There’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. I’ve been making women dresses for a lot of years now, and have heard just about every body hang up possible. And I honestly wonder what women are looking at sometimes. I see stunning women looking in the mirror, being their worst critic, and pointing out things they think are wrong with them, which I can’t even see.
I once had a customer who was a catwalk model, who thought she had bad legs, she wasn’t just saying it, I could tell she really thought it. If a catwalk model, who is paid for looking good isn’t happy with her body, what is going on!
Magazines, Instagram etc are full of airbrushed pictures, constantly feeding us with images of totally unrealistic women, we see them so much that we start to think it’s normal. The crazy thing is, some ladies come to me, who look just like this type of ‘magazine perfection’ in real life, and they still don’t’ think they look good.
The video below just shows how far from reality the images we are so used to seeing have become.
I feel like, from the women I meet in a professional capacity, which has been an awful lot over the years, as a generalisation, and I do mean generalisation. It seems to be that the older we get, the more confident we are with our bodies. And the closer we get to that ‘magazine perfection’ the bigger the hang ups are.
When I first started making bespoke dresses for women over ten years ago, I rarely saw enhanced boobs and lips, and botox perfected faces, but enhancement seems to be getting more and more common, and something that’s now become totally normal. When I first started this business, women used to talk about their diets and gym regimes, now I’m hearing about boob jobs etc…
I went swimming last week, I bought a new swimsuit last minute, so I could look my best, do you think I even noticed what anyone else looked like in theirs, or even cared? No, like most women, I was too busy thinking about my own wobbly bright white legs! But now that I’m past 40, and have ballooned through pregnancy twice (yes about 4-5 stone each time), I have to say, I care so much less about how I look in a swimsuit than I used to.
So when we're getting married, why are we so critical of our own body in ‘the dress’? Mark Darcy said to Bridget Jones, “I love you, just the way you are”. Is this not what our fiancé is saying when they propose? Does any man or woman get down on one knee and say “Will you marry me, but promise to be thinner or have bigger boobs on our wedding day"?
I say this to my customers all the time when they are being so self critical, and what do you think was the conversation I had with my mum on the eve of my own wedding;
Me: I wish I’d lost more baby weight.
Mum: You’ve lost loads, you look great.
Me: But just another inch would have been nice.
Mum: Don’t you tell me you have this conversation with all your customers and tell them to stop being so silly. So stop being so silly.
I think I followed that with an eye roll and a tut, but she was right. Even if I was an inch smaller, I’d have wanted to be another inch smaller.
Wouldn't it be lovely if we could all look at ourselves the way our friends look at us, without judgement or disappointment.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject, as it’s something I talk about nearly every day in my line of work.