Damsel in this Dress

damsel

Girl, you need a corset.

Trust me. I debated long and hard about this first post. Corsets? They are kind of my thing. I like that. I kinda want to keep this my best kept secret. But I can’t. You need to know: Damsel in this Dress.

Michelle loves you and she wants you to look seriously fierce. And she’ll hold your hand, wipe your tears and lace you up into this gorgeous, modern, sexy corset. You’ll feel like a goddess.

Last year Michelle published something I wrote in her magazine (oh, yeah, she publishes a catazine, too). What my corset means to me. I don’t think I can put it any better than what I said then:

My boyfriend told me he watches movies about real life because those are ones he relates to. I watch movies of fantasy worlds because those are the worlds that are real to me.

My childhood was spent on a kissing bridge, in the best cheering section of a joust, on the floor of a face painting booth, in the front row of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I wasn’t just raised on stories of Robin Hood (though, there were plenty of stories), but an actual Robin Hood, complete with amazing legs in green tights. I come from a close knit troupe of renaissance faire artisans; not always related by blood but family in every way that matters. We children, full-blooded Ren Rats, were raised by every parent on the campgrounds. My scrapes were tended to, not just by my Mommy, but Heather’s Mommy and Jesse’s Mommy and sometimes the odd, on-hand, medic. Women at faire came in every size and every inch of them, no matter how many inches there were, were accepted and adored. By themselves and by everyone else.

My childhood ended when I was 13, when my mother and inspiration passed on. No more weekends at faire. No more living in a fantasy. And no more female influence. I never had a chance to find myself, to become a woman. My father loved me but had no idea how to raise a teenage girl. Not having much money for clothes shopping, slowly but surely, his clothes became my clothes. Body image was thrown out the window and depression set in. I forgot all the female role models of my youth. I forgot that there was anything special, wonderful, attractive about me. It was just more pain, more misery, and more hatred of both myself and the world. Rock bottom was 14 years later, 282lbs. and a size 24 pants and I began the long process of healing.

It began with a deep seated knowledge that I needed to change. And then diet. And then exercise. At first I hated myself and everyone around more than if I just continued to sink. I kept fighting. With my weight, with my family and then I finally started seeing results. After losing 100lbs. (and starting to repair all of the unseen scars that accompanies depression) I knew I needed to treat myself. Big. Despite all I had done to revive myself, I still didn’t know what pretty, beautiful, sexy felt like… until recently when I laced my first Damsel: the Revolution Jacket and corset. When I laced it down for the first time, all the memories came rushing back to me. I was at home in my own skin again. I knew who I was as a women for the first time in my 27 years. I remembered the women of my childhood. Strong women. Women who didn’t apologize for every stretch-mark. Women who loved each of their curves. Women who savored that little bit of plush, that little bit of give in their bodies. I remembered all of the role models of my childhood. Defiant women who challenged men to love them, not pleaded with them to.

I looked in the mirror and I saw myself for the first time and, more importantly, I loved myself for the first time.

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