The shirt I’m wearing for this look is from a local belly dancing conference I attended a few years ago. I’ve been an American Tribal Style/Tribal Fusion belly dancer for a few years now, and while my motivation to dance always waxes and wanes, I’ll never stop loving the art form – and the gorgeous ensembles you get to wear while doing it. Belly dancing accoutrement does have a bit of an influence on my style on occasion, and while it’s not likely that I’ll go out all decked out like a Christmas tree like for performances, I’m sometimes like to reference costuming in what I wear. This is a particularly blatant reference but I really love the mix of the graphic with the rest of my outfit. I didn’t intend to wear it, but it was tossed on the bed with the rest of my clean laundry, so I gave it a shot and I’m fairly happy with the results. I’m not usually one for graphic tees; for whatever reason I find them difficult to integrate with my style. But sometimes it does work out nicely and it seems the less I plan on incorporating one into my outfit, the better. It’s nice to actually wear my memorabilia for once considering it usually just ends up stored in my dresser.
Full disclosure: I’m not particularly in love with this look or these photos. I think the jeans photograph in an unflattering way and that what I’m wearing makes me look considerably bigger than I am or at least how I feel I look. I did not want to post this but I didn’t want to waste a good shoot. I realized that I should probably discuss how these photos make me feel because that’s as vital to this blog as the style content.
Style blogging – and blogging in general – is a personal experience. Sharing a part of yourself with what can be a notoriously critical community is scary business and it’s something I’m still unsure about. I struggle with absolutely hating myself in the photographs I post here even if I don’t hate what I’m wearing. I struggle with facing what I may or may not actually look like to other people laid out so plain for me to see. I struggle with not wanting the world to see these photos of me that aren’t perfectly posed and perfectly flattering. I’m small with somewhat unfortunate proportions but I am average-sized, maybe even on the thin side. But I’m still ashamed of what I look like and the way my jeans cut my stomach. I wonder if I should be doing this at all because no one wants to see clothes when they don’t hang right. I’m worried about being criticized for my weight and my face and the way I hold my body. Not fitting the style blogger ideal makes this endeavour that much more difficult. I wonder if my voice is valid at all. This haunts me no matter what the photos may actually show.
But I believe that WYSIWYG so I’m posting it anyway, because as much as this blog is about style it’s also about authenticity. I hope that other people feel like they can do the same when they are unsure. I think it would help open the conversation about to whom style and fashion belongs and that is something that is sorely needed in the blogosphere.
Do you have experiences to share about body image and blogging? Please share in the comments, I would love to start a dialogue on this topic.