How Shame Effects the Way We Dress
It's taken me awhile to put this blog post together because I really had to think long and hard about what I wanted to say about Shame. This is a very personal topic for me and one I wasn't sure I wanted to share. Why? Because Shame is one of my deepest struggles. I spent my entire teen years buried alive in a mountain of shame and it is only now in my late 20's that I find myself regaining my confidence I had as a child. You know, the 'carefree kind' when you don't think twice about wearing stripes with polka dots because, who cares you're 5 kind of confidence. The kind that allows you to dance whenever the mood strikes even if everyone is looking. When you are 5 you don't think about what others around you think or say about you.
"I am striving to be that person again, but with a little more life experience under my belt."
So what is Shame, really? And how does it effect us, and in what ways does it manifest itself in our lives? The Huffington Post writes an insightful article about Shame entitled, "What Is Shame? How Does It Color Your World?" where shame is described as,
" a bacterial laden bandage, infecting the person's beliefs, convincing them that their pain and suffering is a result of their own inadequacy. And as a result many experience a myriad of difficult feelings and patterns of behavior. They ask, "What's wrong with me?" concluding that the feelings and patterns of behavior they suffer from exist because something is wrong with them not because something happened to them. This is the essence of shame."
When we come to the conclusion that something is wrong with us versus blaming the true culprit which is the action that caused the hurt or pain we recoil within ourselves and emotionally detach. "Shame becomes the lens with which we see ourselves and others." And as this becomes a never-ending replay our self-confidence and self-worth becomes tainted or in some cases completely shattered.
How does all of this relate to how we dress, style, or fashion? To me, Fashion & Style is not about who your wearing or trends...it's about choice. It's the freedom of choice. And having freedom means you have to have confidence. When your confidence is tainted or shattered, choices become extremely difficult. So we create or tear down boundaries to try and make choices easier all the while not facing the real issue which is Shame. The freedom of choice is no easy task. It requires the drowning out of all the negatives voices around you and especially the ones in your head. It requires you to stand in front of a mirror and look yourself in the eyes and tell yourself 3 things you like about who you are and how you look. These have to be daily reminders.
My husband has said to me, "when you look in the mirror do you ever think - damn I look good today?" After a long chuckle, I think to myself - no I never do.
Confidence is key. Forget about what others might think, sometimes you fail and sometimes you succeed. Trying something new can be scary and you might often fail but its the failures in life that bring us closer to becoming who we are intended to be. Now I am not here to tell you how to overcome Shame, for some (and for me) it can be a lifelong battle. By regaining your freedom of choice it may help you the next time you walk into your closet and choose tomorrow's outfit.
Thank you for reading and continuing on this journey with me.
All images were taken by Jaimee Morse Fine Art Photograhy, to see more of her work visit her website.
Bedrick, David : "What Is Shame? How Does It Color Your World?" ; Huffington Post