I write about the world I live in and the clothes I wear when I make my way through that world as a 50+, curvy, disabled woman. I'm very aware that these things alone make me very different, and it would be easy for me to descend into bitterness and resentment But there is always a bigger picture, an aspect of what I'm doing, that I try to impart in my posts, even if only through implication. You have to make the best of what you have in life.Read More
As promised, I'm going to hand out some awards to some really terrific blogs that I find engaging, uplifting, informative and worthy of acclaim. But I'm going to put a little twist on my own answers. Instead of telling you seven random facts about myself, in honor of Valentine's Day I'm partnering with Personalized Creations to share seven tips for a great date.Read More
As a disabled person I have always begrudgingly accepted that I can't do things quickly or multitask as much as I'd like to. As I have gotten older and become more limited I've had to edit out some activities entirely and prioritize those things I can still manage that are important to me.
When it comes to this blog there is so much I want to do with it and I never seem to have enough time to do it in. I can only type with one hand and it's becoming compromised. Writing my posts, reading and answering your comments then visiting your blogs to comment, takes up a considerable amount of my time. As much as I'd like to there's no way for me to read everything that my fellow bloggers post. I marvel at those of you that I see constantly tweeting on Twitter, posting to Facebook and G+, pinning to Pinterest, uploading to Instagram, creating sets on Polyvore. Many of you host themed linkups, secure sponsorships from businesses you believe in, and giveaways of products you love and endorse.
So I'd like to pose this question to my readers and fellow bloggers. How do you find the time to do it all? How do you juggle your time to best use it towards your blogging aspirations? How do you maintain and promote your readership without neglecting those that are following you? How do you approach companies you believe in for sponsorship and giveaways? What are your strategies; what am I missing?
How do you keep all of your plates spinning?
No joking. One year ago I posted my very first blog post, Meet Your Spashionista. It seems like a lifetime ago. So many things have changed while others have stayed the same.
When I started this blog I wasn't sure if I would have an audience interested in what I had to say. After all, I have a unique perspective. It would be disingenuous to confine my subject matter to fashion without including my unique experiences as a disabled woman over 50. But it would be a boring misrepresentation of myself to dwell on my age and disability on a constant basis to the exclusion of my sense of style.
Was the blog going to be too geared towards the disabled to be interesting to able-bodied women, or too mainstream to be of any value to the handicapped? Did I dress too old for the young fashionistas or too bright and youthful for the 40+ crowd? Was I too round for the trendy blogs and too thin for the plus sized bloggers? Could I impart my sense of style within a low enough budget to be of help to women of limited means without being snubbed by the higher end style blogs?
It turns out the answer is all of the above. over the past year many of my suspicions, both positive and negative, have been confirmed. My audience runs the gamut of abilities and ages. Women who have cerebral palsy, bell's palsy, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, limb differences, and disabled daughters. Followers ranging in age from 17 to 70 with fashion aesthetics that are whimsical, restrained, colorful, reserved, chic, bohemian and everything in between. Tall, thin women; short, round women; thrift store aficionados to high-end label wearers.
I've been written about and written to by many. Praised for being an inspiration, cursed for being an elitist cripple. Complimented on my wardrobe, derided for daring to put up my palsied pictures. Embraced as an icon and written off as too old and fat. Called fashion-forward and dismissed as mutton-dressed-as-lamb. Told my clothing is too cheap and berated for shopping anywhere but Goodwill.
I haven't won any awards or had any sponsors clamoring to put their swag up on my blog. I've been wooed by link submission "branding" sites that have to date rejected 99% of my posts. But I've always been honest about the things I wear and the people I meet, and I'm used to being the square peg that doesn't quite fit into the round hole.
I have met some incredible, amazing, beautiful, gutsy, sweet, sincere women - and a few terrific guys, too. If you're reading this then you are probably one of them. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for following me and showing me tons of support in chronicling my adventures as your one and only Spashionista. I'd also like to ask you if there's anything in particular you'd like to see me address in the next year of this blog. What can I do to make this blog more interesting and a farther-reaching voice for anyone who has ever been made to feel less-than-beautiful because of their imperfections? I really value your input and appreciate all of the help and advice I've received so far.
Here's to another year of fabulousness!
"Where are the clothes for the girls who eat lunch?" I jokingly asked a meek little salesclerk at an upscale clothing store. I was looking for any article of clothing in a size higher than an 8. Just a little higher, mind you, not even close to plus size.
She snickered - because I made a funny - then sheepishly replied, "We don't have any."
So, let me see if I understand this correctly. It doesn't matter that I'm healthy and in great shape. It doesn't matter that my cholesterol is normal, my blood pressure is borderline low and I'm not diabetic. It doesn't matter that I exercise daily and limit my caloric intake to the recommended amount for my age and height - less, actually. What matters is I can't squeeze into what you've decided are acceptable measurements for a woman's body?
I left, annoyed but not devastated. I get frustrated when I see something pretty that I can't get in my size but it doesn't make me feel less attractive. I've fought hard to get to a place of self acceptance and nobody is going to take that away from me.
On this day before Valentine's Day, a holiday that can be very difficult for many women who feel lonely or unloveable, I want to remind my fellow Spashionistas that you have to love yourself first regardless of what the scale says. Even girls who eat lunch can be knockouts. Just take a look at these lovely ladies courtesy of Pinterest.
Last, but certainly not least, my personal favorite.
Love yourself first and others will find you irresistible. Now, who's hungry?
Indulge me; I'm going to carry the fitness theme into this week's Fashion Friday because I have a few thought's to add to my previous post.
The outfit here, which would be fine either at the gym or at your house, is really not nearly as important as the idea. These are just basic activewear pieces; yoga pants, biker shorts, sports bra top, zip up hoodie, and athletic shoes. If you're me the only two items to be picky about are the sports bra top and the footwear. Most of you will have no trouble (and some of you no need) finding a well-fitting sports bra. I have yet to find one, and it's not from lack of trying, so I just wear a regular bra and tee. Your athletic shoes should be where you spend your cash. Make sure they fit well and are geared towards the activities for which you are wearing them.
The exercise equipment pictured aren't just props. I use all of these at some point during the week in my workouts. Instead of a bicycle I use a stationary peddler but the workout is comparable. The point I want to make, especially to those of you with physical limitations, is you have to tailor the concept of exercise to your own abilities. Only you know the difference between possibilities and excuses.
Do it today, then do it tomorrow, then the next day. After a month you'll be able to see yourself always doing some form of physical activity.
• Spashionistas Wanted •
The outfits that I put together for Fashion Friday are based on my BODS profile. Sure, some of the items I use are beyond my price range but I’m certain I can find reasonable equivalents within my budget. I would love the opportunity to put some together for you for the next installment of Fashion Friday. If you’re interested email me with your BODS profile and we’ll make it happen!