As a little girl one of my favourite books was Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I loved the idea of being able to become larger or smaller and being able to talk to plants and animals.
In chapter 5 Alice meets a caterpillar.
‘Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.
Alice replied, ‘I hardly know, sir, just at present—at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.'
Alice, I hear you sister I’ve changed so much too. Sometimes I forget who I am. In the past I saw myself as a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother. I was so caught up in my ‘roles’ that I began to lose my sense of self.
I always listened to how others thought I should dress, starting with my parents’ tastes. Next was the school’s expectations. Then as I grew into a teen, I started dressing like my friends to fit in. As I entered adulthood, I began dressing how I thought society expected me to dress as a wife, mother, etc.
When I became I stylist, I looked to others in my industry to see how I should dress. I never thought to ask myself, “How do I want to dress?”. Dressing always seemed like a way to just fit in.
There are two distinct times in our lives when we get to be ourselves and dress however we want. When we’re old and wrinkly and when we’re young and full of wonderment.
As a young child I wore all sorts of clothing, from a multi-coloured pastel jumpsuit with a frill collar, bike pants, crop tops and t-Shirts, to cargo pants and denim overalls. I wasn’t concerned with what other people thought of me (clearly haha).
If you ask a group of 4 or 5-year-old girls who’s the prettiest in the room, they’ll all put their hand up. By age 7 or 8 they’re pointing at the girl next to them.
When did we lose that confidence and how do we find our way back to that divine essence?
For me it begins with the question “Who am I”?
This search has led me to recognise all the things I am not. I am not my parents, my sister, my friends, I am not even this body. Who I am, is no longer defined by the expectations of others, the roles I play or the clothes I wear.
I am an expression of beauty in all its forms; kindness, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude and love. Now when I dress, it’s to impress me. I do this through expressing my divine style essence.
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