On Embracing Ourselves: Erin O'Connor
If style were all about clothes, then anyone in a nice dress would have style and the pursuit of great style wouldn't be the compelling subject that it is. But style is really skin-deep, and I think it starts at the most fundamental level with self-acceptance. Embracing ourselves exactly as we are and feeling comfortable in our skin; in the end that seems to be what it's all about. Not just in style, but in life. On the subject, here are a few words of wisdom from Erin O'Connor, who became a successful model (Karl Lagerfeld called her "one of the best models in the world") while resisting the pressure to confirm to a uniform definition of what it means to be beautiful.
"That her face (pale and fiercely symmetrical) is dominated by her unapologetically large nose, the feature she once loathed, once saw regularly air-brushed into place by unaccommodating art editors; the feature she now credits as her signature, as the making of her."
- Polly Vernon, The Guardian
Of her nose, Erin has said:
"In the early days, there was all sorts of banter like 'if you just get your nose reduced you'll work' or 'if you just get your breasts expanded, you'll work.' But I didn't reduce my nose and I didn't enlarge my breasts and by God I'm glad I didn't. I think most of my career has been built on conviction and the personality to carry that image or stride confidently on the catwalk. That was my beginning and, hopefully, my legacy."
- via The Guardian
"When I was starting out in fashion, there were people who told me to get my nose reduced and my boobs blown up. I was bothered by my wonky nose and the fact I didn't appear to have a blossoming cleavage, but I felt incensed, and thought, 'I'm not going to do that for you.' It was an important day and if I'd gone and interfered with my face, I would have zero career right now."
- via The Independent
"Yeah, I've still got a prominent nose and, sure, I have days when I'm not infallible to thinking, 'God I wish my boobs were differently shaped'. But I don't feel obliged to change myself for anybody. No Botox for me. No nothing."
- via The Independent
And speaking of noses, here is Richard Avedon on Jacqueline de Ribes, and Diana Vreeland on Barbara Streisand.
"She has a perfect nose. I feel sorry for the near-beauties with small noses."
- Richard Avedon on Jacqueline de Ribes
“Make an asset of your faults. If you’re tall, be taller: wear high-heeled shoes…If you have a long nose, hold it up and make it your trademark.”
- Diana Vreeland