Friday, June 3, 2011

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday: Vacation, all I ever wanted...

Now that summer is in full swing here… and vacations are coming up, let’s talk about what you’re packing to take on vacation.

The Friend Friday group by Modly Chic is a way for fashion bloggers to share more about themselves and join a friendly community of bloggers.  Join the fun by checking out the  Fashion Beauty Friend Friday Google Group. And don't forget to check out Modly Chic - it's such a great blog.

1.      When it comes to packing for vacation what’s your mantra?

If it fits, bring it. I am a chronic overpacker. I usually end up begging my husband to sit on our suitcase so I can zip it closed. I always curse myself when I arrive at my vacation destination, because not only do I end up not wearing 70% of what I pack, but I bring so
much that there's often no room in my suitcase to buy new things while I'm away.

Yesterday I bought a gorgeous vintage 1950's Samsonite suitcase at an estate sale, and I'm hoping its small proportions help restrain me when packing for a trip.

2.      What are your must packs?

Technically, my must packs are things I know I won't be able to buy at my vacation destination. That included any medication, special books, and my jewelry. As far as clothing goes, for spring and summer I make sure to pack dresses, a pair of cutoff shorts, a few tee shirts, a pair of jeans, a cardigan, and one or two "nice" outfits for evenings out. Throw in three pairs of flat and platforms sandals and I'm off.

3.      What are you happy to leave behind?

Honestly, I'm happy to leave my workout gear at home. Running is a big part of my life, but I strongly believe that unless you're a Kenyan long-distance runner training for a marathon there is not need to pack your sneakers, sports bras and tanks. They take up too much valuable suitcase space, and you're probably going to doing a lot of walking while engaged in touristy things anyway.

4.      Any packing secrets that help you get everything into one suitcase?

When packing, I make sure to pack my heaviest, most bulky garments (such as jeans and sweaters) on the bottom of my suitcase, and layer from there. Rolling shirts prevents wrinkles and saves space, as does laying skirts flat. If I'm packing dresses I turn them inside out - this prevents their zippers from getting caught on anything else in my suitcase. Cosmetics and hair care products always go in Zip-Loc bags in case something spills.

5.      Beach reading… what are you taking with you to read in the sand?

I just finished 22 Britannia Road and thought it would make the perfect beach read. The last time I went to NYC I brought Anthropology of an American Girl along with me, which I can best describe as a blend between Catcher in the Rye and Portrait of a Lady. Both of these books are intense and lengthy, which is exactly what I'm looking for in a book while on vacation.

(Don't miss my giveaway for a TIKKR watch and extra band - so great for summer!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thrifting 101, Part 19: Dating vintage clothes by era - the 1990's

Four weeks ago in Thrifting 101, I began exploring the history of fashion from the 1920's to the 1950's  in order to help you determine the age of a garment while thrifting. Three week ago, we focused on the 1960's; a week after that, we delved into the 1970's, and last week we examined the 1980's. This week I'll follow the fashion timeline through the 1990's. Understanding more about the history of modern dressing is a great way to figure out when a garment was made.

Missed any previous parts of the series? Up to this point, Thrifting 101 has focused on tips for newbies and those dealing with the squick factor, advice regarding how to shop at a thrift store, thrifting for the clothing snob, recommendations for finding the best thrift and consignment stores, tips for determining what days are the best for thrifting, a post where I explained my love for thrifting, advice regarding thrift store etiquette, tips for cleaning vintage leather, a post of my favorite thrifting and vintage blogs, tips for identifying and cleaning thrifted jewelry, advice for storing vintage and thrifted garments, and tips for shopping for vintage online.

The 1990's

90's style and fashion was heavily influenced by TV, Hollywood and the music industry. Fashion fads of the 1990's took us from looks inspired by Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place, to the Grunge style of Nirvana and My So-Called Life. While the 1980's represented a time of exuberant and outrageous fashions in a neon rainbow of colors, the '90s brought a more somber Grunge-inspired note and proceeded forward with flatter hair and a more subdued palette.

Early 1990's

The early 1990s saw a continuation of 1980s fashion. Women wore tight-fitting stirrup or drainpipe pants with elastic straps, oversized denim shirts, neon colors, straight-leg, high waisted jeans, baggy sweaters in bold colors and patterns, and black leather jackets. Colored tights remained popular, often paired with denim skirts, ankle boots, and short dresses.

