Why put on a body-positive fashion show? Why become involved? From model to one of the executive directors of Label's upcoming fashion show, Caitlin Krause is no stranger to body insecurities, and more importantly, overcoming them.
When I was young, I used to get upset that I wasn’t blonde. Most of my kindergarten class was blonde, and my brown hair made me feel like an outcast. Why bring this up? I mention this because it shows how body insecurities can appear at a very young age. For me, that began when I was five. Of course I have grown to love and revel in my brown hair, but as we age and our bodies change, so do our insecurities. In middle school, I became fixated on how my calves were larger than those other girl’s. Such an odd body part to fixate on, but I was adamant that my big calves were ugly… never once thinking that it was muscle from my years of horseback riding. High school brought a whole mess of insecurities, as puberty is wont to do. Acne, body fat, and body hair all became focal points for my shame.
I wish I could say I discovered the secret to being happy in your body. Unfortunately, I do not believe anyone can make that claim. People come to terms with themselves in different ways, and all I can do is offer you some of the techniques I used in coming to terms with mine. When I was younger, I found the best way to get over my insecurities was to not allow myself to focus on them. I kept myself so busy between horseback riding, dance, and school that I didn’t have time to focus on my body. As I got older, having extracurricular activities I took pride in helped me learn self-love. I would have days where I hated my body, but then I would be reminded of that test I aced or the standing ovations received at the end of any recital or theatre show. Realizing that I wasn’t just a body, that I was a full well-rounded person, helped me learn to love myself. Ultimately, I believe my pride in other aspects of my life helped me not to fall into the pit of loathing my body.
Fast forward to university. I was a little concerned that when I arrived in Scotland from the U.S., I would be bombarded with insecurities. After all, I had never lived that far away from my support system for that long, nor had I before experienced the social scene and academic pressures that come with university. I was worried I would compare myself negatively to the other students around me, and I feared the pride I had in my little suburban high school would not carry over. I could not have been more wrong.
I met people with different opinions, different cultures, different lives from the ones I had known back at home. There were different styles, different ideas, and different looks from what I was used to, and instead of fearing it, I reveled in it. I embraced this idea of people coming from different cultural and style backgrounds because it allowed me to be unapologetically me. To me, it was sameness in style that was more intimidating than diversity in style.
In my second year of university I joined Label as a model. I wanted to experience the all-inclusive St. Andrews’s fashion show, and I wanted to share my story with those in hope it could help them. I loved that my body could be celebrated as is, flaws and all. For once, I took pride in my body, and I relished it. Now, as one of the executive directors of Label’s St. Andrews branch, I want to give our models and readers a chance to share their stories. I want them to revel in their body, as I learned to do with mine. I want them to take pride not only in their mind or extracurriculars, but also their body. I genuinely believe Label fashion show allows you to do that. The theme for this year is deconstructed fairy-tale, which plays on the tropes of fairy-tales. For example, the idea that the damsel must always be saved by the prince, that the evil villain is always the one that looks different (and not in a positive way) from the heroes or heroines, that the heroes should embody traditionally masculine attributes, and that the heroines should embody traditionally feminine attributes. I hope that this year we won’t just be deconstructing body tropes in fairy-tales, but that we will help deconstruct body insecurities in the communities around us. After all, each of us is beautiful in our own distinct way, and we should celebrate it!