The comment that made me happy-cry, and last chance to vote

Hello lovelies! I hope you’ve all had a great week and are getting ready to enjoy a fabulous weekend! First of all, I want to remind you all that today is the last day to VOTE FOR ME over at Sew-Vivor. If you missed my other posts about Sew-Vivor and are thinking “what the heck is that?” check out my posts here and here. Voting closes at midnight eastern time, which is 9:00 p.m. for us West-coasters, so make sure you head over and VOTE NOW!

I’m contestant #5 and here’s a refresher for ya:

This outfit is SO FUN, you guys. Gosh, I just love sewing!
OK, now on to the other part about the comment that made me happy-cry. This is the part where I get really honest with you guys and blink back tears while typing this. Here goes…
It was really scary for me to take these pictures. I am so much more comfortable behind the camera lens, which is funny because I used to be the girl with my arms thrown wide in the front row of every group picture. I was an unstoppable posing force. But something has happened as I’ve grown older and, um, grown in general since having children. 
I try to hide myself.
For example, I almost didn’t make this dress. I knew that if I made a dress for this challenge, I would need to photograph myself in that dress and I just wasn’t prepared to deal with possible failure. What if the dress looked bad because I’m not the size of a model? What if people can tell how short I am? What if they think the skirt is too short for a girl like me? I’m not tall and thin and leggy by any means.

Oh God, what if I put myself out there and my appearance is the reason this fails?
How many of you have felt this way before? I know it’s not a first for me! But I decided something this time around. I decided to make a dress that was perfect for me, and show it to the world unashamedly. I’m not going to be afraid of being a “real woman.”
Because the thing is, we are ALL real women. Every single woman out there, on every billboard, and in every magazine, is REAL. Some of us are just extremely underrepresented. 
So as you know, I went ahead and made the dress. I posed in the pictures (my brother helped me feel comfortable) and put them here with butterflies in my stomach. And great feedback started coming in. 
I love this dress, and I would love it even if no one else did, so the feedback that really matters to me can be summed up in this comment by lovely reader Chelle:
I am SO relieved to see such a short dress on such a Beautiful REAL woman, curves and a HUGE Beautiful, Confident Smile! YOU ARE GORGEOUS! I love that dress!
Now, part of me feels really awkward about sharing this comment with you so boldly. I mean, aren’t I kind of tooting my own horn? The reason I AM sharing this with you is because–if statistics can be believed–many of you feel about yourselves the way I’ve been feeling. 
Let me take this opportunity to tell you something TRUE, and POWERFUL, and worth BELIEVING. You are special. You are unique. You are beautiful. I hope someone tells you that each and every day, and if they don’t, I’m here to tell you every possible chance I have. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL because God made you that way. As women, we have something uniquely powerful to share with the world and when we hide because of how we perceive ourselves, that message gets lost.
I’m going to try and hide a little less. How about you?
Thank you so much for reading this long spiel. I love each one of you for taking the time to be here today. Now I’m going to go and hide myself under a pillow because I can’t believe I shared this so boldly. Have a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you back here Monday!

Comments

  1. says

    Chelle’s comment is absolutely right! and I said many ‘amen’s when I read it. Your post today is so encouraging, and true, and brilliant – thank you! All of us needed to hear this.

  2. says

    The dress… and the model… YOU… are beautiful!

    I have to say… I sat here wondering if I could pull it off… my 40 year old knees need it a *tad* longer I think… but honestly, not much…. 🙂 Thank YOU for the inspiration! I got tired of dressing old and dowdy and trying to hide behind black and navy all the time a few years ago. Filled my closets with bright pinks and aquas and lime greens… there’s still a lot of black and navy… I like them.

    but there’s a LOT of color now, too. (Being bright and wearing colors that call attention to yourself was something heavy women were not encouraged to do…)

    you have gorgeous legs and an adorable figure… a HEALTHY figure. Nothing NOTHING to be ashamed about!

    *hugs*

    • says

      I LOVE IT, Mel! Way to go, wearing those bright colors! Thank you so much for the encouragement. I’ll keep wearing those short skirts and you keep wearing bright colors (and maybe some short skirts, too?). 🙂 Thanks again, Mel!

  3. says

    Thank you for this post! It brought a tear to my eye. The dress is lovely, but it’s loveliness is infinitely enhanced by the beautiful woman wearing it. Thank you for your boldness.

  4. says

    I love your heart Caila! The first thing I thought when I saw the photos with you modeling your gorgeous dress was how beautiful you looked and how well the warmth and beauty of your spirit shines for everyone to see! I struggle with the same fears so thank you for being so real! PS This green is so pretty on you!

  5. says

    I think you look really beautiful Caila and I love to see shorter dresses on women. I think knee length or longer is actually a little frumpy! I have the same issues although they are directed at my age instead of weight. I think” I am way too old to wear this.” But I don’t care. I made it. I am wearing it!

