When I was younger, I felt that I took up too much space. I was too tall, too wide, too loud and too opinionated. I longed to be small, self-contained and delicate, like the images of Kate Moss in the Calvin Klein adverts that were ubiquitous when I hit puberty. I didn’t actively believe that I should be submissive and winsome, but it seeped into my consciousness via societal expectation. I never succeeded in emulating CK One’s languid version of Kate, my extrovert personality always won the day, but I still felt ashamed for being too much. I starved myself  to fit what I thought society wanted from me and there was a constant battle going on in my head. It took years for me to realise that I deserve to be here and there is room for all of me in the world.

Now we’re in the era of #MeToo, my hope is that young women are more emboldened and empowered and they will never feel that they are too much of anything. We’re not quite there yet, but we’ve made several steps in the right direction. It can take a long time, but I would encourage anyone to work towards self-acceptance, because it makes life so much easier when you feel comfortable in your own skin.

I’ve always used personal style to express my mood and I’m constantly drawn to loud, flamboyant clothes. I know that the way I dress is not to everyone’s taste, but I don’t care. My style is a part of me and I’ve learnt to embrace my whole self. This coat is from Anthropologie, I love how loud and flamboyant it is. I’ve worn it with a favourite old blouse from The Reformation (similar here and here) and a skirt from And Other Stories. The skirt is currently sold out online, but available in store. My sandals are from Glamorous.

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