Early 1990's Chanel ad

The first new nineties silhouette was the 1991-2 fingertip-length longer line jacket that moved down an inch for every year of the era. It was worn with an above knee skirt or flirtatious circular layered or snappy pleated skirt. Ra-Ra skirts, composed of short frills or net set on a mini skirt were popular in the early 90's.

A short, sleeveless, boat neck shift dress that initially showed about 8 inches of the lower dress under the jacket was seen as a useful business outfit. This last look remained an acceptable fashion for the decade, one which could be dressed up or down.

Also emerging in the early 1990's was the Empire-waisted babydoll dress, in bold floral prints, plaids, and polka dots. These dresses were often accented with lace trim, oversized collars, embroidery, and contrasting stitching, and became easily translated into maternity and plus-size styles. Leggings were occasionally worn under babydoll dresses or on their own with oversized sweatshirts and tees.

A vintage babydoll dress

Casualwear became much more important in the nineties, as a more youthful generation became increasingly influential in popular culture. Structured shapes of the eighties gave way to soft draping and loose-fitting silhouettes. By the edge of the 21st century dressing down in every aspect of life became an acceptable norm. Ordinary retail clothing sales, textile manufacturing industries and stores all declined from a less active more casual marketplace.

As a result of the nod towards casualwear, denim saw a brief reemergence in popularity. Jeans and denim jackets were available in coordinating colors, typically in pastel and dark shades rather than the bleached acid wash of the 1980s. Women began to pay closer attention to brand, often favoring designer labels over fit. Calvin Klein, Guess, and JNCO developed baggier silhouettes with large back pockets. Though women increasingly turned to cargo pants, leggings and chinos, jeans were still utilized in casual looks.


A still from the film Clueless, 1995

The preppy looks of the 1980's continued into the nineties, though through bolder colors and more form-fitting silhouettes. Replacing the penny loafer of the 1980's were white Keds canvas sneakers, often paired with white slouchy socks tucked over chinos or straight leg jeans. It was not unusual to see multi-generations of women wearing similar footwear. Abbreviated tartan skirts in bold colors, polo shirts, Bermuda shorts (often in tartans and flannel) and logo sweatshirts by brands such as Tommy Hilfinger and Ralph Lauren were popular components of the preppy look, along with rugby and oxford shirts, cardigans, chinos, v-neck and argyle sweaters, and knee socks.


The punk trends of the seventies and eighties continued into the nineties through the emergence of the Goth movement. Citing origins from the Victorian era, Goth fashions were focused around black clothing, accessories, and cosmetics. Black velvets and lace, empire dresses, corsets, fishnet stockings, leather garments, ruffled long skirts, and thigh-high boots were signature elements of goth dressing. Brightly dyed hair, an element of early punk fashion, was incorporated as well. Lingerie elements, including corsetry, hook-and-eye closures, and exposed garters were included in many Goth fashions.


Marc Jacobs Grunge collection shown for Vogue, 1992

The developing music scene that emerging from Seattle in the early nineties gave way to the Grunge movement. Strongly anti-commerce, anti-establishment, anti-fame and anti-celebrity, Grunge artists such as Nirvana, Pearl Jame, Courtney Love and Soundgarden embraced a simple, straightforward look completely absent of logos and any trace of corporate brands. Grunge fashion was generally unkempt and disheveled, and communicated a message of shabby poverty through the use of ripped jeans, flannel, thrifted and vintage clothing. Hooded sweatshirts, workboots, babydoll dresses worn with ripped tights, wool cardigans, and combat boots were embraced by college students. Dark colors were utilized in fabrics, including maroon, brown, deep indigo, and spruce green. Hair was often uncombed and shaggy; dark visible roots were preferable on women, as was long hair on men.

Ironically, the fashion industry marketed "grunge fashion" to consumers, charging premium prices for items such as knit ski hats. Designers such as Marc Jacobs and even Chanel incorporated an element of Grunge fashion into their collections, whether through the use of plaid, flannel or distressed finishes. Critics asserted that advertising was co-opting elements of grunge and turning it into a fad. Entertainment Weekly commented in a 1993 article, "There hasn't been this kind of exploitation of a subculture since the media discovered hippies in the '60s." The New York Times compared the "grunging of America" to the mass-marketing of punk rock, disco, and hip hop in previous years.



