Hi.

Welcome to No Square Peg. I want to impact the way women experience and embrace life through a myriad of channels. I want to encourage them to break rules, barriers, and trends.

How can we feel confident in today's fashion world?

How can we feel confident in today's fashion world?

A photo from Colleen Clark about women's body issues featured in the Huffington Post. 

A photo from Colleen Clark about women's body issues featured in the Huffington Post. 

I'll be honest, the fashion world does not make this easy. When you flip through the pages of your favorite fashion magazine it can be really tough to look through and not compare yourself to the faces you see on the pages. With the ever evolving societal expectations for beauty, how can the everyday women look in the mirror and be confident with herself? The easy answer: find out the truth, build your own expectations for yourself, and stop believing the lies. Sounds easy right...NOT.

This is no easy task, especially for me. I struggle with this everyday, which is why I am writing this post. I struggle with self-confidence, body image, loving myself, questioning my instincts, self-doubt, the list goes on; and I spend most of the day reminding myself that I am a confident and healthy woman. So the first step was creating some reality around my false perceptions in fashion and the female form. Here's how we actually compare.

Perceptions vs. Reality

  • Only 8% of women are symmetrical on top and bottom which means that they have the same bust measurement as they do in the hips. 
  • The average waist size of model's today are 24 inches, the average woman today has a waist size of 34 inches. 
  • Most models are retouched to appear even smaller than they are and all blemishes are retouched to show flawless skin. 
  • The size gap between average women and models today has increased by nearly 70% over that last 60 years. And with retouching and Photoshop the gap appears even greater. 
Most women are found of saying, "Marilyn Monroe was around the same size as the average American woman today, a size 12-16." But nothing could be further from the truth. If you were to take one of Marilyn's custom made garments and measure it she would be categorized as a size 2 based on today's sizing standards. Her measurements were 5ft 5in, 118 lbs, a 35 inch bust, 22 inch waist (which is 3 inches smaller than women in the 1950's and 12 inches smaller than the average women today), and 35 inch hips. 

Most women are found of saying, "Marilyn Monroe was around the same size as the average American woman today, a size 12-16." But nothing could be further from the truth. If you were to take one of Marilyn's custom made garments and measure it she would be categorized as a size 2 based on today's sizing standards. Her measurements were 5ft 5in, 118 lbs, a 35 inch bust, 22 inch waist (which is 3 inches smaller than women in the 1950's and 12 inches smaller than the average women today), and 35 inch hips. 

Today's highest paid model Gisele Bundchen measures in at 5ft 11in, 126 lbs, 35 inch bust, 23 inch waist, and 35 inch hips. Our standards for beauty have not changed with women today; in fact they have gotten taller and smaller. The average women still today is only 5ft 4in. So not only are we supposed to be taller but also skinnier. Gisele is beautiful, don't get me wrong but she is among the 8% of women that actually look that way. And I refuse to believe that the remaining 92% of us can't be unless we look like that. 

Today's highest paid model Gisele Bundchen measures in at 5ft 11in, 126 lbs, 35 inch bust, 23 inch waist, and 35 inch hips. Our standards for beauty have not changed with women today; in fact they have gotten taller and smaller. The average women still today is only 5ft 4in. So not only are we supposed to be taller but also skinnier. Gisele is beautiful, don't get me wrong but she is among the 8% of women that actually look that way. And I refuse to believe that the remaining 92% of us can't be unless we look like that. 

After reading through so many myths about women's figures it started to make sense to me why we as women have self-esteem issues. Most of our perceptions of beauty/size are so far from reality that we don't even know it. So how do we take this information and start building a foundation built around being confident with who we are now? 

Building Your Own Expectations for Yourself

Now I don't claim to be any kind of expert on this subject so I will write from the perspective of what is continuing to help me. I have spent my whole life questioning whether or not I am good enough for something. Am I pretty enough? Am I skinny enough? Am I too fat? Is my butt to big? Again the list could go on forever. So here's where I began.

  1. Figure out my body type and my measurements. And get comfortable with it.
  2. Start researching shapes and styles that work for me.
  3. Get rid of the clothing that didn't fit, (too small and too big). 
  4. When making new clothing purchases make sure things fit, try different lighting, use a 3-way mirror, and ask for opinions.
  5. Find the look that's right for you. 

I had to face some hard facts about my body in more areas than one. First up, I am never going to be a size 2 (whew, done ripped the bandaid off). With a current hip measurement of 42 inches (and official nickname of Kim K) my bootie is never going to fit into a size 24 jeans. It's just never going to happen. I am never going to  be the same on top as I am on the bottom unless I have some serious augmentation which doesn't interest me. I need to dress for my body now and be confident with the size I am now. I never buy anything I can't wear out of the store, I will no longer purchase something I have to lose weight for. It either fits me right now or it goes back on the rack. Buying something that doesn't fit is only reinforcing the idea that this version of yourself isn't good enough. I finally got rid of a lot of clothes that were ill-fitting and 'covered up' my problem areas. Ladies, stop covering yourselves up because you want to hide behind these baggy oversized tops, sweatshirts, and tunics. It only promotes more shame. So many women ask me, "why can't I wear this and why doesn't this look right on me?" My answer is, if this is the look you are after, then lets find the right version for you. But pointing to a picture and saying I want to look like that is unrealistic.

Stop Believing the Lies

I'll keep this short but sweet. Stop believing the lies in your head that tell you aren't good enough. Every women has them. It's that subtle voice telling us that, "if we lose a few pounds those jeans will fit, you can't wear that you're too old, that hem line is too short, look at that muffin top, and does this make my butt look big (a personal fav)." I am sure you all could add a few more. The best advice I can give you is, dress for who you are today and own it. Love who you are now whether you're a size 2, 12 or 18. I know it can be hard but the truth is that no matter what size we are, we all have the same struggle. So embrace the journey and take it one day at a time. 

I started this store because I wanted to start living the life I was meant to live and I am passionate about helping women feel confident and beautiful in what they are wearing. To break rules, trends, and barriers that have been put in front of us. I hope you find this post helpful. 

Xoxo, 

Jena

'Purge the Peg' Part II : Katie Ryan of QueeniKatheeni Designs

'Purge the Peg' Part II : Katie Ryan of QueeniKatheeni Designs

'Purge the Peg' Part I: Every Women has a Square Peg in their Closet

'Purge the Peg' Part I: Every Women has a Square Peg in their Closet