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Freda Rosenberg

When I open a woman's closet it's as if I hear the closet saying. "Hi, my name is ." Her closet is a statement about how a woman feels about herself, it's an expression of her self image.

How would your closet introduce you? What does it say about you? Does it say you are stylish, proud and confident? Or indistinct, frumpy, or cluttered? Somewhere in the middle?

Take an objective look at what's in your closet so you will better understand whether how you're feeling inside matches what is in your closet. Maybe it's time to update the image you're projecting to others.

Let me introduce you to some closets I have met:

Meet Packed Pam:

"Whew! It sure is crowded in here! There's no room to breathe. I've got everything in here from high-school jeans to last year's Halloween costume (at least that's what I think it is!) Let's not forget the never-ending shoe collection, and all the old gifts and hand-me-downs. Oh, yes, and then I've got all the bargains that were just too good to be true. Just between you and me, I have no idea what's in the paper bag hidden in the back corner… Do I have anything to wear at all?"

And Bland Blanche:

At our first encounter, Blanche was nowhere to be found. Her closet was like a storehouse with dozens of uniforms in greys, tans and dingy off-whites. The environment camouflaged Blanche's personality. Is she willing to step out of the grey twilight and make a statement about her style and characteristics?

And then… Hope:

Hope has one item in every size from 8 to 32. Her 8-12 version of herself is clear, confident and stylish. But when the size 14s and up take over, the confidence and style go right downhill. Perhaps someday she'll see that beauty and style exist in every size.

So… What Does Your Closet Say?

What do you hear about yourself as you inspect your closet? Is it filled with clothing that no longer fits? Is there clothing you hate even though it does fit? Clothing you never wear? Clothing that is stained, ripped, or missing buttons? Do you have old, treasured clothing that is just no longer wearable? Dark and dingy "fat-girl" styles? Take a good look. You may have plenty of clothes in your size that no longer reflect the "you" you would like to share with the world. Take some time and have a long talk with your closet… It's impossible to convey to the world that you are a beautiful and proud woman if you have clothes in the closet that say, "I'm too fat" or "Please don't look at me."

The goal is to have a closet that introduces you to the world as you'd like to be introduced. Find the words to describe your many different characteristics, and then try to find the clothes to match. Before you can develop a positive closet image, you may need to make room for it. This may involve a long talk with yourself… and some donations to your favorite thrift shop, charity or battered women's shelter.

Freda Rosenberg has developed a psycho-educational program for women which deals with three issues: body image, self-esteem and self-acceptance, and self-presentation. She conducts public lectures and seminars titled "Myth of the Perfect Woman," "Mirror, Mirror: Learning to Love What You See" and "Dressing from the Inside Out."

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