Beauty

By Sarah Williams

My tall thick heels clicked on the hall floor of Junior High School as my brown curly hair bounced up and down with each step. I looked older, almost an adult, with my fitted suit dress and FBI badge pinned to my outside breast pocket. To add to my character as an FBI Agent for the Halloween Dress Up Day, I pulled out my fake flip phone to “answer” an important call from HQ.

Flashback to three years previous and my hair wasn’t down with attractive curls but pulled back into a wispy ponytail. I wore big dorky glasses that were not stylish, but I was a carefree school girl who was raised in a household of boys with no sisters and a mom who didn’t follow fashion trends.

Everything changed when I hit Junior High School. It was the first time I discovered the diffuser to help accentuate my curly hair. It was the first time I began wearing perfume. 7th grade was my red-carpet entrance to fashion.

Throughout the years, fashion has evolved. Trends come and go. Personalities change. People change. Junior High sparked my first fashion frenzy and how I could make my body, my looks and fashion fit for me.

Flash forward 20 years and I am still doing that. I am a fashion trend follower, but I also twist that trend to reflect my personality and how I want to appear to others. I like to accentuate my bold fashion finds, whether they are big earrings, a dress, a hairstyle, heels or makeup. I might have been the wallflower in grade school, but over the years I have slowly stepped away from the wall. And the result has been well received. People notice my fashion finds and I like to stand out and be unique.

Everyone is different. There isn’t just one style of fashion that fits everyone’s personality. That’s why there are stores like Abercrombie and Fitch, Hot Topic and Express. You can be a fashionable whether you are athletic, musical, a cheerleader, in the drama club etc. The question is, what fashion styles should you wear to fit your personality?

Ask yourself these questions:
1. What is your favorite active activity?
2. What kind of music do you listen to?
3. What celebrities (old or new) do you admire?

If you like active sports, pop music and love singers like Pink you would probably be drawn into stores with graphic tees, sandals, and ripped jeans. If you like less active sports, classical music and are drawn to older celebrities like Beethoven and Jane Austen, you would be drawn into stores with flowing skirts, comfortable flats, and cardigans.

My answers:
1. Leisure bike rides, walking, tennis
2. Norah Jones, Broadway, Big Band Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald
3. Audrey Hepburn, Kate Middleton

I almost always wear a dress or a skirt with flats or heels. I wear big statement jewelry, do different dramatic hairstyles and my nails are always painted. These questions can help you decide what’s important to you and how you want to portray yourself through fashion.

People have said that I am “classy” and “vintage.” I want people to look at how I present myself and see confidence, poise and happiness with who I am. You should do the same. Find what you love and incorporate it into your style. You will be amazed at what you find. Don’t be a flop, but your own style of fashionista.

Sarah Williams is a fashionista by day and a writer by night. She is currently writing two books, lifestyle articles and blogging about her favorite passions: fashion, travel, events and home design. She is a mom to three boys who keep her busy and bring balance to her “girly” personality. When she has a few moments to spare, you will find her designing her dream home or planning a vacation getaway with her husband.

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By Aimee Peterson

When I was a child, my siblings and I had a terrible case of chicken pox. Besides two weeks of misery as the virus worked its way through all five of us, the disease left me scarred with pock marks. The largest of these scars is located about 2 inches below my collarbone. When I realized the scar was there, I became incredibly self-conscious. Even at the tender age of six I did not want people to see my scar or ask about it. I saw it as a flaw I did not want others to realize I had.
 
I was an athletic teen and enjoyed a variety of school and competition sports. However, the prospect of buying a swimsuit and joining my friends at the beach or pool left me in tears. It was a challenge to find a swimsuit that had a high neckline that would cover my scar. My mother finally found a swimsuit that fit my needs at an older women's clothing store. It was a hideous one-piece, blue geometric-patterned suit, but I wore that thing for two years because it covered my scar. There was nothing else suitable in the junior's departments of my local mall.
 
As time passed, I began to see things that I did not recognize in the days of my youth. The first and most important was that my scar did not define me. It did not make me ugly, as I had {wrongly} assumed. My family and many of my friends knew about my scar, and they still loved me and saw me as beautiful. The second thing I learned was that I did not need to dress immodestly to make friends, do well in school and sports, or to get asked out on dates. I had jokingly called my scar my "modesty modifier," since I may not have chosen to dress as modestly if I didn't have it. Dressing modestly gave me confidence and continues to do so today. I believe this is because I learned to respect my body by not showing it off as an object. By keeping myself covered, I respect my body for the incomparable gift that it is. At this point in my life, I am glad I had this experience so I can help other girls find confidence in themselves through modesty. 
 
Aimee & NicoleI wish that companies like Jen Clothing had been around when I was a teen! I so appreciate companies who make high quality, fashionable, MODEST clothing readily available. I know I do not have to purchase clothing items made for another generation anymore. I can dress well, feel confident, and be modest… all at the same time. This is especially important to me as I watch my youngest sister Nicole navigate her pathway through the teen years. The message I have for her, and for all girls is: "Be you; be confident; be beautiful; be modest!"
 
Aimee Peterson is a mom blogger at piecedtogethermoms.com, a Registered Nurse, a wife, a mother of four and a homeschooler. Aimee enjoys reading, freelance writing, gardening, playing tennis and volleyball, travel and being with her family.

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