Love Yourself, Not Your Flaws

Hey guys, it’s Move Me Monday and I’m thinking about self-esteem.

Who’s seen TLC’s What Not to Wear?  I love this show.  People nominate their fashion-challenged friends to get a makeover and new wardrobe from two of the fashion industry’s leading experts, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.

The show starts off with what can be interpreted as belittling and teasing as Stacy and Clinton make the contestants step into a 360 degree mirror so all the flaws of their current wardrobe can be pointed out.  The intent is not to beat someone’s self-esteem down, however, but to point out why a certain type of clothing does not flatter their body type.  The contestants are then shown alternatives that will work well for them (and most of their current wardrobe is dumped in a garbage bin).

Stacy and Clinton are not about promoting zero size, Barbie figures.  They are about positive self-body image regardless of how many curves one may have.  It’s all about loving yourself and dressing in a way that proclaims to the world, “I do love myself for who I am–all of me.”

My favorite episodes show women with horrible self-esteem issues undergoing a transformation that leaves them learning to love themselves for who they are and how they look.  Often they’re worried about drawing attention and their jeans and t-shirts are an effort to be invisible.  But, as Stacy and Clinton point out, no one else is judging your flaws; they’re too busy worrying about their own!

So, is it vanity to dress in a way that flatters yourself?  I don’t think so.  It all comes down to your motivation.  How do you present yourself to the world?  Why?  Are you compensating?  Hiding?  Do you just enjoy life?

Do you love yourself?  How do you show it?  Do you dress in a way that says, “I feel good”?  Are you too busy taking care of other people that you neglect yourself?  I love hearing from you!

You can also find me on Mistress Suzie’s blog today for another flash fiction episode of The Adventures of Teagan.

33 comments on “Love Yourself, Not Your Flaws

  1. I love myself and dress appropriately to show it – but I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m not vain 😉

    Except at work. Most of my clothing is not safe for the lab, so I wear t-shirts and jeans that are cheap. That way if there’s an explosion/contamination I don’t lose anything I love.

    • Hehe, well maybe it’s a sliding scale, Becka. 😉 Explosions are a good reason to not dress nice for work. Lol.

    • linda says:

      Omg, same here! I work in a lab so I wear tshirts and jeans on weekdays and don’t really bother much with my appearance. But once the weekend rolls around I definitely make sure to dress in such a way that I feel pretty. 🙂

  2. Stacy Green says:

    I still struggle with loving myself. After being heavy for so many years, it’s hard to accept I don’t need to lose any more weight. It’s a daily struggle, lol.

    • I hope you continue to win over that struggle, Stacy. 🙂 Have you ever seen the show? I love that they’re trying to break down the mythos that our society has beaten into us for so long about skinny people and size zeros. I love it because even people who struggle with their weight come out looking gorgeous with the right clothes.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Stacy Green says:

        Thanks, Angela. No, I haven’t seen the show. I assumed it would be all about making people look thinner and not accepting all body sizes, etc. I’ll check it out:)

        • Oh, no! They’re all about highlighting your assets and encouraging a positive self-body image, regardless of weight. They never talk about dropping sizes. If you can find last week’s season premiere with Becky, that one was great. Cheryl Burke (Dancing with the Stars) and Jenny McCarthy nominate their personal assistant in the hopes that she won’t quit and move back home. It was a great episode.

  3. Catie Rhodes says:

    Some days I love myself. I don’t like aging…at all. The crows feet, the way everything is going south…I just hate it. However, it is the natural progression of things. I struggle with the idea of having plastic surgery. What I try to remind myself of is that I’m more than my looks. Sometimes it actually works. 😀

    • “I’m more than my looks”–Amen! Though I can understand the days when that doesn’t work. I’ve struggled with acne for years, and I’ve certainly had days where I felt hideous and didn’t want to leave the house.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  4. Amber West says:

    I struggle with this one. I’ve never been happy with what I see in the mirror. Even when I was a little skinny thing, it isn’t what I saw in the mirror.

    On top of that, I am definitely the person too busy with taking care of everyone else to take care of myself. One of these days, I’ll get better about all of it.

    • Hey Amber. I find even the smallest things can make me feel prettier, like doing my hair a certain way. I know clothes might be trickier for moms when you’re running all over the place and avoiding finger painting and what not. 😉

      Thanks for being open. 🙂

  5. In my humble opinion, there is a fine line between loving yourself and making yourself shine because of it AND loving yourself and not caring how other’s see you, because it’s not their damn business. A person doesn’t have to be skinny or very proportionate to look good. It’s all in the positive, but not disconnected from the reality, attitude. If we feel good about ourselves, but also consult a mirror, it’s going to show – in the best way possible 🙂

  6. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    I love clothes and shoes, particularly shoes. Shoes don’t care if I’m having a fat day. They always make me feel good. I think there is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best everyday when you face the world. The better you feel about yourself, the more confident you feel.
    My daughter loves that show, and I agree, they make women feel good in their own skin. Sometimes as women, we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we forget to take care of ourselves.
    So make yourself feel good about yourself today….go buy some killer shoes. Or boots. Boot season is about here you know. I just got some really cool boots in the mail. Bad thing, was that my husband didn’t look at the box and thought it was racekart parts and opened it and saw how much I spent on them.
    I usually try to be a little more, um, discreet about these things!
    Have a great day everyone!! Great post Angela!!

