It’s infectious. You will inspire others without knowing it.

It happened to me in London last year. I was in Harrod’s of all places and this woman comes up to me and says, “Love your hair color, your shoes, your style! I just had to come over and tell you.” Now this woman gushing over me had to be a size 2 and she was rocking a Chanel bag and boots, not to mention the most beautiful leather coat I had ever seen. Head to toe, fabulous. Meanwhile, I’m standing there with my leopard print ballerina flats from Payless that I paid $10 for, a black trenchcoat, jeans, a sweater and a brown alligator croc cross-body bag I got from Target for $5. My hair, at the time, was a strong burgundy red, lol.

She and I ended up getting a cup of coffee and having a great conversation about fashion, self image and body love. She confided that sometimes she thinks she’s fat (::flatlines::) and that when she saw me, walking around all confident, it really made her stop in her tracks. You just never know who you will inspire. That was one of those humbling moments for me that I will never forget. Especially since I was walking around, paying no mind to anyone staring at me and whatnot.

Here is someone who I perceive as thin and she thinks she is fat and hates herself. Self-loathing knows no size. I told her that she has to learn to love herself first. And be happy and comfortable in her body. She then asked me how to do that. My answer: Believe in your beauty. When you believe in something, it’s amazing how it can come true. Belief is everything. If you don’t believe in yourself, how are you supposed to succeed? You have to believe you can do it in order to do it. Make sense? So if you believe in your beauty, you see yourself differently in the mirror.

Self-loathing is just you believing you are not beautiful...believing you are something you’re not. Once you believe in your beauty, nothing can hold you back.
Now no one is perfect. But at the same time, you have to love you, flaws and all. Don’t pretend to be someone else because you’re perfect just the way you are. You have to be okay with you. And it all hinges on that belief that you are YOU and you are beautiful.

Once you have that belief and are dressing your soul with love, then you will dress your outer shell with more confidence. You will take fashion risks, which sometimes may not work. I speak from experience. (Go away, white coat, banish from my past! lol) But what matters is that you were fearless enough to take the risk. Honestly, you may surprise yourself by finding out you can actually wear certain things that you didn’t have the guts to before.

For example, if you’re confident enough to wear those leggings, you can work it. I have heard so many folks say how fat girls can’t wear leggings. Well, I’m here to break that stereotype. I rock leggings with a sweater and some boots and I know I look good. Same with skinny jeans. It’s all about finding that balance on what looks good on your body versus what you feel comfortable wearing, which depends on your confidence.

I know that low rise jeans do not work for me. Neither does light color jeans. I hate muffin tops and am not above wearing some spanx so that doesn’t happen. But at the same time, I don’t have a flat stomach. I embrace that and you best believe when I walk out the door, I’m put together.

In the end, fashion and self-love go hand in hand. We need to work it from the inside out. So ladies, the next time you’re getting dressed, try listening to Madonna’s Dress You Up. You don’t have to go crazy like me, dancing and singing around my room unless you want to. But let me know how you feel after. If that song does not get you pumped and all giddy, I don’t know what will.

Happy New Year Beautiful People!

#1 Affirmation for 2011: I believe in my beauty!

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