Recently I was reminded of the complete toxicity of comparison by one of my clients. She couldn’t seem to ever see herself in a positive light as she didn’t feel even when wearing her best, which she liked in theory, but she never felt great or thought she looked good because she compared her unique body and appearance to those of others who she deemed stylish, and found herself lacking and therefore didn’t feel attractive in anything.
As an image consultant I have the joy of working with women of all shapes, ages and sizes. I see beauty in everyone and one of the most beautiful aspects of women is how different we all are. To me there is no one ideal of body shape or age or personal style that is the best. We are all beautiful and can look attractive when we understand who we are, work with our unique features and express ourselves authentically through those tools of clothing and grooming.
There is no point in comparing yourself to someone who is taller or shorter. To someone who is slimmer or curvier. To someone who is a different race or body shape. These bits of us are what makes us us! They are what makes us unique and an individual. Sure sometimes those features make it harder to buy off-the-rack clothing as that is made for a generic height and shape in many ways (a mannequin and a coat-hanger, neither which are real bodies). But that shouldn’t make us constantly compare ourselves to others and find ourselves lacking. We need to start to look for the beauty in us, rather than the flaws (which is what most women do, always concentrate on the flaws).
As I always tell my clients, dress your portrait first, as so many women when they dress are more concerned about their butt/hips/thighs/stomach/arms/boobs/etc. than their communication centre, their face. Yet when I communicate with you, I’m not spending my time speaking to your thighs, I’m looking in your eyes, and if you dress that area first, adding some detail to keep my attention there, I’m not even going to notice what you perceive as a flaw.
Rather than compare yourself, your body and your style with envy and a feeling of lack to others, instead enjoy what they offer to the world if you like what you see there, but then also appreciate what you have to offer the world too in your own unique way. Envy is toxic and letting go of it will help you feel good about yourself instead of always finding yourself not as stylish as those you admire. Don’t be a clone of someone else (and I know from personal experience when you try and copy someone else’s style it doesn’t feel authentic or make you feel confident), instead be an inspiration to others who may also not be tall, slim models who seem to have been born with innate style.
If you read all the Stylish Thoughts here that have been contributed by women of all ages, body shapes and personality styles shows that there is no one way to be stylish. In fact each can inspire you to find your style but we don’t compare them as they are individuals or rank them as they each have something to offer us in our understanding of style.
You can learn to create your own style, and I know it’s possible as I see so many women who are taking part in my Evolve Your Style challenge and I see how they develop their own style as they play through the challenges and I see their confidence grow. I know it’s possible to learn how to have style (that’s what I’m here to teach you on this blog). Fortunately it’s not just a creative art that you have to be born with. You can learn the concepts and apply them to your uniqueness. But also don’t forget to have fun. Comparison sucks the fun out of life, yet dressing creatively and stylishly is about having fun and sometimes stepping out of our comfort zones to try something new or different.
Look for inspiration from the stylings of others, but please don’t compare!