When Dove approached me to promote the idea of "going sleeveless" this holiday season, I jumped at the opportunity, because I knew it would give me the chance to further explore one of my favorite topics: how and why we're conditioned to cover and disguise certain parts of our bodies. I'm a huge advocate for body diversity and self-love and empowerment, and have certainly struggled with my own insecurities with my body over time. I've gotten to a point where I feel like I've overcome my own internal battles and that I've reached a point where I am truly confident with myself. I wear sleeveless all the time! Or so, I thought. I started going through photos of myself, recent, old, from this past summer, from last summer -- and yes, I do wear sleeveless clothes -- but my upper arms rarely see the light of day. And honestly, I had no idea. At times I've felt so much pride for getting over the relentless self-critique and shame I used to engage in over having my arms on display, and yet, in every photo where I am, indeed, wearing a piece of sleeveless clothing, I've strategically layered my clothes -- even in the dead of summer -- to hide my arms.
I suppose I really do consider the act of going sleeveless to be a form of self-empowerment, one that even I, with all my self-awareness and active questioning of social codes engrained into fashion, have failed to achieve. It should not be considered an act of bravery to go outside baring ones upper arms, and yet - it is, especially if, like me, you've been told over, and over, and over, that your body is outside the ideal. We're all self-conscious about something, I suppose. I just didn't realize that, for me, my arms were part of it. If it's true that 83% of women believe the clothes they wear makes a statement about themselves -- then what message am I conveying when I refuse to go sleeveless? Do I appear self-conscious? Puritanical? I've been missing out an opportunity to communicate even more messages of power and confidence, and if you ask me - that's a shame.
With Dove in hand, I’m challenging myself to go sleeveless this season, when truthfully – I thought I’d be challenging my readers. I made the switch over to Dove go sleeveless Soothing Chamomile Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant (this is what I’m using) a few weeks ago when I noticed that my previous deodorant (I won't name names!) was seriously drying me out – like grey, dull underarms drying-me-out. Fortunately, Dove go sleeveless Soothing Chamomile Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant hydrates my skin with Dove 1/4 moisturizers plus Vitamins E and F to give me softer, smoother underarms - within a promised 5 days. On top of the great moisturizing qualities, it’s also giving me 48 hours of protection against sweat and stink -- and as someone who used to use clinical anti-perspirants, that's majorly promising.
Now that my underarms have had a bit of a makeover: holiday party? I'm taking you on, and I'll even leave my outerwear with coat check, this time. Business meetings? Let's do it. Yes, winter may not seem like the most ideal time to bare arms, but once I'm inside, and shed my outer layers, anything goes - so why not? In fact, while diving into this topic, I learned that more than half of women intend to go sleeveless during the holidays -- will you? Visit Facebook.com/Dove to learn more about new Dove go sleeveless Soothing Chamomile Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant.
This post is part one of two of a series sponsored by Dove.