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At Portland Fashion Week beauty comes in every size

October 6, 2011

A Stylists Day at Portland Fashion Week
by Anne Cleve
A Style

I am a personal stylist.  I consider myself to be like-Tim-Gunn-and-not-Clinton-and-Stacy stylist.  This week is Portland Fashion Week in our fair city.  As stylists often do, I spent the day at a photo shoot for a glossy magazine spread featuring clothing from different shops in the Portland area, to highlight an upcoming fashion show. 

I went to the stores, selected the looks, picked up the gorgeous jewelry, and brought it all back to the location.  Then I put all of the outfits on the models racks, and checked with the photographer.  Waiting for the models, I made doubly sure the sizes were correct, the shoes were dotted with felt, and I taped down the tags inside the clothing.

Then the models began to arrive.  Beautiful people, inside and out.  Tall, thin, short, athletic.  Some with a booty that made the jeans pop.  Some with a flat seat that we hid with a long coat.  A long neck accented by jewels.  A short neck flattered by an amazing smile.  Not all typical.  Not all atypical.  But common in confidence.  They believed they were beautiful.

I came across this post on Facebook.  I thought of all my clients who don’t feel this way.  Who tell me they will hire me in ‘ten more pounds.’  Who finally hire me anyway and cry in their closets, because they have now thought of themselves in a new way, and want confidence in their wardrobe.  They want continuity between how they feel on the inside and how they look on the outside.  Beautiful, inside and out.

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

“Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.

They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?

They would have no sex life and could not bear children.

Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.

And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I’d rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn’t enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.

We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.

Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: “How amazing am I ?! “’

(By Delphine Fieberg)

For more information on Portland Fashion Week, visit:

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Discuss this article

Virgo October 6, 2011

That Whale and Mermaid story is perfect!
Bless you!

Amy C. October 6, 2011

When I look in the mirror I always take a momement to look at my smile to remind me to complete the package and appreciate who I am and who I am becomming.

Issi October 10, 2011

Nice fantasy but huge models have no place on runways.

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