Do you want to look pretty without the pain? I hope you answered yes to this question or this post will be really awkward for you.
Over a couple of weeks I have been noticing comments people have made about what they are wearing such as “I like to be comfortable, so I just wear jeans and a t-shirt” or “I am a wimp when it comes to heels, I can only wear them for like an hour.” These comments all revert back to the universal phase, “beauty is pain.” Its seems like it has to be one or the other– suffer for your looks or suffer your looks for comfort. I am hear to tell you it doesn’t have to be one or the other you can meet in the middle!
This all began when I attended the Alpha Chi Couture fashion show at the end off February. Two of my friends from high school invited me to the show put on by their sorority. I attended the show with them and all of our moms (it was a mother-daughter affair!). While we were conversing, one of my friends’ moms was talking about how she had to change outfits because the shoes she was wearing earlier in the day were hurting her feet and the other shoes she brought didn’t match that outfit, so she had to completely change outfits. She ended the story with “I guess beauty is pain, right?” That statement got me thinking…
Then, this past week I watched “A Ballerina’s Tale” on Netflix (I highly recommend it!), which is a documentary that follows the life of professional ballet dancer, Misty Copeland. The movie explained how she became interested in dance, the behind the scenes of her rehearsals, and all of the successes from her being the first black dancer who became principle dancer for the American Ballet Theater in New York. But the film also, shed light on the thinness of ballet dancers (Misty was told she had to lose weight early in her career), the loneliness she felt of not feeling like she belonged (being the only black dancer in most of her practices and shows), as well as the persevering strength of dancer in order to hold a single position for several minutes while embodying grace and seeming as though it were effortless. The pains of a dancer reminded me of the “beauty is pain” statement. So I continued to ponder…
A few days agp, I was looking at designers from Paris fashion week, because I like to see what runway shows stood out the most for every fashion week capital (New York, Milan, London, to name a few). While scrolling through the designers with popular reverence, I came across images of the shimmering and delicate tulle fabric of the Valentino fashion show. I clicked on it and found an assortment of ballet-inspired luxury garments. Valentino’s fall 2016 collection encompassed the looks of a ballerina’s lifestyle, from what they wore before practice, during, and at performances. It was a fantasy of a ballerina’s world made for the everyday women.
These three instances in the past month made me come back to this same phrase of “beauty is pain.” What strikes me about this phrase is that it is true! A dancer literally puts blood, sweat, and tears into preparing for each performance on stage. And a model mimics the pains of a ballerina with wearing high heels and keeping up with this perceived ideal image of a perfect woman. And just as similar, an average woman wears uncomfortable shoes that look pretty for the gaze of people walking by and the approval of her counterparts. We all as women, submit to pain daily in order to channel the most perfect image of beauty, whether we truly realize it or not. The good news though is that the emerging trend for this coming fall/winter season is quite literally, to not be in pain, but still look beautiful! This trend is ballet wear. It is a trend about looking graceful and effortless without actually standing on your toes like a pro-ballerina. Here are the influences of ballet for this approaching fall season for us all to channel our inner ballerina warriors this year. So put on your tutus and ballet slippers and whip your hair in a slicked-back bun!
Trends are comprised of everything that is constantly happening around us. The ballet-wear trend this season is simple because you don’t have to be a ballerina to dress like one. There is no pain required to pull off this look, so I hope you perfect your ballet bun and not your pirouettes this season (unless you are an actual ballerina, then do in fact continue on those turns).