Fashion Forward: The Body Issue

By Kristian Buckner | Jul 30, 2014

The body image struggle is at an all time high, progressed by the media and generations before us.

The “selfie” generation, a generation of media-minded young adults who are constantly taking pictures of themselves, has led to a phenomena of narcissism. This frenzy of self obsession in our culture has led many people toward taking drastic measures to feel happier about their appearances.

Filters are no longer enough, people are going under the knife just to look better in a picture. This obsession with having a certain body type and looking a certain way is deteriorating the ideal that we should celebrate our differences. Young girls particularly feel the heat of this movement in a negative way.

Instead of learning how to deal with their insecurities in a healthy, positive way, many girls, and boys, find themselves with an eating disorder.When I was younger I myself struggled an eating disorder; feeling that I couldn’t fit in with what I was expected to be. I was told that what I looked like, or particularly how I dressed, needed to change — it wasn’t up to par.

I was different from what society said I should be. I was struggling with the beauty meter, envious of other seemingly happy girls who looked completely content. But one day, I had an epiphany. I realized that I wasn’t alone in this, everyone else, or most people, felt like I did. No matter their body type, or skin color, how much money they had, or what brands they wore.

Everyone felt insecure with at least one thing with their bodies. Some girls felt they were too big, while other tried desperately to not be so thin. And instead of celebrating the beautiful differences, everyone turned on each other. Today still, I see thin girls mocking thicker girls and vice versa, putting each other down to ty to create a beauty standard that they could fit in.

What I realized is that I cannot change the chemistry of my DNA, I couldn’t become those models in the magazines. But what I could do was choose how to express myself through clothing. This is the point I really want to get to. (This is where my love for fashion began.) I realized that clothes could make me feel different things. Through clothes I could be anybody I wanted to be, I could be any type of person.

I know that this sounds like a child putting on costumes or their mother’s heels, and in some reality, that is what it was. But the truth of the matter is that clothing changed my outlook on my body, and on life. Fashion became the outlet through which I expressed my internal being. Who I was, or wanted to be that day, could be elevated and shown through what I was wearing.

If I put on heels, I felt powerful. Putting on bright colors made me happy, and slipping into lace made me feel delicate. Most importantly, clothing allowed me to feel beautiful. This can be the same for everyone. You don’t have to follow the rules of society, but you do have to find a priority to allow yourself to feel beautiful.

Every day I still deal with some level of body-image issues, it hasn’t completely gone away, but I know that often a change of attitude can simply come with a change of clothes. So, every morning when you get dressed, and you are imaging the day in front of you, just one time allow yourself to chose what would make you happy to wear.

Take risks with your style, figure out who that part of you is, and allow it to shine. Clothing can be a wonderful tool that can change the way you look at yourself, you just have to give it a chance.