“There is the notion that an attractive woman, whatever that means in society, a pretty girl can’t be smart. We are still identified by our looks instead of our hearts or heads. That’s why it’s much better to break the rules.” – Gloria Steinem
I couldn’t agree more.
I have always loved glamorous things: clothes, shoes, hats, purses, sunglasses, etc. As far back as I can remember, while I roamed around department stores with my mother – trying on as many extravagant hats as I could get my hands on – she was describing people to me by what they wore (instead of their names) so I could recall them. Also as far back as I can remember, I’ve been an academically driven person – someone who has described herself as a nerd on numerous occasions. I never thought these two worlds would have a difficult time coexisting. However, as I grew older I noticed the people surrounding me were uncomfortable putting these two categories in the same box – or the same person for that matter. You could be artistic or academic, not both. You could be pretty or smart, not both. You could be fashionable or taken seriously, not both. Something had to give.
With all of the negative stigmas attached to fashion, style, and taking care of your appearance – it’s really no wonder women as a whole have such skewed views of themselves. And because of those skewed views – it’s no surprise why we treat one another so poorly. We beat ourselves up – afraid that others are about to do it for us at any moment. “If I lost an inch here, gained an inch there, was taller, or shorter, thinner, or curvier, smarter, more stylish, funnier, quieter, louder..” Ladies of the world – you are who you are, so it’s time to start loving that woman. In the words of RuPaul – “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” And I feel – no, I know – that a lot of this can come from the way you present yourself to the world. (And there’s nothing negative about it.)
When I was in high school, a fellow female student wrote a monthly fashion column in our school newspaper. Every month, I’d read it – hoping to be entertained, educated, and/or excited. Instead, I was usually ashamed, angered, or simply disgusted. In each article, she would give mini tutorials on how to dress – however, rather than explaining how to dress for yourself – (for your own self expression, self respect, or self confidence) – she was teaching the girls in my high school to dress purely for the opposite sex. After a couple months of frustration, I wrote a letter to the editor and to my surprise, they published it. I explained (with all the eloquence of a 16 year old) that when I woke up each morning, I got dressed for myself. Whether that meant a mini skirt and heels or a t-shirt and jeans – I did it for me. Did I want boys to find me attractive? Of course – I was a heterosexual teenage girl. But even at that age, I knew that fashion meant more than that – it had so much more potential. Potential for positivity, respect, expression, whimsy, and creativity. This is why (soon after) I took over her fashion column. This is why (soon after that) I became co-editor of the newspaper. This why I enrolled in fashion classes. This is why I got a design degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. This is why I design clothing. This is why I’m talking to you. This is why I started SmartGlamour.
I’ve always wanted to be involved in fashion – to make clothes for a living, but just getting people to buy some tops, skirts, and dresses from me is not enough. SmartGlamour isn’t just fashionable, affordable clothing – SmartGlamour is a way of life. It’s a revolution. It’s waking up everyday, taking pride in yourself – your appearance, your brains, and your heart – your inside and your outside. It’s putting your best foot forward – being kind, positive, and driven. It’s lifting other women up – instead of pushing them down. This will, in turn, lift you up as well.
Fashion as empowerment. Fashion as a revolution.
You can be intelligent, fashionable, smart, sexy, clever, stylish, driven, and successful. You can be anything you want to be. And it starts now.