Hello, Beautiful! You are perfect the way you are. This is our new tagline for One Strange Bird Apparel.
I am so excited to introduce the Feminist Collection! We started making our own apparel last summer with the Chicago Collection and have since dedicated the back studio in our Wicker Park shop to pursue our propriety line of apparel. I wanted to take some time to explain the importance of what we are creating while showcasing the amazing women involved in the shoot.
I started the Feminist Collection FOR the Women's March in Chicago. I wanted to make something for myself and my friends to wear to the march. The March was an unbelievable experience that was incredibly moving. Looking around at the diversity of the women walking peacefully to stand up for our own personal issues, I was amazed. We were so many things. Strong, beautiful, and different. We were many ages, shapes, and colors. We were all so beautiful. I thought about what women REALLY are, what women really look like, and all of the private struggles we have walked through in our lives. I thought about these differences that shaped us, yet still brought us all together in this one defining moment in time. This experience caused me to reflect on how women are depicted in the media and how different that was from the beautiful reality I was experiencing that day.
I am someone who has constantly struggled with body issues and self love. From a very early age, I remember feeling there was something inherently wrong with me. For the majority of my teenage and early adult life, I was always "average" sized, wearing a Small or Medium. In my mind and when I looked in the mirror, I felt unlovable. I have always lacked confidence in my own body. Then I spent my early 20's in art school, making and participating in a lot of feminist art projects, posing nude and making performance art that called into question beauty standards and media representations of women. I explored fashion, sexuality, and power. No matter how powerful these explorations made me feel, I always came back to this nagging sense of not being enough; good enough, skinny enough, successful enough, smart enough.
Moving into my late 20's, I was trying to find a way into my power and find confidence in myself and my work. First, I met my awesome husband, who makes me feel like a goddess every damn day. I started the body shame healing. Then another amazing thing happened: Motherhood. It shook my foundation. It turned my world upside down and left me in a alien body. An overweight and hormonal body, recovering from a major surgery, floating in baby bliss. It was the best and most intense experience of my life. My tiny feminist is now almost a year and a half old. Now I am working towards being healthy, loving the body I am in, as I am now. Strangely, being in the worse shape ever made me feel more accepting of my body. Maybe it was the power of growing a human being that shifted my focus to self love. Now I am working on loving me NOW not when I lose 10 pounds, or when I double my income, or when we own a house. I am trying to love myself as I am now, while working towards my business, personal, and fitness goals in a healthy and balanced way. It is a constant challenge, but a noble one. I am a mother of a girl now. I want to show her an example of a strong, confident woman. A woman who doesn't tear herself down, but works to build other women up. A woman who creates a community of women working together to become business owners, leaders, mothers, whatever they want to be!
This collection is about all of these things. It is about feeling good about your self, loving yourself, and being yourself. It is about coming together, sharing your struggles, finding your tribe, findingyour power as a woman. It is about supporting one another and loving one another. We donate a portion of our sales from the Feminist Collection to a local Women's Shelter. I believe together we are stronger. Together we can do anything.
My extremely talented sister shot all these images. She is my best friend and ridiculously talented. She is my constant support and best collaborator. She is a Bad Bitch and we were raised by strong ass females. (Check out my crafty queen mama's Etsy shop)
We wanted to choose real women and real bodies to wear our clothes. None of the models have been retouched, we love them just the way they are! We hope you find these images inspiring. I even modeled some undies, which was scary as hell to me, but also empowering!
Thanks for taking the time to read my story. You can purchase any of the items in the pictures by clicking on the links or pop in store and say hi!
Let's keep the movement going! Comment below about your own struggles with body image and self love to keep the conversation going.