I  can’t think of a better example of owning ones beauty than the world cup-winning women’s soccer team. Here’s a great article on the team’s use of fashion to challenge our stereotypes of women’s gender presentation and owning their own individual beauty.

Two quotes from the article here:

I want to be clear: The holy admiration these shirtless suit jackets inspire in me has nothing (well, maybe the smallest bit of something) to do with what’s exposed between the lapels. It has everything to do with the style statements these women are making. They’re wearing clothes traditionally known as menswear, but they’re emphatically not men. They’re showing skin, but they don’t appear to be contorting their style instincts to appeal to the male gaze. They’re subverting expectations of gender, formality, and fashion in their own gorgeous and extravagant ways. These things are called power suits for a reason.

and 

There is pure aesthetic pleasure to be taken in looking at beautiful people wearing beautiful, expensive things. But I’m more excited by the USWNT’s vigorous rejection of the stereotype that female athletes are dowdy or don’t care about their appearance, and that lesbians in particular are frumpy and unfashionable. I love that the gays on the team have been playing with their gender presentations in media appearances, with feminine touches and masculine silhouettes, or masculine touches and feminine silhouettes. I love that they don’t seem to feel boxed in to one end or the other of the gender spectrum—boxes that, for all their stifling, can also feel safe and comfortable. Their looks augur a bright future for gender-expansive fashion . . .

Beauty isn’t a matter of trying (trying) to conform to some external ideal or expectation. It can be playful, even provocative, self-expression, dancing with social conventions. Every woman was meant be free to explore and express her own unique beauty without feeling pressure from inner critics, marketing campaigns or societal judgements.

Bravo, team USA. You challenge me to expand my expectations of beauty.

Here’s the article: https://slate.com/culture/2019/07/uswnt-fashion-2019-world-cup-victory-outfits.html

Just received The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits by Mihaela Noroc.  Miheala travelled the world for four years photographing women of al ages and cultures. What a wonderful project! I especially love seeing the older women and wrinkles in all their beauty. 

Check out Mihaela’s website at: https://theatlasofbeauty.com

Order the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Beauty-Women-World-Portraits-ebook/dp/B01MR1TUUL/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=atlas+of+beauty&qid=1562511403&s=gateway&sr=8-1

And here’s an interview with Miheala: https://mymodernmet.com/mihaela-noroc-atlas-beauty-book/

 

 


 

Wonderful TED talk from Daniel Lismore on living life as a work of art.

Daniel shares the vision behind his elaborate ensembles and explores what it’s like to live life as a work of art. “Everyone is capable of creating their own masterpiece,” he says. “You should try it sometime.” 

What a wonderful inspiration of living life as full expression!

My favorite quote:  “How does life change when you choose to be unapologetically yourself?”

Frankly, coming off a full, stressful  workday, I was still in task mode. However, I was determined to check out the art fair across the street and see if there was anything “interesting”. Power-walking through the aisles of stalls I scanned for photographers and visual artists whose work grabbed me. “Seen his stuff. Not my thing.” “Saw her work last year. That image of a flamenco dancer outdoors is kind of dramatic . . .” “Oh, I like the geometry of the palm fronds.” Scout and scoot. I hardly paused at each stall as my eyes scanned ahead.

I was headed toward the exit when The Ambush occurred. A white coat hanging on a form in an apparel stall stopped me cold. The shape of it was . . . different. Intimately human like a living presence. It drew me in. As I stepped closer I saw – and felt – that the texture was . . . well, I don’t have words for it. Gauzey. Like spun sugar in intricate webs. Translucent silk and felt interwoven.

All of my judgements and scanning fell away as I stood in the presence of this beautiful apparition.

And when I stepped into the stall I was stunned by all the varieties of textures and colors of the fabrics in jackets, dresses, scarves. Like stepping onto an exotic planet of alien colors both subtle and fantastical. I looked mostly at the scarves, taking in the colors, feeling each unique texture, and began to see visions of how they could adorn my portraiture subjects. I spent nearly an hour dreaming possibilities until Kali the artist had to close up shop. I took home a rich brown scarf and a vivid Chagall-blue one.

The next day I made a pilgrimage back to the art fair, spent another hour with Kali talking about color, and brought home four more scarves. My scarves are now hanging on an ornamental bamboo ladder ready to help set the stage for a client’s beautiful portrait. They inspire me. I’ve made a home for them as they make a home for me.

Beauty is a playful trickster she is, and an ambusher, waylaying  me with wonder and delight . . . when I at least meet her halfway and open my eyes. 

More about Kali Basi designs – http://kalibasi.com/a-b-o-u-t/

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