Playing Optical Illusions With 3D’s

 In Fashion, Influencers

My style stems from my perception of my body. I’ve learned to take the image of myself and mold it from a negative to a positive, all with one common tangent: the clothes I wear.

Since the age of 13 my breasts have been bigger than most of my friends’.

Since the age of 15, I began receiving comments telling me how “disgusting my boobs are”, that I looked like a ‘puta,’ and how my voluptuous figure threw me straight into the category of ‘fat.’ Not that there is anything wrong with being fat – those are my thoughts today as a collected, mature, body positive woman who sees beauty in all shapes.

But at 15, having someone who you think is your friend tell you that you are disgusting because of your more-developed figure, in a conservative, Colombian society where being ‘fat’ or considered fat is a fully negative connotation, it weighs in on you. It weighs in hard.

After lunch, I would stick my hand so deep down my throat that after a while my knuckles would bleed. I wouldn’t stop until every last piece of food was in the toilet. I got caught a couple times by friends, or professors, but I needed to do it, because I felt like it was the only way of fitting into that perfectly skinny girl mold – and I wasn’t even skinny. The big boobs were still there.

At 16, I began a cookie-selling business in school where I made enough money to reduce my 34 DD’s down to a 34 B. I got the surgery at 17.

Fast forward four years. It’s 2012 and 21-year-old me is a full 34 DDD. I no longer throw up my food, but I do wonder, “How could this be?” Only Jesus knows. Now, my thoughts have been, ‘Is this who I am just meant to be? Would they have grown this much if I hadn’t reduced them? Is this punishment? I want to work in the entertainment industry without being put in the ‘whore’ category because of my body, so what do I do?’

But a two-year life in New York and moving to Miami at 21 taught me to embrace the curves and dress them, and boy do I dress them.

Fashion made me confident.

In New York, I started studying the style of Coco Chanel, Jackie Kennedy, Jenna Lyons and even some of my fashion muses like Olivia Palermo and Victoria Beckham, and none of them showed much. I mean, unlike me, they’re not a size 4 with triple-D’s, but I like their style, and I inspire by it. They all showed me that more is more – more layers, more accessories, more coverage – and that’s what I go by.

I think of my style as one that plays the system. I don’t show much, and though I think it has somewhat to do with that 15-year-old girl not wanting to be told, “Wow, you have really big boobs!’ (Believe me, I know I have big boobs. I carry them every day), it also has most to do with my taste in clothes and with embracing my curves, not by hiding them, but by using clothes to make my shape seem different. I play optical illusions with my hourglass shape.

Blazers became my best friends. I’m almost always wearing a jacket, blazer or kimono cardigan – which I’ll forever obsess over. I feel like they give my shape and balance by adding emphasized angles to my shoulders. I love layers. It’s too bad Miami is so hot throughout the year, or else I’d wear a couple more with pashminas and coats.

I turned my wardrobe into a metropolis for statement pieces, where my blazers, shoes, handbags and sunglasses do all the talking for me.

Through time and the study of fashion, of its most influential people, of its essence I learned that we need to break those molds that we put OURSELVES in. You are the mold; an individual one unlike any other and you are not to adapt your body to what’s on the runway, but rather adapt what’s on the runway to your body. After all, those ‘molded’ mannequins at your favorite department store aren’t the ones who have to walk around feeling confident – you are – and in reality, until I didn’t look at myself in the mirror and accepted my own shape, I wasn’t able to fully find my style.

Will that style evolve? Absolutely. We change, our tastes change, and our confidence grows, but never should you ever devolve back into a societal mold.

Follow Cata on Instagram and on her website!


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