Chanel 1991 runway, showing a strong hip-hop influence

 In the early 1990s, pop rappers such as The Fresh Prince, Salt and Pepper, Kid 'n Play, and Left Eye of TLC popularized baseball caps and bright, often neon-colored, clothing. Hip-hop stars wore clothing items such as brightly colored name-brand tracksuits, sheepskin and leather bomber jackets, throwback pullover baseball jerseys, graphic-print t-shirts and neon-colored sneakers. Oversized bomber jackets, bold gold jewelery, baggy carpenter jeans and overalls were popular among young men as casual wear. For women, TLC popularized oversized pants paired with a tight shirt and  a sports bra underneath. Door knocker earrings, flashy chains, and gold belt buckles were also embraced by female hip-hop stars.

The sagging trend became a popular element of hip-hop culture beginning in the early 1990's. According to Wikipedia, Lee D. Baker, Dean of Academic Affairs at Duke University, states that it is widely believed sagging was adopted from the United States prison system where belts are prohibited. Belts are sometimes prohibited to avoid suicide by hanging oneself, or to avoid being used as a weapon in fights.The style was later popularized by hip-hop artists and trickled down into mainstream black culture.


Calvin Klein spring/summer 1995

In the late 1990's fashion began to move towards silhouettes with influence in minimalism. Designers such as Calvin Klein and Prada created clothes with no embellishment in a dramatically stark, dramatic palette of colors. Basic black, gray, and white pieces in the form of slim cigarette pants, v-neck sweaters and tee shirts, silk slip dresses,  a-line skirts and shift dresses were worn. American designers such as Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors showed sleek, elegant clothes, typically paired with no jewelry, extremely natural looking makeup, and sleek hair parted in the middle.

A group of designers known as the Antwerp Five came to prominence in the late 1990's, and further developed the minimalism trend. Three influential members of the group were Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, and Walter Van Beirendocnck. Fluid, streamlined designs in exquisitely tailored pieces managed to be both classical and original. Utilitarian touches such as buckles, grommets and exposed zippers defined the modern, austere aesthetic.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June Giveaway - Win a TIKKR watch and extra band!

One of the highlights of attending the Texas Style Council Conference back in March was the amazing TIKKR watch given to all attendees. I absolutely love mine, and wanted to share my love with you!

The winner of this giveaway will receive a TIKKR watch with both a white and a pink band!

To enter, simply do the following:
  • Follow my blog through Google Friend Connect;
  • and leave a comment at the end of this post with your email address! Comments left without a valid email will not be counted as entries.
  • For an *extra* entry, follow me on Twitter @dresscourage and tweet the following about the giveaway: I just entered the TIKKR watch giveaway from @dresscourage! 
Good luck! The winner will be chosen on June 25th!

About Me - Part 2

Nah kalo sebelumnya gue udah pernah ceritain hal2 yang gue SUKA, kali ini gue maw share 15 hal yang gue GAK SUKA :
  1. Gak suka seofood apalagi Cumi-cumi. Paling anti bgt ma si jelek menjijikan cumi hehe. Gue bisa makan ikan taapi yang tertentu aja. Klo jenis seafood yg lain gue jijik bgt. Kayak bau amis gitu deh...
  2. Jijik liat kawat gigi, geli bawaannya
  3. Takut liat orang "alis botak"
  4. Jarum Suntik
  5. Bau Rumah Sakit
  6. Liat darah bisa bikin mules
  7. Gak suka lagu melayu dan dangdut
  8. Cicak dan semua binatang melata
  9. Bau asap rokok
  10. Stresor gue yaitu klo KEPANASAN
  11. Gak suka kalo macet, bisa bikin BETE
  12. Paling gak suka dipaksa melakukan hal yg gak gue suka
  13. 'Gerah' liat orang mubafik dan sok manja
  14. Pusing klo berada disuatu tempat yg penuh sesak ma orang2
  15. Anti ma baunya minyak tawon
xoxo, Jazz

Outfit post: Inspiration or copycat?

The other day I stood in front of closet, index finger tapping my forehead impatiently, and could not come up with something to wear. It was a stiflingly hot day and I longed for an outfit that was cool and comfortable. I also had some rather Picasso-like abstract tan lines around my shoulders I needed to conceal. I wasn't feeling especially confident about my body, and didn't want to reveal too much skin. Furthermore, my family and I were going out to dinner, and my clothes needed to be appropriate for public viewing. So I did what has become habitual when I'm struggling for style inspiration: I turned on my laptop, cruised a few blogs that I follow, and duplicated an outfit right down to the style of shoes and amount of jewelry.

