conditional retraction

schiele_sitting_woman_with_legs_drawn_up
‘Sitting Woman with Legs Drawn Up’ by Egon Schiele (Narodni Galeri)

 

(for now) there is stillness amidst

what was once her maelstrom

whirling slowed into a lilting-soft song/dance

less frightened, more eager

no longer slamming her body against the walls

of an invisible cage

(for now) she is perhaps not sated, but quiescent

he has soothed the beast within

brought her light

velveted the darkness

into an appealing purple twilight

she has sheathed her claws

(for now) they do not reflect the cold moonlight

instead (for now) she allows his warmth

to thaw her edges

–Charla M. DelaCuadra

 

 

Get ready to vote!

suffragettes

Despite all of my concerns for the world today, the tragic violence of yet another mass shooting, and the dismal reality of each day’s news, I am buoyed by hope.  Midterm elections are this November 6th, and I encourage each and every one of you to seize your power and your voice.  We all lose when we are silenced.  Your vote matters, and your voice matters.

Joanna Goddard shared four things to do to get ready to vote, including helpful resources to educate yourself if you are feeling a bit lost about where your polling place is, what the issues are, or even how to get to the polls.

I believe in us, and I believe in our country.  Remember, a journey of 1,00 miles begins with a single step.

(Photo via The Sunday Post 16th May 1911)

Bravo!

universal_standard_foundation

Today Universal Standard launched their most inclusive collection yet: Foundation.  I know I have mentioned US a couple of times before, but in case you are new to the brand, they have been doing amazing things to improve inclusion in women’s fashion in the last couple years.  With Foundation, they are even closer to their goal of breaking down existing barriers and giving all women fashion freedom.  US is now offering 7 new wardrobe basics from size 00 to size 40, with each being custom designed for fit and comfort.  I find their attitude and aspirations so inspiring!  Not only are they offering clothes for as the widest range of sizes, ages, and body types that I know of, but they are thinking hard about good fit, good construction, and great style in the process.  Bravo, US!  You are a much-needed voice in the fashion world.

The power of girls

NYT_this_is_18

With everything that is going on in the world right now, it is more important than ever to honor, recognize, and support the power of girls.  The New York Times put together a powerful piece in #ThisIs18, a kaleidoscopic accounting of what 18 looks like around the world.  What makes it especially powerful is that the photos and words are all from girls themselves.  I was humbled and awed by the conviction of these young women, and encouraged by their savvy, grace, and intelligence.  Take a look, and let’s celebrate girls and women not just on International Girls’ Day, but every day.  The future is female.

Feeling beautiful

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Apologies for my absence this week, but I have had a terrible cold.  I’m hoping to be back in action fully next week, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a resonant piece about beauty that I stumbled across this morning:

“… Here are some activities where I feel intuitively beautiful and feminine – Walking through the Minneapolis Institute of Art alone. Writing and creating in an afternoon coffee shop. Talking with my girlfriends late at night, long after the persuasion of sleep has crept in. I feel most beautiful when interacting with this life that surrounds us. So I’m trying to do more of that. Because the image I keep hoping to see in the mirror? She’s never going to show up. But still, without fail, I greet her within me every single day – she is the way I respond to art and humanity. She is the rare and precious awareness that comes only when studying something that is distinctly outside of myself. I want to learn more of her. And it’s not going to happen while looking into the empty reflection of my bathroom mirror. So why would I bother to look there at all?”

–Anna Jeter via Wit & Delight

It made me think about how I feel vs. how I look, and how important it is to feel good in my body.  Here’s to a weekend full of feeling beautiful in and of ourselves.

 

Jump(er) for joy

I am rather late to the party, but I have finally joined in on the jumpsuit trend.  It took me ages to find anything that fit and I felt good in, but now I am the proud owner of not one, but three (!) jumpers.  They make getting dressed a breeze — one and done — and they dress up or down nicely.  Here are the ones I wound up with, below:

wide leg  kimono sleeve  side tie

It it notoriously difficult to find well-cut clothing in larger sizes, so it feels like that much more of a victory to find clothes I am happy in.   I am pleased to see more brands widening their size ranges, though, and am hopeful it will continue.  Women come in far more shapes and sizes than the runway ideal, and we should all be able to feel confident — every day.

 

Monday reading

Good morning!  Here are a couple great things to start off the week:

Selfishness or survival?  Anne Helen Petersen gets it.  Her piece simultaneously discusses four different narratives surrounding the low American birth rate while also deftly and intelligently peeling back the layers regarding the choice to not have children and the impossible financial position that many young people find themselves in.  A great read.

A brave new world, indeed.  Bravo to Universal Standard and J. Crew for working towards truly inclusive sizing.  Shop the collection here!

Universal_Standard_J_Crew_collaboration

I ❤️ Zuri

zuri_SOKO_production
Zuri is working to create sustainable livelihoods with a focus on women’s empowerment.

Next up is a maker a could not be more tickled about: meet Zuri, a company striving to embody good in everything they do.  Zuri offers a streamlined product lineup that includes dresses, shirts, bags and baskets that come in tons of amazing prints and colorways, all inspired by kitenge and ankara, the traditional wax print fabrics of east and west Africa.

“The history of African textiles is a global story, both ancient and modern, and a powerful symbol of the changing tides of culture, politics, and trade. While we are continuously inspired by the beauty of these textiles, we’re also motivated by the history that they represent and the opportunity they offer to create social and economic change.”

shopzuri.com

Founders Sandra and Ashleigh spent a combined 8 years in Nairobi, and saw firsthand how both corruption and aid can distort markets.  It is their hope “that by paying fair wages, sourcing locally, and making a product that our customers truly love, we will be helping to support a long-term, sustainable economy in Kenya.”  Zuri’s production partners SOKO and Tushone in Kenya are focused on ethical and sustainable practices, and also on building and supporting communities.  Their clothing is wax-print cotton, and their totes are crafted with all-natural fiber Kenyan sisal.

Not only do they do well by their production and suppliers, but they offer a more inclusive size range than many brands out there.  Many of their items are available from size XS through to 2XL, with styles that are made to flatter most body types.  Sustainable, ethically produced, community-oriented, AND size-inclusive?  I am sold.

I purchased the Nuclear print dress and loved it so much that I purchased the Trivial Pursuit version a few weeks later.  I don’t think I have ever gotten as many compliments on a single item of clothing.  And as a delightful extra touch, each was shipped in a surprise printed tote bag.

Their name is inspired by the Swahili word mzuri, which means good.  And their tagline?  “Look good. Feel good. Do good.”  I feel great in my dresses, and I feel even better knowing what a difference you are making in so many people’s lives.  Bravo, Zuri!

Via shopzuri.com

Links to ponder

https://pinkgreenmusings.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/79fc6-1ro7a_6aimrles1yrn0jojq.gif?w=739

It has been a difficult couple weeks for a variety of reasons, perhaps most especially because we lost some amazing and luminous figures to suicide just days apart from each other.  Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, you will be missed.  As we hold ourselves gently, gingerly, and move forward, here are some important/poignant/touching/thoughtful reads for you to ponder:

The kind of “bad boy” we need more of…

Why “you are loved” is not enough.

Anxious and unashamed.

An important read on size appropriation.

Quick, curious, playful, & strong.