The more I talk with women the more I realise the challenges they experience when it comes to clothes is much deeper than it first appears.
We are wired to expect a quick-fix. That’s our societal conditioning. We want it fast and we want it now. Questions such as ‘what should I wear?’, ‘what colours suit me?’, ‘why can’t I ever find anything that fits me?’ or a combination of these are common in my world and often met with an expectation that I will serve up the magic pill required to alleviate the pain so they can just get on with the next thing on their list.
You can imagine the awkward silence when I deliver my standard response ‘I don’t know, what do you think you should wear?’ It is not the answer anyone expects, in fact, their reaction to my response is one of genuine pissed-offness at this seemingly useless excuse for a solution.
Without taking a breath, they blurt out ‘but I’ve gained weight and the shops don’t have anything in my size’, ‘the shop assistants are useless, they ignore me or tell me something looks good when it doesn’t’ or ‘I haven’t got time to worry about how I look, I’m far too busy anyway’.
It’s the story that lays beneath the surface that offers up the golden pieces of the puzzle. It’s the gapping distance between mind, body and soul that is glaringly obvious to me, the intuitive observer, that inspires me to dig a little deeper.
You see, we are quick to blame external factors for not feeling or looking our very best, but we are seriously pissed when there is no magic pill to fix it on the spot. We are incredibly good at forgetting that it’s taken some time to get to this point and to be blunt, it will take some dedicated work to get life-lasting results.
My work as an Image Coach has never been about giving someone a quick fix. I believe that this is a fob off and it’s unethical. Besides, there are plenty out there already doing that. My work is about digging beneath the surface, coaxing the soul out of hiding and encouraging the caretaker of that soul to shine brightly.
Taking an inside-out approach to a woman’s image or style is an unorthodox approach. It goes against the grain of what the media are telling us ‘if you’re not perfect, you’re worthless and don’t try to do anything until you’re the right weight, earning the right amount of money, juggling 3 kids and a career, scaled Mt Everest, had sex 3.5 times per week and won Woman of the Year, all while looking amazing!
It’s these pressure-cooker expectations that are driving women bonkers! They not only feel like they’re failing to complete their never-ending To-Do list they are expected to show up each day dressed!
It is no wonder that after spending time listening and talking with these women there are sometimes tears. Tears as the realisation that maybe they haven’t been so kind to themselves, that perhaps their energy and love has been put into everyone and everything else, leaving the tank empty.
It is this real life emotional surge that I encourage the women I work with to have the freedom to experience. When they do, they begin to open up to a new awareness about their bodies and how it feels to take the power back into their own hands, they begin to decide how they want to show up each day and this has a magically effect on them and those they care about.
When the despair of not knowing what to wear suddenly gets kicked to the curb and there are less questions, more decisions and the distance between their mind, body and spirit lessens, they are more ready to begin to create a signature look that truly aligns with who they are.
Each and everyone of us deserves the freedom to show the world who we are, in all our glory, and as we do we inspire and give permission to every other female who has ever struggled with knowing what to wear.