Spending the summer in the Cambridge across the pond has been fantastic. From the friends that I've been blessed with and the amazing old libraries I've gotten to study in, to punting in the Charles River and the bi-polar weather, every moment has been meaningful. One thing I've been struck by in particular is the fashion sense in Britain. Now, I don't claim to be an expert, but even from a layman's perspective I notice just how comfortable everyone is in their own skin. I haven't had many conversations with Cambridge locals about clothing, but every time the subject has come up, I've gotten rave reviews of good sales and bargains and plentiful comments on the make of the clothing itself, but the mention of clothing size has been an extreme rarity.
I'm not a statistician either, so I won't attempt to say that the United States is more focused as a whole on the media ideal of bodily perfection than Great Britain is. What I will say, however, is that since I've been here in the United Kingdom, I've felt that the media and local community have noticeably never made me feel pressured to look a certain way or fit into any certain size. Television shows, for example, feature actors of all shapes, colors, and sizes, and no one is left pandering after a silly ideal of perfection that's unattainable by most of the world's population.
Anyway, as we're about to start school soon (in the United States), I will take with me this small reminder that's made up a short but significant lesson I've learned here in the UK: it is so true that everyone is beautiful, and a person is most beautiful when they're being themselves. Here's to a new year!
[Charlene is one of our new & fabulous interns...isn't she so cool?]