#MeToo: How Sexual Assault and Personal Style Intertwine

#MeToo: How Sexual Assault and Personal Style Intertwine 17th October 2017Leave a comment

The original purpose of the #MeToo movement is to raise awareness of how pervasive this experience is for women and provide a safe space for us to discuss it.

If you’ve been a DailyOutfit reader for while, you’ll know I am a survivor of sexual assault.

(If not, you can check out my post).

How are you feeling?

  • If you are a survivor, too, you may be feeling ragged today.
  • You may have been triggered back to that time and space when it happened to you.
  • Even if you are past what happened to you, being reminded how widespread this type of violence is may have shaken you.

I know it shook me — even though I know the statistics all too well.

You may have been able to speak your truth.  You may have gotten support from friends.  On the other hand, you may not have even been able to type the words, let alone speak them.

No matter what, I want you to know I am here to support you.

Clients have come to me as survivors.  They have done the internal work and are ready to be visible.  But, it is difficult to make that transition.  Many of my survivor clients have to overcome a lifetime of trying to blend into the wall.

You may feel ready to be seen, but how can you do that when you have tried your whole life to be invisible?

We talk through what is you want in life, what you want to convey and I’ll let you know exactly how to look your best.  You can choose every step of the way how you want to proceed.  I will not bully you or coerce you into something you don’t want.

You are the one who makes the decisions.  You are in charge.  You get to decide.

Repeat after me:  sexual assault and sexual harassment have nothing to do with the way that YOU look.

You know this.  You know it is all about the power-seeking man who did the abusing.  You know it’s him — not you.

You know it’s not about a short skirt or red lipstick or decolletage.  Even if you were employing any of those tactics, a no is no — and that is it. Abusers are experts at rationalizing their behavior, but you know how you felt when it happened and that it was in no way okay.

If you are not a survivor, you may be concerned about courting unwanted attention.  You want to be in control of your message.  You want to invite the right people to speak to you and encourage those who are going to actually help you to approach you.

Survivors come to me wanting to know: how can I be seen for who I really am?

Transforming from being invisible to being visible takes courage. Your personal style can help you get there.  It can bolster you in your mission to be seen.

Wear a color that conveys your values (pun intended).  Don a bracelet that has your mantra.  Try an asymmetrical cut to your jacket to show how cutting edge you are (pun intended).  All of these choices tell the world who you are in one glance.

I’m not in any way saying that personal style is a substitute for therapy or the very real work of bringing perpetrators to justice.  Buying a new outfit is not going to solve an underlying problem.  It’s just going to literally cover it up.

You need to do the work.  You need to be ready.  When you are ready — survivor or not — I can help you.

We use my personal style formula to create a look that is coherent to who you are.  It conveys your aesthetic.  Even if you don’t even know what that is right now, we’ll find it together.

Whether you posted #MeToo or not, I want you to know I am here to help you become visible.

Surviving sexual assault or harassment is about learning how to shine your light — even after someone tried to dim it.  The natural inclination is to withdraw — and you need to do that to heal.

Once you have dealt with what happened to you, you need to come back out into the light.

  • Do you want to turn your mentor into a sponsor?  You need to be seen.
  • Do you want to become friends with your neighbor?  You need to be seen.
  • Do you want to find the person who is destined to have your back through thick and thin?  You need to be seen.

Once you are seen, you want people to see you for who you really are.  If you want to make that easy, I can help you.  Life is hard enough; this piece doesn’t need to be.

Let me help you put your true self out there.

#MeToo was intended as a wake-up call for those who would prefer to pretend sexual abuse and harassment doesn’t happen.  Let it be a wake-up call for you, too.  The world needs your light.

Let me help you make it shine.

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