Sunday, September 7, 2014

Principles of Epic Costuming-Chapter 5 (Holy Night! I'm behind!)

All About that Bass
Friends!! I'm so sorry! I had to take my computer to get fixed, and I lost of my little sketches from my panel, thus my series of "Epic Costuming" blogs got seriously delayed. I'm back on track. Please forgive me!

Onto the goods.
This one is a struggle. A daily struggle. I'm not even sure if this is a "battle" that can be won in this life. All of us women struggle with our bodies, our body image, our perception of ourselves, the perception of others, and a whole never-ending host of issues. In ten years of tying corsets onto women, I have heard every imagined self-deception imaginable. Holy crap! Just yesterday, I was standing (almost cowering in the shadow) of a beautiful, tall, blond amazonian type woman with long slender legs, a lean body, strong shoulders, and a gorgeous sculpted face. I was lacing her into a corset and telling her how jealous I was of her mile long legs, and she told me she HATED them and that they were man's legs and you couldn't even tell the difference between her and a man. What. in. the. WHAT???? Her husband standing next to her shook his head and said, "I keep telling her how thin and beautiful she is. She won't listen."  I was beside myself. I could not even wrap my brain around how this woman could POSSIBLY even have ANYTHING bad to say about herself!!! I'm telling you guys. She was so dang beautiful. Where could she have gotten these ideas?

All the same, here we are. Every woman I meet has a criticism for her body. I would say that about 1 out of every 1000 women I meet has something remotely polite to say about herself. Am I excluded from this group? Nope.

There's an incredible book I want to share called "The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss and Body Confidence" By Jessica Ortner.    Whether or not you actually need to lose weight (ironically, the book is not really about weight....just like all of your issues. Imagine that. It's not about the weight.) it's a remarkable tool for helping reshape your brain.  My very favorite part was where she almost helped me bare my own soul as she talked about how lots of us hide behind our weight and unconsciously KEEP it on our bodies, because then we'll always have this monster on which to blame any of our failures.  I think that perhaps I cling desperately to the weight on my body because it helps me to absolutely wallow in self pity when I really need to. I get all emotional, and go onto the list of "Allthereallybadunfairthingsthatshouldneverhappentoagoodpersonlikeme" ticking off each foolhardy, selfish complaint that I have, and ending with a drumroll and "And to top it all off, my body is stuck at freaking 167 pounds and it hates me and other women get to just eat whatever they want and be skinny, but I don't, so I'm pissed about it."

By the way, I have nothing to complain about. This kind of wretchedness comes from a Michelle that is not thinking straight and is not grateful. Gratitude fixes a lot of things really fast. 

I could literally write a whole book on this subject, but luckily, it's been done for me. I'm serious. ladies, go and get this book on amazon. It will change your life. 

Back to your body and costuming. I love the idea of costuming, whether historical, modern, cosplay, or any of the other lovely reasons you might find to adorn yourself in glory. To me, it's a complete celebration of the people, characters, colors, textures, books, movies, comics, genres, and things that you love! It's a very straightforward way to send a message out to the world about yourself. Oftentimes, the way we dress in normal, every-day life doesn't exactly convey "us" to the world. So many limitations stand in our way. e.g. dress-codes, deplorable size selections of cute clothing, current fashions, price tags...even the skill of knowing what looks best on your shape! I know that for me, if I dressed how I FELT, I would be in knee-high python cowgirl boots, leather distressed skinny jeans (that came up high enough to cover my bum, by the way) a Jane Austen style floral print empire waisted blouse, a bright graphic-printed corset (probably a wench corset for every day use) about 17 necklaces draped down my neck, big huge eye makeup, and hair like Jane Seymour in
"The Scarlet Pimpernel".  Heck yes.  DO I dress like this every day?  Um....not exactly. It is how I FEEL inside, but it's not exactly practical.
Costumes are such a joy because it allows you to explore boundaries and find that "version" of you that you would love to project out into the world.  When I'm strapping on a costume that goes with one of our corsets, I don't sit there and worry about how it's going to look. I feel free and focused, engaged and excited, powerful and proud of who I am!  My anxiety about my body is gone, because the costume is about who I am INSIDE, and it's finally matching who I'm presenting on the outside. 

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