There's been a valuable conversation going on in the Colette Patterns blog about body, image, self-image, wardrobe. Whatever I may think of their patterns, the conversation in the comments has been brilliant (and it really has been a conversation, not just a series of position papers).
I figured I had better own my own part of it. This is (lightly edited for content) what I wrote:
I know from experience how cruel the world can be to girls (anything that does not meet the 'standard' = deformed). My mom taught me how to sew; I had no idea she was teaching me how to control my own destiny.
I don't think I am overstating this. I did not realize that it would be my only way to dress myself, that my sewing would be my shield against pain, my rallying cry. I wear every insult, well meant or not (thanks Dad. It IS a shame about my legs) as defense and offense. You think my clothes look funny? Does my ass look big in this? Yes, because it is. In stripes. Horizontal.
After hip surgery a couple years ago, I can walk without pain for the first time in my life. And I'm walking in jeans that I'm fine tuning the fit on. In a Frida Kahlo print. I can't remake the world, but I can stop trying to make the world fit me.
Yeah, over the top for me. But I won't take it back. I am what I do. And it's about not trying to make ME fit the WORLD. The man-made world should fit us: I can be very outspoken about handicapped access. I swing a mean cane, kids!