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Let’s Get Out of Our Heads About Our Bodies: A Different Perspective

Updated: Apr 7

Woman not being able to take the thoughts about her body

Lately, I've found myself captivated by Beyonce's Cowboy Carter. I know, I know—everyone's talking about it. But for me, it's more than just a passing trend. It's a reminder of my lifelong journey in an industry that hasn't always embraced me.

"Hi, I'm a black, plus-size Fashion Stylist." Those words alone are often enough to make heads turn, especially in an industry where norms and standards can feel suffocating. But let's push past that initial reaction and delve deeper into my story.

Sheanneen Shelby headshot at a Mexican Restaurant

Throughout my career, I've worn many hats—working alongside Ivy League professionals, dabbling in various facets of the fashion world, and even staging my own fashion show back in high school when it wasn't exactly the norm. But despite my expertise and experience, it often feels like the conversation stops before it truly begins.

Inside my head, doubts creep in. "Is my social media captivating enough? Why can't I project a bigger personality on camera?" These thoughts echo in the minds of many, contributing to a cycle of self-doubt and insecurity.

But here's the truth I've discovered after styling thousands of people: Everyone harbors insecurities about their bodies. We fixate on perceived flaws, allowing them to overshadow our unique qualities and accomplishments. But why? Why are we so quick to tear ourselves down?

Let's get out of our heads about our bodies because the answer, my friends, is simple: Money. The more we dislike ourselves, the more we're willing to spend to fix perceived flaws. It's a marketing tactic as old as time—exploiting insecurities to drive profits. And it's everywhere, from life-altering plastic surgeries to a fitness industry that coats us in shame, while running side-by-side with grocery stores selling 74% of foods (like processed meat) containing high fructose corn syrup, and then the billion-dollar fashion industry is the cherry on top.

Very slim woman fighting her thoughts and perceptions about her body.

Speaking of fashion, let's talk about the unrealistic standards perpetuated by mass-manufactured clothing. We've been conditioned to believe that if a garment doesn't fit, it's our bodies that are at fault—not the clothing. But that couldn't be further from the truth.

Enter vanity sizing—a deceptive practice designed to make us feel better about ourselves while ensuring brand loyalty. By inflating sizes and preying on our insecurities, clothing companies manipulate our perceptions and keep us coming back for more.

But here's the thing: Clothing is not produced with single person in mind. Never. The thing is that every person has unique proportions. Whether or not that garment fits depends on three simple things: How close you are to the product's stated measurement requirements, how close your proportions are to the demographic that brands has decided to target, and if your garment was made within tolerance (the company's margin of error that it allows the manufacture.) That is it. Please do not allow clothing to make you feel bad. It is there for protection, self-expression, and to help you feel as good as possible, because the only thing that you interact with more is your skin.

We only have one body, one vessel for this wild journey called life. So why waste time and energy hating ourselves? Instead, let's embrace our bodies—their quirks, imperfections, and all.

Woman struggling to fit a "size" of jeans

As a fashion stylist, I've seen firsthand the damage caused by unrealistic standards and manipulative marketing tactics. But I refuse to be complicit in an industry that profits from our insecurities. Instead, I'm here to empower consumers, to help them make informed decisions, and to challenge the status quo.

So, let's shift the narrative. Let's celebrate our bodies for what they are—beautiful, unique, and worthy of love. And let's remember that true beauty lies not in conformity, but in embracing our individuality and unique proportions.

Stay tuned for more thought-provoking discussions. After all, how many of us truly fit into the mold society expects us to?

Signing off until next time,

Sheanneen Shelby

Sheanneen Shelby standing in front of the words "Love Yourself!"


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