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18 April 2012

{GUEST POST} Power Through Fashion


Hello, my lovely readers ~! Today I have a special guest post for you all to read! Enjoy ~ c:
Power Through Fashion
By: Jackie Clark

High self-esteem is something that nearly all women struggle to cultivate
throughout their lives. Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can threaten to
destroy any confidence that a woman has managed to create within herself.
When a woman is confident, she has a sense of control over herself and her
direction in life. A cancer diagnosis shatters that control. Mesothelioma can make
a woman feel as if she no longer is able to make plans for her future or lay claim
to any physical autonomy. The cancer may be causing some internal disruptions,
but there are small ways in which a woman can display her personal power to
the world. One of these ways is through fashion.

Fashion holds different meanings for different people. Some enjoy participating
in contemporary culture by keeping up with what is popular at the moment.
Others take pride in being able to create unique, edgy looks on a budget.
Fashion, first and foremost, is about an individual's expression of herself. A
woman can choose to draw attention to herself with bold fabric prints and
contrasting colors, or she can dress conservatively to preserve her modesty.
Every choice, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is an exercise in
power.

Women who are interested in finding new ways to express their inner selves can
explore thrift shops for one-of-a-kind finds. Those who take some of their style
inspiration from retro fashion might get lucky and find vintage pieces from their
favorite eras. Boots, jackets and other leather items can be found at low prices
and already showing signs of artful wear. Tattered or worn items can be
purchased and deconstructed to serve as patterns for new garments. Skirts and
dresses can be cropped short. Jeans can be cut into fashionably frayed shorts.
Secondhand items make great objects for experimentation.

The most liberating aspect of fashion is its fluidity. Style does not have to be a
commitment. A woman may wear flirty feminine dress one day and masculine
leather the next. What she wears can tie into different sides of her personality, or
she can treat her clothes as fun costumes that let her try out different characters
in her day-to-day life. There is strength in bravely expressing one's true self, just
as there is comfort in knowing that one's current identity does not have to be
permanent. Deciding to change for the better or find happiness in current
circumstances is entirely within a woman's control.

A woman may fight her way through mesothelioma treatment by indulging in her
creative talents. Many craft and fabric stores offer sewing classes that will help to
guide a woman toward creative success. She can choose the exact outfit she
would like to make for herself, and when she finds the perfect pattern and fabric
she can make her vision come to life. Whenever she wears that outfit, she will be
reminded of having completed a major creative process with positive results.
Once treatment is completed, she may choose to keep wearing that outfit as a

sign of survival, or she may prefer to leave those clothes and this sad period of
her life behind.

Clothing, like life, is always in transition. Fashion allows women to display who
they are in the current moment. Even women who do not consider themselves
invested in trends are still participants in fashion. When life takes a temporary
downward turn, a woman may feel powerless or unable to achieve anything of
substance. Expanding one's creative palette through fashion is a way in which a
woman can affect control over her own life on a daily basis.
If you'd like to write a guest post, feel free to e-mail me at strawfizzle@gmail.com.