    • says

      Yay, Justine, I totally agree with you! I love short skirts. 🙂 Sometimes it’s tough to wear them as a mom, but I just deal with it. 🙂 And I love that you wear what you want. You inspire me!

  6. says

    She is absolutely you right! You look beautiful! And you inspire me to try to get in front of the camera a bit more. Now I just need to get around to making myself something 🙂

  7. says

    That is such a great comment! I have to admit, I LOVED that you made yourself a dress and thought, “damn, I wish I had her legs.” So, yeah, thanks for putting yourself out there!!

    • says

      Hah, this post makes me so happy because as I was commenting on the original post, I was like, “How to I tell this woman she has killer legs without seeming like a super creeper?”
      Phew! Turns out I’m not the only one 😛

  8. says

    Caila, you are such an amazing women. Besides your sewing talent and general awesomeness the words here are so important. Thank you for sharing them. So many of us out there feel the same way about putting ourselves in front of the camera. My own insecurities extend deeply into the reasons I don’t sew for myself. I need to get over that. Thank you for putting yourself out there. You are an inspiration!

    • says

      Oh, thank you for such an insightful comment, Stacey! It’s so true, I often don’t sew for myself because I’m embarrassed to show it off. I hope you do start sewing for yourself more! You’re an incredible seamstress and a beautiful woman!

  9. says

    What an amazing post! You are such an inspiration and should be so proud of yourself for overcoming your fears. I need to hide less too. It’s just so easy to do when we have these adorable little children to hide behind. You are amazing, and beautiful, and talented and I can tell that if we lived closer, we could be friends :). Happy weekend to you!

    • says

      You’re so right–those kids give us an easy excuse to hide! I mean, who doesn’t want to look at those cute faces? And I agree with you, we would be real life friends if we lived closer! Hope we get to meet sometime soon! 🙂

  10. says

    You are gorgeous Caila. I’ve always thought so. Good for you for putting yourself out there and being brave because you have got the stuff – in talent and beauty. 🙂

    • says

      Thanks, Delia! I should tape all these comments to my bathroom mirror to give me encouragement in the morning! 🙂

  11. says

    A little late, but better late than never! I am so, so grateful to know you, and am so proud of you and the steps you’ve taken to grow more and more into the woman God has hand-crafted you to be! It is inspiring to watch you simplify, create, love, and LIVE. You honor God in how you love Brian and serve your kids day after crazy, chaotic day. I echo every comment here – you are beautiful, friend – but what is really great about knowing you is that I get to know more and more of your heart, and that is even more inspiring than your confident smile and healthy bod in a gorgeous, funky, feminine dress (that you made!? seriously – you are amazing!). Sew on, friend – and keep moving onward and upward. I love you!

  12. says

    OMG!! You are BEAUTIFUL, your dress is BEAUTIFUL and your post are AWESOME!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way you are. Who in this world is perfect. I think that word should be banished from the vocabulary. Perfect is a word I never use and this is the last time EVER you will hear it from my lips and computer!! Now go out there is this big ole world and show your self off cause your looking good!!

  13. says

    EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED: Thank you ladies SO MUCH! Seriously, you are all the most wonderful readers/friends in the world and I’m so glad to know you all through this space! Three cheers for confident women, right? Amen!

  14. says

    Caila, thank you so much for sharing your fears because you’ve inspired me to face my own. I have been blogging about sewing for a year now, but I never make anything for myself because I don’t want pictures of me out there for the world to see. Last summer, though, I decided to suck it up and make some video tutorials (here’s my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/DarlingAdventures) and was in a constant state of anxiety about the way I would look on camera. In fact, I gave serious consideration to having a skinny friend be on camera and reading from a script I would write – like Cyrano de Bergerac or something.

    Now I see that we really shouldn’t worry so much. The crafting/sewing blogosphere is so wonderful and supportive and accepting; I’ve never received a negative/judgmental comment and I cannot recall seeing any aimed at anyone else. I’m learning that in this community we can be valued for who we are and what we do not what size dress we wear.

    So thank you for stepping out and thanks to all the lovely ladies who commented here for their support and encouragement; I know it was aimed at you, Caila, but I’m going to take some for myself 😉

    • says

      Ginny, THANK YOU for your comment! THIS is the reason I shared so openly about my insecurities. I am so blessed by your comment! I can’t help but feel that if we were all more open about facing our fears, we would band together and our courage would grow. That’s what I sense is happening here, and I love it! I also completely agree with you about the blogging community–it is so supportive here. We are valued for our work, our humor, our intelligence, our SELVES, rather than how we look or what size we wear. I hope this helps some of us to take more chances and put ourselves out there. Who knows what could happen! Thanks again for sharing so openly, Ginny. I loved your comment and appreciate you so much!