Thrilled to turn the spotlight once again onto Her Teenage Fabulousness, Cecile Bizet. You'll find included below an amazingly genuine heart-to-heart by Cecile on body image issues. As someone who grew up with a ton of body image issues myself, I was incredibly inspired by a chat I had with Cecile when she last visited Boston. If someone as vibrantly gorgeous and, if you'll forgive the admission, beautiful by every mainstream convention, can suffer from body image distortions, then truly we can see how deeply runs our cultural malaise. Bringing light to the darker corners of cultural hypnosis is the first step to healing both individuals and societies, so without further ado...ladies and gentlemen, Cecile Bizet.
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?
This line has been repeated in our heads since childhood. Mirrors are the only ways we truly see ourselves in real time. You would imagine that we wouldn’t doubt them, but what I have realized is - I do.
Mirrors have been a huge part of my life since childhood. Growing up as ballet dancer, they were used for checking our alignment and making sure we looked the way we were supposed to. With ballet training comes a subconscious awareness of one’s body. This can be a good thing. For example when my body is out of alignment, I automatically fix it without thinking. But ballet conditioning can also lead to body image issues. Just as the general population aspires to look like photo-shopped cover models, ballet students aspire to look like stick-thin ballerinas. Ballet studios usually have a wall with many full-length mirrors all lined up. I remember that it was a well-known fact to the students at my studio that some mirrors made us look skinny and others were more unflattering.
This environment led to me having a warped perception of my body. Some days I look in the mirror and think “Damn, I look good.” Immediately afterwards, this thought is replaced with: "the mirror isn’t showing me what I actually look like.” When in actuality, away from the distorted "skinny" mirrors of the ballet studio, the mirror at hand usually isn’t lying at all. I actually do look like my reflection.
I realized this a couple days ago after shooting my Boston Calling lookbook with Silkstaq. Upon looking at the pictures my thought was again, “Damn, I look good”, and again it was replaced with "the pictures aren't showing me what I actually look like”. For some reason, in this instance, I actually fully acknowledged what I was saying. Instead of it remaining a subconscious thought, I was suddenly conscious of it. This awareness has helped me to be more conscious of my inner dialogue, and made me realize that it is okay for me to tell myself “Damn, I look good.”
dress - H&M
shoes - Jimmy Choo
Shot, styled, & edited by @florencia95 at Restoration Hardware, Boston. Thank you to RH for being kind enough to allow us to use their fabulous showrooms as a location.