Did you make the same mistake as me? Along with one hundred and thirty-three thousand others, by liking a Facebook post about Meghan Markle on her wedding day.
I saw this post and clicked ‘like’ as my instant reaction was that she is so beautiful and appears to be a compassionate person (with the very small amount of reading I have done on her background) so the reference to Diana made sense. I moved on quickly, viewing social media for a fleeting few minutes occasionally throughout the day as I do. Rarely do I get drawn into long posts or threads as I simply don’t have the time, but I do try to glance quickly over feeds to attempt to stay in tune with things in the crazy social media, here today, gone tomorrow whirlwinds that seems to blow up from time to time.
But then as soon as I moved away from that post the other part of my brain engaged and went “Oh oh! It said something about Kardashian in that post.” And the penny dropped. I’d just inadvertently liked something that was pitching two women against one another for their appearance. Ouch. And a big no in my world, where self-expression through your appearance is something to be applauded, where there are no rights or wrongs. It is about how what you wear and how you look, makes you feel.
I’m sure the intention was all in the name of entertainment and harmless fun but minding our P’s and Q’s now has a whole new level and need for awareness. This Facebook post was probably meant to be positive and composed in a fleeting few moments. The issue with social media is that it can reach many more viewers than a carefully balanced and edited news broadcast service. I heard an interview with a journalism lecturer this week where he said that statistically 20 to 30-year olds consume more news from social media than by any official news programme. Broadcasters, journalists, brands, even governments as well as viral posts from individuals can influence our thinking and therefore our actions.
What other women wear can act as an influence and inspiration for our own choices but it’s not essential to like someone else’s style. However, it’s not OK to be negative about it publicly. Style is always subjective – even to the wearer. What makes you feel fantastic to wear one day in one scenario may well not be the same thing the following day. Yes, it really is all in our minds. An emotion - not just physical clothes.
The person to whom what we wear should matter the most, is ourselves. We must endeavour not to compare one woman to another and very importantly we mustn’t compare ourselves to other versions of ourselves. When I was younger, when I was thinner, before I had kids. How about, I am who I am today, and I love wearing ‘x’ or ‘y.’ Accept who we are now, this day. Use your body positives which I challenged you to find in last week’s musing and then live, laugh, dance, sing and enjoy a little more. That’s style confidence. Life is not a dress rehearsal, so go get your glad rags on and enjoy being more you every day.
P.S. When you know what it is that makes you feel great in what you wear, then you actually need less clothes. That’s why I keep getting on my soap box to talk about the emotion of clothes. Once you nail that, being more ethical and sustainable a fashion consumer comes naturally.