Dress Your Best Round-Up, Part III: Bodies in Time and Space

May 21st, 2010 § 7 comments

We’re finishing off our round-up of your fantastic participation during Dress Your Best week. (Don’t forget to check out parts 1 and 2!) Some of the most powerful posts we read were ones that situated their bodies in time and space.

For example, many of you looked past pure aesthetics in favor of praising your body for what it can do. Strong arms, anyone? This especially hit a chord with runners, cyclists, and dancers, who praised their strong legs for carrying them so many, many miles. These are bodies that move, amazing in their corporeality.

On the other hand, for someone who tends to get too caught up in function, celebrating her body purely for its form was a pretty big deal too!

We were also reminded that bodies have histories and that sometimes the parts you value the most are the ones that serve as markers of triumph over past struggles. Does your nose connect you to your family history? Have you become more confident in your body as you’ve gotten older? Did you read the stories behind  Tania’s hair, Sarah’s back, Sara’s curves, or Julie’s legs? How about Andie’s eyes, Becca’s “bewbs”, and Katie’s smile? These are bodies mixed with emotional histories, bodies themselves shaped by time and perceptions of these bodies shaped through experience.

Did dressing your best make a difference? Was it something of a struggle to find and acknowledge five things you love about your body? While it may be difficult to literally dress to show off your hands or lips or cheekbones, owning your “flaws” and taking them on as a challenge can be an empowering thing. Maybe it meant recognizing that casual clothing can still highlight your body or discovering a favorite brand that always seems to show you off best. Or maybe it meant truly dressing just for yourself last week.

Sadly, “body griping” has become a commonplace practice in “female bonding.” Replacing that with body positivity isn’t going to happen overnight. But we hope that DYB week allowed you to recognize bonds with others — seeing beauty in shared traits and in differences — and that (even if you have to write a letter of apology to your body first) this little paradigm shift of dressing your best has proven itself valuable. We certainly enjoyed it.

Finally, we were thrilled to see several bloggers spread the message of Dress Your Best by translating our manifesto and contributing their bilingual lists and making this project available to a broader audience outside of the Western world. Thank you!

A huge “thank you” to everyone who participated. We were moved, inspired, and excited by you.

§ 7 Responses to Dress Your Best Round-Up, Part III: Bodies in Time and Space"

  1. Andie says:

    Thank you for hosting! this was so eye opening for me and I’m trying to dress my best every day!

  2. YSaori says:

    Thank you! It was fun to introduce this project to my Japanese-reading readers. I’ll be translating excerpts from the round-up posts too.

  3. chiara says:

    Thank to YOU!
    It was such a wonderful idea, it gave me chance to know more blogs from interesting people (now my procrastination time has increased exponentially!)- plus seeing all these people loving their bods really spread across the message that we are, indeed, all beautiful!

  4. EmilyKennedy says:

    I’m super impressed by your willingness to do round-ups, and to organize all these posts by theme. Great work!

  5. Thank you for all the work you put into this. It was wonderful to see a bunch of women expressing pride and satisfaction in their bodies, rather than criticizing them.

  6. Rebekah says:

    I have a blog, I have a body, and I wear clothes, so I loved Dress Your Best week… but I was too chicken to participate.

    I have a halfway decent relationship with my body, but I second-guess myself around other women. I’m afraid that if I say “I like my body”, everyone around me will say “Good lord, WHY?!”?

    Either that, or I worry that praising my ______ will make someone else feel worse about her ______.

    Clearly, I was raised to feel guilty. =)

    Next time, ladies, you can count me in.

  7. Becky says:

    Hello Dears! I’m reading through some of your collections in Fashion 101 and I came upon this gem. I wasn’t reading for Dress Your Best Week but I’ve been keeping your teachings in mind as I dress for work each morning this week. Think of it as summer school ;)

    You mentioned that “body griping” is a commonplace ritual. I read Fat Talk http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674006812
    in grad school a few years back, in which a fellow Anthropologist discusses girls’ body image, how young women bond and mediate power dynamics by trashing and complimenting each others’ bodies. It was a fascinating read and a really well done bit of ethnography. Cheerio! Becky

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