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It's not magic. It's styling.

A few weeks ago, our family watched the newest rendition of Cinderella out now on Amazon Prime. The cast was amazing, with Camila Cabello as Cinderella, Idina Menzel as the wicked stepmother, and Billy Porter as the fabulous Fairy Godmother (Fab G for short!). I've always loved this story, but appreciated the few modern twists they made, like the fact that Cinderella has a dream to be a dress-maker (not a wife) and that Queen Beatrice (played by Minnie Driver) speaks up instead of staying silent, calling the King out about his taller and more fabulous throne. "Why is yours taller than mine?"

And of course, the scene that made waves in the media is that of Fab G, who Billy Porter so fabulously plays as the gender-neutral Fairy Godmother. I love this scene because...

1) Billy Porter could not have been a better person for the role, and

2) I think it's a moment all of us women secretly we wish we could experience.

We secretly wish to be transported from our real lives and immediately transformed into something completely fabulous. Or, in Ella's case, to be clothed in one of her very own dress designs and transported to the biggest ball of the season.

Let's be honest, how many times in our lives have we looked in the mirror and felt like there was no hope, (as Ella felt moments before Fab G showed up).

"My thighs are just too big."

Or, "If only I could lose 10 pounds., then I can love my body."

Or, "I just have a weird body type and nothing will look good on me."

We hope and pray for some magical intervention that will make us suddenly feel good in our bodies. Deep down inside, we are saying, "I just want to feel pretty."

In some ways, I feel like I'm Fab G when I style women. "Hush, it's magic time," he says. What on earth do I have in common with Fab G, you ask? As it turns out, a lot.

Because what I know to be true is this:

Clothes have magical powers that transform you and how you feel about your body.

Call it silly or frivolous, but brain science proves that our clothing choices have an impact on how we feel. What you choose to put on your body can either lift you up, or tear you down. It can change your internal conversation from one that is degrading to one that is kind. It shifts your focus from zooming in on the perceived flaws you loathe about your body, to seeing the beauty that exits. Clothes are the channel through which you can create whatever version of yourself you want to be.

When I see this transformation happen with my clients, it really is a magical moment! My favorite part of the style transformation is when they put on something they haven't tried before, and they light up. I can see it in the way their eyes light up, and in the way they stand more confidently when they take that selfie and send it to me. In that moment, they see themselves in a new way. They begin to realize that transformation is possible. Mind you, literally NOTHING has changed, except that they are wearing clothes that fit well, flatter their bodies, and make them feel good.

Here's the best news: There is absolutely no woman who can't access this magical power on a daily basis.

Regardless of your income, your weight, your body shape, your height, or any other perceived barrier, you can access this good feeling, this transformative power, and this level of contentment with your body. Yes, YOU.

Sometimes, we just need a little help seeing our own beauty, and to embrace a style that feels deeply innate to us.

Marilyn Monroe was so right when she said:

"We are all stars, but we must learn how to shine." - Marilyn Monroe

I love this quote because it highlights the fact that we all have an IT factor, but sometimes we don't give ourselves permission to see it, or we focus on the wrong things which block our view of what's good and perfect.

You have an IT factor, girl! But you gotta own it.

You have a style. (Yes, even if you think you don't.)

You possess beauty right now, with the body you have been given.

You can look and feel amazing in clothes, even if nothing changes with your body.

You simply have to re-train your brains to see it. (And hire me to work some style magic!)

A tool to re-train your brain to see the good

A friend of mine is a educational neuroscientist, and she once shared with me an exercise that she did to help her focus on the good parts of herself and her body. In a low moment where she felt she had failed in life and love, she challenged herself to write down 50 things (50!!!!) that she loved about herself or her body.

She said it took her many weeks to complete, but she kept at it until it she wrote down 50 things. And once she completed her list, she kept reading it to herself over and over again, and whenever she had a low moment.

The repetition is key, because as a neuroscientist, she knows that what we tell ourselves repeatedly is what we believe. If we tell ourselves that our bodies are impossible to dress and are far from the definition of beauty, then it will be so. As a result of these mean-girl thoughts, we hide in our clothes, and decide that we just have to deal with what we've been given. Believing that the Cinderella story isn't ours to have. Or we kill ourselves with harsh workouts and nutrition programs to achieve a false level of perfection. But never feel satisfied in the process, even if we reach our goal.

If you've ever battled with this negative, nasty, mean dialogue in your head that spews out so much hatred or discontent for your body, perhaps it's time you make your very own list! Even if it's not 50 things, why not write down 5 or 10 traits or characteristics of yourself or your body that you deeply appreciate and love. Focus on that. Remind yourself daily of the 5-10 things you love about yourself or your body. And trust me, the ship will start to turn. One day, you'll catch yourself admiring yourself in the mirror, instead of tearing yourself down.

But don't stop there...

The first step of training your brain to see the good is essential, but the next step is even more important: Allow yourself to see your own beauty, IRL. Put on an outfit that makes you forget about all the imperfections and flaws. The one that hugs you in the right places, or shows off a part of your body you love or a color that brings out your eyes. Then, look in the mirror and say, "Damn, I look good!" (No, I'm not kidding! Actually say it out loud!)

The benefit I have as a stylist is that I am able to see women's bodies objectively, just as they are, without all the judgement and mean-girl thoughts. I don't have the negative filter they have created over the years, that cloud their view of their own beauty. I only see potential and opportunity! And from that non-judgmental place, I'm able to create a closet full of things for them that make them feel good in their bodies, every single day.

"After working with Ellie, I now have clothes that compliment my figure. I use her styling advice by accenting the positives and not obsessing over the parts of my figure that I can't change but see as negatives." - Karen

If you're reading this and are realizing that you have lost your ability to see your own beauty, and are obsessing over the parts of your body you can't change, know you aren't alone. And then, make the bold decision that you aren't going to live like you're holding yourself hostage anymore. What I hope this exercise of first naming the good - and then allowing yourself to see the good - will do for you is to re-consider that maybe, just maybe, an exercise program or nutrition overhaul isn't what you need. Perhaps what you really need is a bit of {styling} magic.

Are you ready for some styling magic?

I am currently booking clients for my 1:1 Style Transformation service this Fall, and I'd love for you to have one of those spots! My Style Transformation service includes helping you define your personal style, guiding you on what to keep and toss in your wardrobe, creating a personalized wardrobe checklist to fill in holes in your closet, curated online shopping and creating hundreds of style boards with head to toe outfits so you never have to worry about what to wear again. And all accessible on your own personal style site, available 24/7 as an app on your phone! Learn more about this service, and if this is right for you by booking a free 30-minute style consult with me.

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