As I was dashing thru Spitalfields market last Friday, late to meet Jennifer (fish finger friday) I got one quick shot of this beautiful, vibrant, glowing with life, bursting at the seams, mother-to-be, proudly showing her shape to the world with what I assume was the father. I didn't stop to ask her name, or even her permission. And she wasn't the only pregnant woman I saw that day, proudly wearing form fitting clothing.
One of the things we were talking about is the vastly different types of people - and thus, style - you'll find on a lunch hour in Spitalfields Market:
City types on their lunch breaks, like this girl doing a feminine play on the traditional, male, City suit:
..and tourists, and the stylish locals. I also noticed - and have been noticing all season, actually - that there's a wild difference in how we're dressing right now depending, not on our ACTUAL body shape, but our perceived one.
In short: women who think they're fat are wearing maxis, and women who are happy with their bodies are flaunting them.
I mean, take this woman on the left: she's probably gone to great lengths (no pun intended) to look her best that day. By anyone's standards, she would be considered average weight, or even under weight. And yet.. I'm sorry, but everything about her and her friend's posture, tells me they are not proud of their bodies. And I feel that is a terrible, terrible shame. What has our culture, the media, the 'industry', done to us and our self worth? Or more to the point, what have we ALLOWED 'it' to do?
If you have time, please take a look back thru the comments on lace, and let's romp. I'm really grateful to Louise, formerly Anonymous, and also Awesome Boobs, formerly Disappointed in Detroit, for opening up a really important and, I feel, timely conversation. Why AM I posting mostly young, thin, attractive women?
When I'm out with my camera, it is quick impulsive instinctive moments that make me push that camera shutter at the moment I do. I often see someone I think might make a great post, but don't catch them in time. I also get turned down. And I have to agree with the Sartorialist on this one: most women who are remotely normal in weight, i.e., not thin, or anywhere veering over what is considered average weight, or, heaven forbid, 'fat',DO NOT WANT TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED. When I am turned down, it is always because the subject - always female -does not consider themselves 'photogenic'. And that usually translates with 'I feel fat today'. At times, I try to change their mind, (once I had to stop myself from saying 'but I already shot you, before you knew, and you look gorgeous!' but instead, I didn't post the shot).
I mean, I practically had to beg this gorgeous girl at ASOS to let me shoot her. (I think her name is Stephanie). I feel she's got it just right, in every sense. The first few shots, she happened to have one hip jutting out, and when she saw those shots, made me promise I'd delete them. This one, thankfully, she's approved. And she's beautiful! And totally stylish. She's not overweight, she's just not anorexic thin, and thank God she's not.
Those of you who have been around the block a few times might be familiar with a band who called themselves The Band. They used to play in Woodstock, with people like Bob Dylan. They made a film called The Last Waltz, about their breakup and last show, before most of you were, well, temporarily distorting your mother's bodies like the woman in the Big Blue Belly shot. If you can see the film, do so, but til then, sing along with The Band:
This has been an interesting few days for me, just at a point where I was getting psyched for holiday, and kind of feeling flat about my own blog (it happens). And Louise, and Awesome Boobs, shook me up a bit. One thing I've learned in my many years on this green planet is, if I'm open to being wrong in any given situation, I will be a lot happier. And as long as I learn from any experience, as long as I grow, I'm in with a chance.