Fashion For Skin Conditions
Written by Susie Taaffe
Kindness is Key
Skin conditions can range from minor to major and can cause extreme embarrassment. Firstly, be kind to yourself. Your body and skin are reacting to something either internally or externally and protecting themselves. It is nature’s way of keeping your body safe and running. Whether this is a short-term condition, or you have a chronic long-term condition that you must live with daily, you are more than just your skin. Our bodies change so much over the course of our lives. Stretch marks, cellulite, rashes, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, pigmentation, razor bumps, pimples, acne, scars etc. I have a good friend that literally scars from mozzie bites after they swell and are itchy for days. Everyone gets some form of these, and they all make us feel less than amazing. However, most of these come under the category of – things I cannot control.
Things I Can Control
There are still a few steps that we can take towards knowing our bodies and the products we ingest both through eating and applying to our skin. Firstly, if you haven’t already, seek medical/alternate medical advice. Your GP, a Dermatologist, Naturopaths, Chinese medicine, Bodytalk – the list is long. Also do a thorough assessment of the foods you are ingesting, creams, lotions, body wash, make-up, deodorant, hair products, and soaps – these can all contain hidden ingredients that our skin does not like. Personally, I am highly susceptible to breaking out from lots of ingredients in make-up. Many eyeshadows can cause me to wake up looking like Woogie from There is Something About Mary. I am also highly sensitive to certain ingredients in lipsticks which can cause my lips severe irritation. I’m even allergic to the metal studs in jeans! Once you have eliminated the areas that you can control – how do we proceed to body acceptance!
We are now aware of the things we cannot control and have looked at the areas we are in control of. Our next step is acceptance and adjusting our mindset this way. The mere presence of hating something about yourself is doing you zero favours. Do your looks change all your lovely traits? Can you have a kind heart and eczema? Does pigmentation matter so much when you are being cared for and thoughtful to others around you? A skin condition is just one aspect of you in a multitude of other wonderful aspects.
Boo To Marketing Companies
Marketing companies are responsible for constantly feeding us photos of perfect flawless skin – which are highly photoshopped. Even the models do not look like that. Why? To sell us their products. To make us feel ‘less than. We have all been brainwashed in the process. It is not reality. Your real body is reality, and it is beautiful no matter what. You deserve to feel amazing every day.
Curate What You Consume
The art of self-acceptance has become an entire movement around the world. I applaud the initiators and my social media feed is full of them. If yours isn’t then maybe digital detox is also required! They write encouraging content plus they are also normalising ‘normal’ – not the fake and photoshopped version of normal we have been hypnotised with. You can use social media to your advantage here. What will make you feel better? Is a feed full of ‘perfect and fake’ influencers that make you feel completely inadequate or a highly curated feed of people promoting normal bodies with all our differences? I personally choose the latter and say ‘hell yes’ whenever I open my social feed. If you have a particular condition that you feel embarrassed by, you can find numerous accounts of beautiful people in the same boat. They put themselves out there in the hope that their courage will help others exactly like you.
Leading The Way
One side effect of self-acceptance is that you energetically give others around you permission to do the same. You are saying to the world, yes I might have X, Y, Z, but I contribute so much more value as a human than my looks. Everyone is suffering from their own inadequacies. We have grown up believing ourselves to be flawed and in the need of fixing. Yes, we are all flawed but in a beautiful, individual way. No two of us are the same. We should celebrate our differences. How we look is only such a tiny part of who we are as a person. This is why people who have suffered severe disfigurations often go on to become motivational speakers. When our aesthetics are stripped away from us, what is left? Courage, determination, resilience, the strength of character, empathy, awareness and love. These beautiful people present on stage, to give you the permission to acknowledge, embody and prioritise all your wonderful traits.
Dressing With Confidence
By now you should be buzzing with the realisation that you are more than just your looks. You are wonderfully complex and imperfectly perfect. With our new mindset, we are going to create you a wardrobe and style that oozes your new sense of self and confidence. You can take this on at whatever level you feel comfortable with. Some might say to heck with it – I’m not covering up my ‘supposed’ bad bits anymore and go skinny dipping! Whilst others of you might just slowly dip your toes in the water. Wherever you fit on this scale is completely ok. The end game is to feel amazing in yourself. Only you will know how that feels.
I personally get bad skin chafing between my legs when I wear skirts and dresses. There wasn’t a super comfortable solution so I created one myself. Pettipants Underwear. I needed these in my life as a tool to feel confident to wear whatever I wanted. It took me about 7 years to realise that other women needed them too! So my business Missy Massy was born! My passion is to use fashion to create products to help women dress ad live life with confidence! Pettipants are my first product and I wish to design further products with the sole goal of increasing women’s confidence in themselves. I hope to provide the tools for women to feel amazing every day!
Organise Your Wardrobe
Firstly, are there any clothes in your wardrobe that you wear to cover the parts you don’t like? Could it be time to get rid of them? Are you covering up unnecessarily? Do you dress down as you don’t feel deserving of wearing something pretty or bold or sexy?? Well, I think it is time to change this!
You are the author of your own life. Not a side character. Let’s create a wardrobe that makes you say – hey I look great and FEEL amazing in this outfit.
Sometimes, covering up is the only way to make you feel more comfortable. I would recommend looking into the following fabrics and styles in order to look gorgeous whilst feeling extremely at ease. Depending on your climate, a soft and relaxed fabric made from natural fibres will be the gentlest on your skin. Loose, longline pants and skirts or flowy, long, light cotton dresses. For more cover, maximise your use of layers, either under the garment or over the top – I personally prefer under! This can also assist with adjusting to your local climate.
Go Forth & Conquer
Now we have conquered the art of self-acceptance and found a wardrobe that helps us feel amazing. You owe it to the world to shine your light as brightly as you can. Sharing such positivity and self-acceptance will have a flow-on effect on everyone you meet. Just by doing so, you will illuminate the path for those around you. You’ll probably never even know how much impact you have. What an amazing gift.
Much love Susie xoxo