Initially, I felt fantastic - stylish and attractive. Even - dare I say it? - hot. But as the day wore on I became increasingly uncomfortable. I couldn't keep my shirt tied at the waist like my favorite blogger did. I became self-conscious of the amount of jewelry I had piled on. My skirt felt too short, heels too high, and top itchy and tight. And, worst of all, I felt as if I had betrayed my own sense of personal style. As soon as I got home I ripped the entire outfit off, sat on the corner of my bed, and tried to figure out what went wrong. I had long admired the blogger whose outfit I had duplicated. We had similar senses of personal style and common pieces in our wardrobes. Her outfit photos showed a confident, stylish woman, one many would want to emulate just as I had. So why did I feel so uncomfortable and traitorous? And then a scary thought hit me. Was I a copycat?

So many of us turn to magazines, blogs, and even catalogs (wave to the whimsically layered J Crew outfits) for style advice and instruction. In the aftermath of my style fail, I was left wondering about the difference between being a copycat, and being inspired by a certain look. We all take inspiration from the things we see around us, but at what point does inspiration become copying?

The Free Dictionary defines a copycat as this:

One that closely imitates or mimics another.
To act as an imitator or mimic.
To imitate closely; mimic.
Closely imitating or following another: a copycat version of a successful product; a copycat crime.

We are all living in what Lawrence Lessig calls "remix culture." It is a time when there is literally nothing new under the sun. You're very seldom going to get an opportunity to do something that does not build on some cultural, artistic, or technical precedent. Copying is what you're going to be accused of it you produce a design that differentiates only in small or superficial details from someone's work. I personally define copying as creating something absolutely identical to what already exists.

Here’s the problem with copying: Copying skips understanding. You have to be able to understand something in order to personally relate to it. When you copy it, you miss that. You simply recycle an idea which someone else generated, based on their own personal life experience. You have no real connection to it, and will always be removed. For this reason, the copy typically lacks depth and detail. It’s usually pretty close, but there’s something not right about it. Which explains why I felt so uncomfortable in my duplicated look.

Inspiration is when you see possibilities no one has seen before. Inspiration comes when we translate a certain concept into something unique and individual. Developing a style further through the use of different accessories, colors, material, and even proportions immediately makes it personal. When you're inspired by a certain design, look or object, your creativity rises. You have energy to put your own twist on it, and make it your own.

At this point in fashion, so little is truly new or original. In order to be unique, you need to exercise your creative muscles and test the boundaries. This might mean branching out from your usual style and trying new looks. While I forgive myself for being a copycat, that doesn't mean I am forbidden from being inspired by other bloggers.  I simply need to have the courage to blend their style with my own perspective, in order to create my own look.

How do you define the difference between inspiration and copycatting? How strong an influence do other fashion bloggers, magazines and catalogs have on your own style? Do you ever feel like a copycat? 

Vintage thrifted white shirt; vintage thrifted denim skirt; vintage thrifted petticoat; Old Navy espadrilles; eBay bracelet

This outfit made me so, so happy. It feels like me. And the petticoat made twirling a requirement.

About Me - Part 1

Hey, kali ini gue maw cerita dikit tentang hal-hal yang gue sukain dan yang nggak gue suka.

