Feedback about our appearance can feel like a ton of white noise — and a whole lot of negativity — to tune out. Whether it's unsolicited two cents from a meddling relative, a brutally honest pal, or a stranger on the street, opinions about how we look can, unfortunately, linger for a long time. Jojo Oldham, a graphic designer in the U.K., had a creative solution for taking ownership of others' descriptives over the years about her body and face. She decided to transform all of the commentary about her looks into a dress.
So why did she decide to paint all the "good, bad, and ugly" adjectives and phrases that have been lobbed at her on a "slightly see-through, skintight" white frock, as she describes the garment on her site? It's actually a physical, wearable manifestation of body acceptance. "I've reached a point in my life where I finally feel at peace with my body," Oldham writes.
Being at peace doesn't mean feeling euphoric self-love nonstop, of course. (And that's completely okay, too.) "I still long to be in just one photo wearing a sleeveless top where my upper arms don't look like giant hams. Or to find a pair of denim shorts that my thighs don't bulge out of like sausage meat making a desperate escape from the confines of its casing. But I am very happy with my lot."
Oldham also points out that she certainly isn't fishing for compliments or looking for sympathy about her supposedly "imperfect" attributes: "It's not a vanity project or a pity party," she writes. "I'm not trying to make people feel sorry for me just because somebody once told me I have thunder thighs, weird knees, sausage fingers... And I'm not looking for anyone to tell me that my arms really aren't that big and butch, or that my thighs aren't that chunky."
What better way to reclaim criticisms and revel in compliments than via a vibrant, cheerful, wearable piece of art? Check out more of Oldham's insightful musings about the tricky, ongoing journey to self-acceptance here.