3 Powerful Things Fashion Week Can Teach You About Life
It’s been almost 4 years since I left my job as a magazine editor in NYC and one of the things I was happiest to leave behind was Fashion Week.
Not because it was so much work but because how it made me feel...like shit.
I dreaded this week every September and February because this week made me come face-to-face with my uncomfortably low self confidence.
Let me explain.
Whether or not you care about fashion week, it’s fair to say from the outside these shows look like the popular table in the lunchroom. The one lunch table that most teenagers would have died to be apart of.
But like much of social media, fashion week is filtered. You see influencers and editors being dressed and gifted like modern day Cinderellas while effortlessly hopping from show to show.
I think you realize it’s not all fun and games. Fashion week is a business for all. Editors are writing about the collections while zig zagging all over the city to make deadlines. And bloggers are trying to make a living while not breaking a sweat to maintain the ever-so-perfect shot.
But this isn’t about what you see on the outside. This is about what goes inside...yes, I am talking about feelings.
Disclaimer: I would like to point out, this is my experience of fashion week. I know people who have completely different experiences. This is my journey.
About two weeks before fashion month would start, I could feel the nagging voice in my head that never has gone away. The voice only retreated once in awhile. Wake from its slumber to remind me that I, Jodi Belden, was not good enough. In fact, she would start to question how I even got this far.
Why do I feel like this?!
Fashion week was a minefield for my ego. Whether it was being rejected from the must-see show of the season, being sat rows behind other fellow editors and friends, or walking past hordes of street style photographers and worrying about having or not having your picture taken. It felt like I was back in middle school and no one wanted me to sit with me.
I knew it wasn’t healthy and I knew it didn’t have to be like this. I also knew deep down I needed to stop taking it all so seriously.
While my relationship with fashion isn’t completely healthy, I have made lots of progress. I can now see things I didn’t before, and that includes the positive vibes that fashion week brings.
This week (or month) really embraces what fashion is supposed to be all about, FUN.
Yeah that’s right, hard to see that sometimes because fashion tends to feel like an old boyfriend that makes us feel terrible about ourselves and we keep going back.
I have always used fashion as a way to punish myself. I needed to be richer, and thinner to really enjoy dressing up and until I was I wouldn’t let myself off the hook.
Of course, I could never be thin enough or rich enough for my ego, so it was a game I played and lost.
But you my friend, don’t have to. If fashion makes you feel some type of way, here are a few simple (not easy) mindset shifts you should try if you are looking for another way. Listen up!
#1 Old Thought
“Oh look at her, so thin and pretty and everyone gives her the newest most amazing clothes. Her life is perfect Mine sucks.”
Comparison is the thief of joy and that couldn't be a truer statement. The scarcity mentality we’re brought up with makes us believe there is only so much money, talent, thinness, and style to go around. If she has it, that means you can’t.
What a terribly dangerous way of thinking. And the thing is, it sneaks up on you. You don't even realize your thought process. You just start feeling bad when you see someone shining brightly, when truly, it makes you happy to see such joy
New Way of Thinking
“Look at her! She is amazing, and the fact I see that in her means I have that in me too!”
What if you retrained those negative auto-piloted thoughts and retrained your mind to see jealousy as a reminder that you too can have what they have? I am not just talking about the materialistic things (though you can have that too if you want). I’m talking about the attitude. Style is all about how you feel. Not about what you are wearing.
#2 Old Thought
“Everyone is looking at me because my stomach/hair/bag isn’t small/perfect/expensive enough.”
I am sure you have these thoughts on a normal basis occasionally, but during fashion week, I would feel these insecurities to the highest degree.
This would cause me to act standoffish and rude to save myself from the rejection that I knew was about to happen at any moment(all in my head though).
“I am going to send so much love to everyone I see, because they are dealing with their own issues.”
I know this is woo woo but sending people you don’t even know good vibes feels so good and stops insecurities in it’s tracks. Bad feelings and good feelings can’t exist at the same time.
Try this: Take a few deep breaths and imagine your heart getting bigger and bigger in your chest. Imagine sending energy from your heart to the heart of the people you see as judging you. Even if you don’t actually know these people, imagine them receiving your loving energy going straight to their heart. You can’t possible do this and not feel peace wash over you after 1-2 minutes.
#3 Old Thought
“Fashion week is all about being seen and “liked” and no one cares about the actual clothes (or people) anymore.”
It’s easy to lose the meaning behind this week in all the hopla that surrounds it. Go back to the foundation the whole week happens in the first place.
Designers have spent months/years on these collections and if you focus on the clothes, you will have a different experience. I promise.
First of all, how amazing is it that we can see most of the shows as they are happening on live stream and social media feeds? You don’t even have to leave your house or your sweatpants to witness the beauty in real time.
Think about the love, sweat, and tears that went into creating all of this. For me, it’s like walking into a museum; witnessing the masterpieces. Even from a computer, it inspires me the same way as looking at a Monet or watching a sunset does.
Final Note: Focus On What Feels Good
It’s important that we celebrate everything that makes us feel good. this is way underrated nowadays. If following people during fashion week makes you feel bad about yourself or your situation, change it. Either unfollow for a little bit or change your mind. Whether or not you want to believe this, YOU are in total control of how you feel. Choose to feel good.
I can always go back to my appreciation and it snaps things into perspective for me. I look at everything I have and have experienced in life. I start making lists in my head and don’t beat myself up more for caring so much about something as unimportant as fashion week.
Honor your feelings. Then do something to change them.
If you want more help with that, check out my mini-guide to “owning your personal style without buying a damn thing.” It includes the 5 biggest lessons and mindset shifts I have learned over the past 15 years about style and self-confidence. Grab it here for FREE.
Always Polishing Up,