Emma Elwin

Notes from a Swedish Stylist

Keep on loving

I am walking around in our chaotic apartment carrying Dylan sleeping in his BabyBjorn. Reading all your comments on this post makes me more determined than ever that I want to do anything in my power to change the way I see myself. And to do my best to help diversify the general beauty ideals, even if it feels completely overwhelming.


“Thank you. I had my baby 6 months ago and my belly looks very much like yours. I am having a hard time adjusting to it. It is taking a lot of time and effort, not to reclaim the ‘perfect’ abs I used to be so proud of, but to own and learn to love my body as it is now. How tyrannical the image culture we live in is never as palpable as when we give birth. All of a sudden very little about us fits into the norm anymore. When we embrace it, it is extremely liberating, I find. Good luck, and keep on loving!”


This is a comment that Julia left on my belly post. I think it puts words on so many of my thoughts and feelings. It really is tyranny. A while back I was watching the documentary Miss Representation. It stated that women spend more money on beauty products than on education. What can I even write to point out how much that pains me?


A quote I read said “If women would wake up one day and decide that they liked the way they looked, image how many businesses that would go out of business.” Is that the reason we are fed everyday with pictures that make us feel bad about ourself? Is that the reason, money? And me working with fashion am a part of it. So my next question is: how can we change the image of ourself? How do we help young women to love their bodies from the start instead of hating them? How do we make everybody see that wrinkles, stretch marks, scares and cellulites are just about life painting our bodies?


Pic: The first time held Dylan in my arms. 



Moving with Fortum, part 3: The move

This week is the week! I can’t wait to get going – being surrounded by boxes is definitely not my cup of tea. When I moved into this apartment I unpacked every box in one night so that I could wake up to a perfectly organized home. I am so much looking forward to unpacking in the new house this weekend. Moving to a house feels like the first day of school, I am both super exited and somewhat nervous. I am sure I will feel better once the apartment is empty, the truck is packed and we are on our way. I really cannot wait!


Last week I showed you all the stuff we have done to make the packing a bit more environmentally friendly. One way to make the actual move a little gentler to the environment is to pack the truck as smart as possible and fit as much as possible so that you don’t have to go back and forward too many times. The Fortum checklist smartly advises me to start with the biggest furniture like the sofa and mattress and then load with smaller furniture and moving boxes. You can use your rugs and blankets to wrap up the furniture for protection. Read about more tips for the moving day here.


One of the things I didn’t think of myself that I’ve learnt from the Fortum checklist is to save the lamps for last. Light will be needed until the very end of moving out and then first thing when coming to the new place, especially now when darker times are approaching…
Another thing I got from the list: How to use electricity efficiently is something to really take take to consider when moving into a new house. There are so many small choices you can make when decorating your new home; choices that will do both your wallet and the environment a big favor. Did you know for example that the LEDs light bulbs uses only 20-25 percent of the energy compared to traditional ones? LED lamps work fine to dim and come in many different variations too. Read more about how to choose the right lighting for your home here. Despite the environmental aspects, I think getting a few different sources of light up and working pretty fast does a lot to the homely feel.


What else? Well, I have packed a special box with all our tools and all the screws for the furniture in a special box. If there is one thing I’ve learned about moving it’s that you cannot be careful enough to keep these things in a good place. Read more tips on packing here!


I have also packed a box with the absolute necessities – such as underwear, a few plates and glasses, some care products like toothbrushes, soap and toilet paper. Our coffee maker and coffee is in that box too – perhaps the most important items of all. It will be a long weekend!


This is a way to pack knifes and cords in a creative way!


This is my belly and it doesn’t look like it used too. It doesn’t look like today’s beautiful standards say it should look like. I can’t believe how scary it is and how vulnerable I feel to show you this picture. Why?


There are days when I hate this belly. When I’m embarrassed about it, days when I hide it even for myself under shaping underwear and tight jeans as if they would make it go away. There are days when I think it looks more like a huge raisin rather then a belly. Days when I think of what would be the easiest way to “restore” it to what it use to look like. Restore it in to the what a belly SHOULD look like.


But there are some days, not so many but still some, when I think it doesn’t look too bad. Some times I even like the look of my new soft wrinkled skin. It reminds me of when Dylan and I where one and shared everything.


I hate that somehow I have gotten this twisted thought of what a belly should look like programmed in my brain. I hope there will come a day when women are not fed with the idea of that a mother’s body is something that needs to be fixed, something that needs to be restored. That stretch marks is not something you should be ashamed of. I hope there will be a day when each belly can look different and still be beautiful in everybody’s eyes. And most importantly in the eyes of the person that the belly is attached to. And I am going to work my ass off to beat some sense in to my brain to make it see how beautiful my new mother belly truly is.


And everyday I will try to love and not despise my new body. And remind myself of the miracle that the female body is and how that to me is true beauty. Some people might said that this is a picture too private to share. But if we only get fed with images of the “perfect” body we won’t get anywhere.

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