standing tall

It’s not possible to always keep the writer Me and the fashion blogger Me separate. So on occasions like tonight, you will be privy to what goes on in this woman’s head πŸ™‚

There are so many times when my confidence wavers and I think to myself “Am I going to be good at this?”. Of course we tell ourselves not to make comparisons but it can’t be helped, can it?

There is so much talent out there, so many bloggers that really have the know-how and fashion sense to keep their web space interesting and attractive. Im not the kind that’s into self-advertising..perhaps that’s a bad thing, but I just don’t like it. I check out the fashion blogs that really interest me and catch my eye, that have interesting articles or looks that I covet. They are an immense source of inspiration to my creative process.

That being said, I am also inspired by my daily to-do’s, places that I go, people that I meet, shows that I watch. I am a massive fan of the old Hollywood era – Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, Liz Taylor & of course Audrey Hepburn are some of the stars of those days that mesmerise with their elegance, their personal style. I simply adore looking at covers of old Vogue magazines..such decadence!

But if asked to pick a particular generation that I love the most..I would decline picking one because fashion all the way back in the 1920s til current trends constantly impact my fashion taste buds.

Being Indian, and a Singaporean, I am inspired by my culture. As an Indian, I love the richness of colours, textures, jewellery that come with my heritage. As a Singaporean, I am impressed not only by Indian couture but also Chinese & Malay/Arab high fashion.

I remember an incident from years ago as an intern in a psychiatric facility during undergrad study. I was awarded what I thought was an odd award on one of those company dinner functions. I was given ‘The Sponge Award’. I was confused, slightly insulted and not thankful for that honour bestowed upon me. So I marched up to the Head honcho and boldly asked her “Was that a compliment or a dig at me?”.

She looked at me and guffawed which perplexed me further! After which she gave me my answer “You are always learning, and applying as you learn. You always ask questions, and stay so enthusiastic. It’s a gift Aarti, to always see the lessons in everything and to better yourself as a professional and as a person through these lessons”.

That my friends, is something that I remind myself when things begin to look lopsided. I am a student of life and the world around me. The things that fascinate, repulse, anger me .. whatever these things or people are that make an indelible impression on me, are my teachers.

So I have come up with a few rules for myself to hold on to when I waver.

Rule Number 1 :

Remind myself why I started this blog in the first place. I started it as a medium for showcasing my personal style as a plus sized girl and to show others that there is no reason why they shouldn’t look good, whatever size they may be.

Rule Number 2 :

I am not expected to be a model or gorgeous fashionista. Remember that the people with the most amount of say in the fashion world are not drop dead gorgeous. What makes them stand apart from the crowd is their creative edge, individuality and the moxie to stand for what they believe in.

I am no gorgeous lass. I have flabby arms, dimpled thighs and a stretch marked stomach. I have regular acne breakouts, my deep set eyes darken the area around it and a prominent high forehead.

But it’s okay. I display the clothes that I wear and my constantly evolving personal style. Not aspire to look like some celebrity!

Rule Number 3 :

Even if I reach out to One person, if that person takes inspiration from my body of work and feels motivated to bring some positive change into their life..I have done well.

Having been in the field of psychology & psychotherapy, I know the rewarding feeling a mental health practitioner has when they successfully get through to a client/patient and guide them towards leading a better life. Naturally being a plus size lifestyle and fashion blogger doesn’t mean that lives will be saved! But, I will take comfort and joy in the fact if there is someone out there who has decided that they will treat themselves with the respect that they deserve and see the natural beauty in them. Flaws and all πŸ™‚

Rule Number 4 :

Always Have Fun!
I cannot emphasise that enough!
This is all about looking & feeling good, which is an enjoyable process..a fun way of reinvention and discovery πŸ™‚ Personally, I enjoy all the little details while working on the blog – from the layout of the posts, to the outfit choices, to my ideas that spring forth that I create on polyvore, to the photography sessions that always have me laughing because of the pets who are always trying to get my attention while I am in mid-pose! For some reason, that is the time they decide to pick a fight with one another or jump at me while I primp and preen πŸ™‚

and finally,
Rule Number 5 :

Keep my head up high.
It is so easy to get deflated from remarks and stares by people that don’t know any better, people that are stuck in society’s mould of slim or pretty or fashionable. After a photoshoot, when I step out for an outing in the same clothing I wore and felt great in .. my heart would dip so low when onlookers or people that know me stare at me head to toe in distaste or envy.

Something similar happened yesterday after my shoot for the previous post. Moreover I am ill and the swollen glands do make my uncomfortable, not to mention self conscious. But I had a moment of clarity and there was that tiny 30 second bracket of time when you make a leap of faith. There always comes those brackets of times when the mature voice in your head picks issue with the critic in your head. Make a change when that occurs and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Simply by shaking the insecurities off, taking a deep breath in & out and walking on with your head held high because of the knowledge that you knew better than to allow another person to belittle who you are and what you stand for.

This is the human sponge signing off for now, reminding you to love your curves and shake the haters off. Especially that hater inside your head.

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