Qta mulai dari yg 35 hal yg gue SUKA dulu :
  1. Princess Stuffs : gue tuh suka banget ma cerita PRINCESS (Cinderella, Beauty &The Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Princess and The Frog, etc). Gue suka ngoleksi buku-buku cerita Princess (Written by Mag Cabot,etc). Gue juga seneng ngumpulin pernak pernik princess seperti gantungan kunci, miniatur, stiker, celengan, tabung, tempat kosmetik, kotak serbaguna, buku notes, DVD/VCD, etc.
  2. Fashion of course. Dari dulu gue slalu bermimpi pengen jadi Fashion Designer yang punya rumah mode sendiri dan merk sendiri, hehehe... 
  3. Traveling. Gue seneng banget bertualang. Tempat favorit gue sejauh ini sih masih BALI. Kerena menurut gue bali merupakan kota yg eksotik dengan budaya yang unik dan keanekaragaman wisatawan yg datang dari berbagai tempat baik dalam maupun luar negeri. Tempat2 yg udah pernah gue kunjungin : Bali, Surabaya (gue tinggal selama 4 tahun lebih di Surabaya - kuliah S1), Jogja, Magelang, Malang, Semarang, Bandung, Manado (tempat asal gue), Jakarta (tempat gue tinggal sekarang karena sedang melanjutkan kuliah S2). Gue pengen keliling dunia, hehe..dan tempat yg wajib gue kunjungin yaitu EROPA.
  4. Colors: Pink, Red, Purple, Brown, White and Black.
  5. Music : Jazz, R&B, Accoustic
  6. Food : Western Food, Junk Food, Chinese Food, yang pedes2, asam, asin.
  7. Minuman : Orange Juice and Aqua
  8. Books : Bible, All About Princess, Joel Osteen - Starting Your Best Life Now, Summer in Seoul ; Winter in Tokyo ; Auntum in Paris ; Spring in London - all by Ilana Tan.
  9. Fave Song : Angel's Brought Me Here - Guy Sabastian, Imagine Me Without YOU - Jaci Velasquez, Love Will Show You Everything - Jeniffer L Hewitt,  Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars, Since I Found You - Christian Bautista, This I Promise You - N'Sync. 
  10. Movies : Fairy Tale - All Princess Disney Story, Gossip Girl, Wild Child, The Leap Year, Air Force One, From Paris With Love, Step Up 2 & 3D, Facing The Giant, The Clique, BBF, Meteor Garden 1, Full House, Spongebob, Doraemon.
  11. Hello Kitty
  12. Tas : Hermes, Channel, LV
  13. Dompet : Guess, LV
  14. Sepatu : CK, Bellagio, Nine West, Peter Kezia. 
  15. Baju Korea, Hongkong Fashion or Japan Style
  16. Suka mengubah model rambut. Dalam 2-3 bulan gue pasti bakalan ganti gaya rambut. Entah pendek, panjang ataupun rambut tanggung. Untung udah ada extention, makanya bisa terbantu bgt klo tiba2 pengen manjangin rambut, hehehe... Gue pernah keritingin rambut ataupun lurusin. Skarang lagi pengen rambut hitam jadi gue cat Blue Black dulu. Warna rambut yang pernah gue coba : Maroon, Red Japanese, Ungu, Pink, Cokelat Tua, Cokelat Muda, Cokelat terang agak kuning, Cokelat agak orange, Merah campur ungu, Biru kehitaman.
  17. Fave animals : Kupu-kupu dan Merpati
  18. Suka maen tamagotchi sampe sekarang (umur udah mau 24 taon)
  19. Gue suka ngasih nama ke semua boneka2 gue yang rata2 pemberian pacar atau sahabat.
  20. Suka pernak pernik tengkorak
  21. Suka cium bau aroma theraphy yg floral ataw fruity. Makanya di kamar gue pasti wajib ada aroma therapy.
  22. Spongebob
  23. Snack Fave : Pringles and Chitato
  24. White Chocolate and Almond Chocolate
  25. White and Red Rose
  26. Suka banget ngatur2 pernikahan. Dulu gue pernah punya wedding organizer. Sampe skarang klo ada sepupu atau saudara yg maw married, gue pasti ikut bantuin. Hehe...
  27. Actris/Actor : Leighton Meester, Emma Robert, Matthew Goode, Hillary Duff, Sandra Bulock, Song Hae Kyo.
  28. Suka Nulis : Puisi, Lagu, Quotes, Cerita
  29. Suka suasana pegunungan yg tenang dan sejuk
  30. Pantai
  31. Bintang
  32. Hujan
  33. Games The Sims 
  34. Angka : 7 3 5 1
  35. Parfume : Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue
xoxo, Jazz

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Body Shop giveaway winner is...

The winner of a gift bag and sold-out summer bronzing products from The Body Shop is...

Brittney of A Day In The Life Too!

Brittney said...
heck yes i did all of those things. so jealous of all you dallas bloggers! that looks divine. annnd...please pretty please pick meeeeeee! (i'm slipping a twenty right now...)

Congrats Brittney!

Outfit Post: The tyranny of the "bikini body"

Memorial Day weekend, 1981: I am seven years old. My parents are hosting a barbecue and have invited my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and neighborhood friends. The air smells like roasting barbecue briquettes, daylilies, freshly cut grass and hot dogs.The rhythmic spurt-spurt-spurt of the sprinkler permeates the air. I am wearing an enticing two-piece yellow terry cloth bikini which ties around my neck, and my cousins and I shriek as we run through the needle-sharp spray of the sprinkler. My waist-long hair drips water down my back. I feel happy, unencumbered and free.

Flash forward to Memorial Day weekend, present day: I am 36 years old. My husband and three children chatter excitedly about going to the neighborhood pool. I have zero desire to go to the pool, because going to the pool means wearing my swimsuit in public. I stand in front of my dresser and try to calm myself down. I try on two-piece after two-piece, self-esteem plummeting in the process. Swimsuits lie tangled on the floor. My thighs seem to expand with each selection. My body takes up too much space. I am flabby and fat and all-together unacceptable. I feel like a failure.

