Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Velvet Hammer (it's not what you think)

I've a rough mission statement for Velvet Tart. Just to sum up what Velvet Tart is about in a few short paragraphs. Plus I'm totally going to copy+paste parts of it to Etsy, FB, press releases, or graffiti.

"no...let me sum up: a mask is not an accessory."

I want to make clothes and I want to change clients’ self-perception. I believe self-confidence is the foundation of feeling beautiful. I want to help my clients to feel beautiful: their self-love is reflected in their clothing choices, they have self-awareness and control over their appearance. I don’t want them to just be beautiful—their clothing a facade to hide behind, a role to perform that can be removed or invalidated. 

Also, vanity-sizing. FUCK THAT. Both women and men should know how to shop for their body, rather than paying any mind to the arbitrary numbers and letters tacked onto clothing. My tailoring and consulting services can teach clients what looks good on them individually, rather than stressing about clothing-rack navigation.

Also, bullying. FUCK THAT. As much as I'd like to, I can't punch shitty trolls through the internet. I can, instead, give my clients encouragement and education to speak up against those who would tear them down. Online and in reality. I can add VT's voice to the growing number of businesses who do not tolerate that shit. I can write about it; from resources to retorts against the stupids. 

Also, (any)-shaming. MAJOR FUCK THAT. Also related to encouragement and education of my clients: speaking up against fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, queer-shaming, slut-shaming; whatever kind of guilt trip your boss/aunt/pastor is trying to give you. My bespoke clothing services can create garments custom-fitted for the size and lifestyle my clients wish to have. They will be supported and accepted; and encouraged to support and accept themselves.

 AND MENS: You too, can be beautiful creatures.

Body acceptance. I believe the healthiest thing for men and women is to accept that their body is the only one they’re going to have. I wish they would appreciate their bodies for the individual features and unique beauty they possess. Desire to change one’s body should be an internal decision made with healthy goals in mind (which are various). Change should not happen because of pop culture, peer pressure, and current beauty standards. I want clients to have clothes made to fit them; instead of trying to make their body fit the clothes


There it is. I will probably edit and refine the mission statement further; I prefer my thoughts to mean as much as they can with as few words as they can (efficiency!). I'd like to know your thoughts, my cherished audience. How do you define feeling beautiful, in contrast to being beautiful? Why do you think I address the body acceptance issues of men along with women? Does anything need to be clarified? Can I have more validation? Validaaaate meeee!


  1. The older I get, the more convinced I am that human experience is less about being ("I am beautiful") and more about doing ("I make beauty"). Beauty (like art, like everything) is an act perpetrated upon the world. There are a lot of ways to make beauty, defined broadly, but when it comes to beauty of the body I really do think it arises naturally from love. Someone who loves his or her body finds it a delight to care for it well, not a chore. Working your muscles in a kind of rejoicing, in whatever capacity one chooses to do it. Eating and drinking in a way that makes you feel well is not a punishment. Caring for your body when it is suffering is not selfishness. Refusing to feel shame for what shape, size, or color it happens to be today, or what you are choosing to do with it -- including the choice to change its properties, or not -- is the most empowering act I have ever known.

    What I see when I look at a beautiful person in a movie, let's say, I am not just observing a human containing the property of "being beautiful." I'm probably seeing a lifetime of commitment to conventional human attractiveness in behalf of the performer, and hundreds of hours of work contained in the training and execution of the creative team that designed and built the clothes they are wearing, their hair and make-up design, and the lighting they are under, not to mention the technical skill of the camera and post-production teams, all unified in the goal of presenting me with an image of a beautiful person. That's a lot of dedication. That's a lot of love I'm looking at.

    So what I hear your mission statement saying is that you have a love, and you want to make beauty out of that love in the physical form of clothing. And you want the people who wear that clothing, who ingest it as part of their identity, to feel that love and that beauty you have made -- uniquely, just for them -- and reflect it into the world. To go around expressing the love that went into it, effortlessly making a beautiful happening. That's what feeling beautiful feels like, to me. Because you asked.

    1. Well said. Thank you for taking the time to comment! I like your point of view!