Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's A Beautiful Day at ModCloth! (Plus: The Top 6 Ways Fashion Insiders Can Use Their Power for Good Instead of Evil!)

On July 28th I had the amazing experience of giving an About-Face workshop to a group of aspiring fashionistas attending "ModAcademy" at the ModCloth headquarters in San Francisco.  The topic of my presentation was "Fashion Insiders: How to Use Your Powers For Good Instead of Evil."  It was a lively and colorful bunch, and I was so inspired by their passion for creating fashion that helps women feel beautiful and confident.  

Here are my "6 Tips for burgeoning fashionistas who want to use their powers for good instead of evil!"

1) First, be thankful.  YOU are in the business of making people feel fantastic about themselves!

2) Remember that customers come in all shapes and sizes.  If the clothes don’t fit, it’s your fault, not theirs.

3) Use body-positive language while you do your job. Unlike our economy, it trickles down into the designs, trust me.

4) Use a variety of body types in marketing.

5) Send photo-shoot samples in many sizes, not just itty-bitty.  (Size 12+ fashion editors will love you!)

6) Research styles and cuts that flatter many figures, and incorporate a variety in every season.

Did I leave anything out?  What do YOU want fashion insiders to know?

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Blogging Break Until August - wait, no - September!

Hi Everyone,
With mixed feelings (but mostly relief) I've decided to "officially" take a break from blogging for the next 3 weeks.  My full book manuscript is due August 1st, and I owe it to myself to be completely hyper-focused and obsessed with it from now until then.  Wish me luck!  I'll be back before you know it!
XOXO, Kjerstin

August 2nd, 2012 UPDATE: My editor has granted me a 5-week extension on my manuscript (I didn't even ask!!!), so I'll be non-blogging a bit longer than originally anticipated.  I'll do my best to squeeze in a post or two each week for kicks, but expect inconsistency! :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Body Positivity Monday - REAL "Real Beauty" from

Love the photo, but how are anti-aging products "pro-age"??  I call foul!
Do you all remember the Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty" advertisements from a few years back?  I was mostly thrilled by those ads, which featured a variety of women - of all different ages, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes - seemingly celebrating their "real" bodies.  It was a step in the right direction, and I continue to show Dove's "Evolution" video about photoshopping in all of the workshops I give for About-Face.

The only catch... the images in Dove's product advertising seemed lightly photoshopped, they reified the importance of "beauty" by ironically encouraged us to love our bodies while selling us anti-cellulite and anti-aging creams, and - this is the heartbreaker - Unilever (Dove's parent company) continued to blatantly chip away at our self-esteem through their other brands' advertising, including the horrifyingly misogynistic Axe deodorant spray ads, and a massive business selling subtly racist "skin lightening" products overseas.  For all the good that Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign did for women and girls in the U.S., I couldn't help but wish for something that was REALLY real.

Which is why I'm so thrilled to share this video, sent to me by Melissa King of  In it, we see REALLY "real" women, i.e. with no makeup, no photoshopping, not even hairstyling.  We also get to hear these women's own thoughts about body image and the impact of popular media.  (It doesn't get more "real" than hearing from the women, themselves, rather than ad copy, no?)  Rather than subtly promoting anti-whatever creams, we are offered thoughtful anti-body-hatred.  It's a "real" winner. I hope you agree.

Enjoy and have a great week!

P.S. - I encourage you to share links of this video through your own social media.  I'd like this video to go viral, wouldn't you?!