  7. Hartford says:

    For years, I dressed well and looked fantastic but inside felt terrible about myself and my decisions and life choices reflected that. I’ve worked hard for years to build my self-esteem up by making healthy, positive decisions for myself…one decision at a time…building on each other. Now I feel wonderful and love myself so my inside and outside finally match. I wish I would have learned those self-esteem secrets years ago….

  8. I’ve lost almost 60 pounds over the past few years. I was way too busy taking care of everyone else to take care of me until my blood levels starting going crazy and I was having trouble with my knees. Then I realized I wouldn’t be around to take care of anyone if I didn’t do something. One of the things I noticed was that even though I was dropping sizes I wasn’t changing my style. I love the example you showed from the show. I wasn’t that bad but still… maybe I could have been a candidate. LOL! I was still wearing a lot of blousy tops and elastic waistbands. It was one of the most difficult things for me to not think of myself as heavy. I think the fat might have been for protection and I was wearing my clothes for protection. Luckily I have a very hip, slim daughter who encourages me. But I’m still working on that style thing.

    • The show points that out a lot, that so many people are using their clothes as protection. I’m glad you figured out that taking care of you is important too! And that your daughter is a friend you can count on to help you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Kate!

  9. What Not To Wear is seriously one of my favorite shows and I’m really upset that I can’t found a streaming source anywhere. Since I spend the majority of my time without cable, this means I have a sad.

    I agree that the show has a GREAT message – my least favorite bit is the part where they make fun of the person in a very American Idol type way (I believe the show first came out around that time, when networks were fascinated with how mocking people = ratings gold).

    But I love when they give practical clothing tips and the person improves their self esteem. And I want the make up lady to do my make up. The great thing about the show is that it teaches the participants and the viewers that dressing for success simply means caring about yourself, and projecting that outwards to other people. Inevitably, the people who wear what not to wear are using it as some kind of armor – against growing up, taking control of their life, feeling confident, attractive, ect. The show is about showing them that they’re ultimately worth it.

    • Hi Annalise! Yeah, the making fun bit can be harsh, but I think they’ve toned that down over the years. I don’t know, I haven’t seen an episode in a really long time because I don’t have cable either. I just got to see the premiere because I was house-sitting where they had cable. I love the haircuts. The right haircut can make such a difference.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  10. Megan Nafke says:

    I haven’t watched the show before, but i’m going to try and watch it this week. I have never been one to really care about what I wear. I feel that people need to dress in a fashion that makes them happy, even if it’s not what society views as beautiful.
    This is a great post and topic. I wish we had more topics on self esteem and fashion.

    • Hi Megan! Well society’s view of beautiful is size zero skinny models. The show teaches how to accentuate your body type’s assets and not draw attention to the areas you don’t like. Most people who try to hide behind their baggy clothes end up accentuating the very things they’re trying to cover up. I think it’s great to give people the confidence to dress in a way that flatters them so they don’t continue worrying or hiding. I hope you catch an episode! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  11. Susan A. says:

    I was born with naturally curly hair and had no idea how to control it for years. Kids teased me unmercifully about it growing up. Their comments really hurt. To this day, I will rarely go out with it curly. I straighten it until its as tame as possible. Most people who know me know don’t even know it is naturally curly. No idea why I can’t get past that. I’m fine with my body image except I miss the toned muscles I had while in the Army. I’m a lot softer now, but too lazy to run anymore. Eleven years of it was enough for me.

    • Childhood is such a formative time. There are things I’m still not over, even though rationally I realize I should be. Hehe, all that exercise does sound like a steep price to pay for toned muscles, unless you enjoy that kind of thing–which I don’t. 😛

  12. Ohmygosh, I can relate to so many of these comments. Well, except Susan’s – even when I was fit I didn’t run. Ewww.

    And I think I have that sweater Hillary’s wearing in the ‘before’ photo. It’s going out with the trash tomorrow!

    I’m where Kate was a few years ago – working on myself and losing weight. Now that my life’s calmer I have the time to focus on me more, which is weird and I’m trying to not feel guilty. Loving your body at any size is hard. When I was thin I resented the attention men paid me, but being heavy, I resent the criticism I get. Huh. There’s no pleasing everyone so I might as well please myself. I don’t care to be a size 4 again, I just want to be fit and able to run if I so chose to. Which I might now that Disneyland has the Tinkerbell half marathon. Hey, it could happen!

    • Hi Tameri, don’t feel guilty! Look at it this way, writing is one way you take care of yourself emotionally and you don’t feel guilty about that. This is just the outward taking care of yourself. 🙂

  13. Love this post! You know my story – Felt like a work horse and dressed like a work horse. I didn’t really care how I dressed and I felt like I didn’t care about me. When things changed on the home front, I threw out half my wardrobe, dropped 15 pounds, bought new jeans and shorts to show off the new me. At first it was difficult but then I thought, why not? I felt good, so why not look good? I started wearing makeup again, too. Huge change in attitude. I’ve never cared what people think of me, but what I felt was important, so I dress to match my mood.

    • That’s awesome, Diana! You’re absolutely right, it’s not about what other people think, it’s about dressing to match your mood, and if you feel good, you should look it! 🙂

  14. lynmidnight says:

    I haven’t seen this show! It sounds good, though it’s not my cup of tea. Mainly because I don’t care for my appearance mostly, which sucks! I mean… I’ve tried and succeeded for a bout a month. Then it’s back to whatever T-shirt and jeans, powder my nose, and ready to go out to buy groceries. What a fab life I lead. 😛

  15. […] have to go read Angela Wallace’s post on how TLC’s “What Not to Wear” shows us that dressing well, no matter what size or […]

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