As far as I know, I was the only teenage girl to ever be sent to her room to “take off some of those clothes” and “put on a little more make-up, young lady.” Unwanted attention from boys and a desire to be modest drove me to feel deeply uncomfortable with my body. I hated the way I looked and kept as much skin covered as possible all the way through high school and college.
Then, a beautiful, Italian co-worker changed my life. After I complimented her clothes for many weeks, she finally turned to me and said, “You know, you are as beautiful as I am. Your body is a gift. You should treat it that way.”
And that’s true of all of us. Our bodies are a gift that we should both take care of and present beautifully to the world. That’s why I’m spending the month of January on self-care: learning to care for, dress, and love my body. I’ll be focusing on when to spend—and not spend—money on clothes, how to dress my body beautifully, and how to care for my physical health.
Reading and Watching List
Where am I learning these new skills?
- Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress It Well by Sally McGraw Build a style journal full of inspiration, information, and ideas for a wardrobe that makes you look and feel beautiful. You can also visit Already Pretty on-line.
- Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman More of a parenting memoir than a style and fashion book, Bringing Up Bebe presents a lifestyle for moms that includes taking care of herself.
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding Not another trite Pygmalion story, but a film about an ordinary-looking woman who begins transforming her life by changing the way she treats herself. Read more about My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
- Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath Full of anecdotes of people who changed their companies, their communities, and themselves, Switch offers a clear framework to anyone trying to make her life better. Read more about Switch.
Want to Get Involved?
I’d also love to hear your advice for me and for other women. Just link your advice to this post or leave your URL in the comments by Monday, January 28. I’ll be sure to include your suggestions in my end-of-the-month round-up. And we’re always open to guest submissions.