Every summer, I go through the exact same ritual. I become obsessively focused on the notion of the perfect bikini body, an entity I am certain every woman possesses except for myself. The NY Times recently ran an article exploring the notion of the bikini body, examining the effect it has on fear-inspired marketing campaigns and as a symbol of physical perfection.

There's no way of figuring out when the phrase "bikini body" was first uttered or when its tyranny took hold. It's common knowledge that the two-piece as we know it was invented in 1946 by engineer Louis RĂ©ard who christened it after Bikini Atoll. The style became popular in the 50's and by the 80's was standard beachwear. As our culture increasingly enshrines physical perfection, the bikini has come to inspire dread and awe. It wasn’t always so. In the 1960s, when bellybutton-baring suits first became popular in America, “it was a youthful phenomenon definitely,” said Sarah Kennedy, the author of “The Swimsuit: A History of Twentieth-Century Fashions.” Then the high-fashion set and movie stars began to put on bikinis, and by the ’70s, she said, the bikini was “worn by all ages.”

And a few extra pounds didn’t disqualify anyone, considering the fitness revolution was still roughly a decade away. (The NY Times mentions that in the book there’s a 1940s photograph of a fresh-faced still-brunet Marilyn Monroe looking smashing in a two-piece, a roll of pale flesh at her midsection.)

Writes The Guardian's Laurie Penny:

When it finally became popular in the 1960s, the bikini was a symbol of physical liberation, of beautiful women reacting to the stern sexual prudery of previous decades by exposing as much skin to the sun as they pleased. Today, as with many iterations of the sexual emancipation rhetoric of the 1960s, wearing a bikini is no longer associated with pleasure and daring, but with anxiety, dieting rituals and joyless physical performance...The bikini body has become cultural shorthand for a moral standard of female perfection whereby any physical flaw should be regarded as a source of shame, an obstacle to collective fantasies of glamour and happiness.
When did  the bikini become the standard of all beauty? I'm going to theorize that the first Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, published in 1964, had a lot to do with it. With that publication, swimsuits became explicitly linked with the standards of female desirability. Also, the Swimsuit Issue is published in the winter and had little to do with the reality of actual women being at the beach, let alone swimming, and a lot to do with unattainable goals.

"Bikini body" is the going code for "acceptable." It is always in bikinis that the tabloids feature the "best" and "worst" bodies. Type "bikini body" into Google and you get the following suggested searches:

bikini body workout
bikini body diet
bikini body tips
bikini body fast
quick bikini body

The bikini body has nothing to do with overall health, or fitness, or lifestyle. No, it's about shedding "winter weight" fast, before some arbitrary deadline known as "Bikini Season," at which point we're forced to confront a two-piece suit with, naturally, the requisite "bikini wax," and no trace of cold-weather pastyness. Jezebel argues that the "bikini body" craze goes so much deeper than fatism or fatphobia. It is part of our society's relentless insistence that a woman's body is not her own. It is an object to be criticized.  Our society seems to think that a woman wears a bikini not for herself, but for the public to decide her worthiness.

Will the world end tomorrow if I can't cram my butt into a bikini? I was going to ask Stephen Hawking, but, after some careful mathematical calculations, I was able to come up with the answer on my own: No. Does this mean that I still don't have days where I hate my thighs and stomach so much I want to carve them off of my body with a fillet knife? No. But I understand that those days will happen and that they really don't matter because there truly is NOTHING wrong with my body. I've put it through a lot in the past 36 years and it's stuck around and carried me through everything.

So my motto is this: Just be healthy. Eat things that are nutritionally good for you and exercise, but don't forget about delicious, delicious baked goods and gelato from Pacuigo. Don't deprive yourself of things to satisfy the warped and nonsensical views of people that see you as another bottomless pocket and empty head. 

Do what you want, eat what you want, wear what you want, and be who you want.

Now I ask you: How you deal with the pressure of the "bikini body?" Does wearing a swimsuit in public make you break out in a sweat? Do you avoid going to the beach, pool or lake because of this fear? Does wearing a swimsuit cause you to dread summer activities? And do you have a favorite swimsuit that makes you feel great about yourself?

Thrifted Gap chambray shirt: thrifted vintage dress; Old Navy belt; White Mountain sandals; TIKKR watch; Charming Charlie bracelet; Forever 21 necklace