I’m embarrassed to admit that I have spent almost a year researching the concept of seasonal color analysis. I had my “colors” evaluated back in the 80’s and was told that I was a Winter. At the time, it was a fun experience with each of us in our small group at a home party sitting in front of our own personal mirrors, head covered with a towel and NO makeup on. Each of us were draped with swatches of solid colors and then the group helped determine what colors looked the best on each other. The goal was to learn our individual Season to help determine what color of clothing, makeup and even hair color looked the best for each person to wear. As a teenager I took the information to heart and dressed in my Winter colors for the next 20 years, which meant I wore black and white, and jewel-tone colors such as sapphire, emerald, fuchsia, royal purple and ruby-red. Back then, there were only four seasons that a person could be: Spring, Summer, Autumn and/or Winter.
Looking back, the entire philosophy is flawed. Supposedly, if you had any warmth to your skin, eyes or hair you were automatically placed in the Spring or Autumn Seasons, which are the warm seasons. You can theoretically wear all the warm colors, such as yellows, golds, rusts, oranges, browns, olive greens, beige, warm purples and so forth.And, if you had cooler skin, eye color or hair color then you were automatically placed in the cooler seasons of either Winter or Summer. You could theoretically again, wear blues, purples, cooler greens, black, navy, white and on and on. Simply look at a color wheel that artists use you can see the difference of warm colors versus cool colors. Warm colors have either yellow or gold added to them while cool color have either blue or gray added. Every color can have either white, black or gray added depending on the saturation of color that you desire. It’s a very simple concept, but flawed and maybe worked half the time for half of the people analyzed. This system applies to art, but cannot be applied to individuals all the time. We are a combination of all colors. Most of us have cool AND warm tones in our skin, hair and eye colors. I think that most of us have a few certain colors that we instinctively are attracted to. Those are probably your best colors to wear. However, wearing your best colors also depends upon how wearing that color makes you feel. In my humble opinion, that is the best way I can describe color analysis in the simplest of ways. It’s not rocket science no matter who tries to tell you different. What I remember most about the experience back in the 80’s is that it was an afternoon of fun with some friends and family members playing “dress up.”Fast forward to modern times and the seasonal color system has exploded into a huge, profitable business. There are so many different “systems” out there to help one determine what season is best. What started out as 4 seasons have now become 16! I won’t go into the particular systems available. You can Google “seasonal color analysis” and find page after exhausting page explaining all the different methods. Some are very easy to understand, but most are confusing and conflicting with other systems. And, of course, in order to get detailed information about your personal color analysis, most systems or methods out there charge money for said information.
I suppose I should have prefaced this post with the reason for my most impassioned interest in this endeavor. Last year I began the process for having weight loss surgery in which I was finally able to accomplish in May, 2014. Since then I have lost a substantial amount of weight and with each lost pound I had become more and more obsessed with trying to look my very best. I had weight loss surgery a few months after I turned 40 years old. The combination of turning 40 and having weight loss surgery sent me into a whirlwind of self-doubt. I have had so much time to think and analyse and drive myself nuts. After all, I don’t spend my waking hours thinking about food anymore. Anyway, back to the original vein of thought………..I have finally come to the conclusion that seasonal color analysis can be a great starting point for those who don’t have a clue about colors, which honestly, I think is a small percentage of women. For the rest of us, I think that we should stop listening to the media about what is beautiful. We should trust our own instincts and wear what makes each of us, individually, feel beautiful and energized. Are you drawn to a certain color? Then wear it if it makes you feel good about yourself. I tried so hard to put myself into a category over the last year. I drove myself crazy along with everyone else around me. Am I a Soft Summer or am I a Light Spring or could I even be a Bright Winter? I took countless pictures of myself in natural light, subdued light, with and without makeup on. I took close-up pictures of my eyes. However, I DID discover what my correct eye color is. That experiment was actually quite interesting. For years I thought my eye color was light green and it even says that on my driver’s license, but they are actually light gray with yellow-gold flecks. The outer rims are charcoal gray and steel-blue. I even have some amber and periwinkle flecks in there as well. That’s pretty cool! Still yet, how would I describe what color my eyes are? I’ll just stick with light green. After all, blue-ish+yellow=green. I consider myself lucky in the fact that my eye color changes depending on what colors I wear. Sometimes they are gray or blue or green. I like that.
After an enormous amount of time sitting in front of my computer reading every article available about seasonal color analysis, I have finally come to the conclusion that this philosophy, for the most part, preys upon the insecurities of us women. Why would any of us want to add yet another label to who we are as individuals? Are we not more than our outer appearance? If the first thought of how we express ourselves to others is based upon a particular method of color analysis or energy profiling that someone invented based upon an opinion, not fact, then how can we possibly express our authentic inner beauty to the world? Are we only valuable if we are pleasing to look at? If so, then what happens when our beauty fades as it surely will in our elder years? Will we no longer have any value? Personally, I think that we have to stop marginalizing ourselves and buying into the idea that we are only worthy if we are beautiful to look at. Beauty comes from within. It is that life-force that exudes unconditional love to others. A seemingly plain woman can become most beautiful by her smile, her kindness and her warmth extended to others. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder anyway, right?
I confess that I fell victim to the whole idea and wasted many hours trying to make myself fit into a mold. During the course of this last year, I learned more about myself while researching color analysis that actually had nothing to do with color analysis itself. I learned that even at the age of 40 I still bought into the idea that my worth is based upon what I look like. Fortunately, I have finally transcended that thought process and have begun to break free of such confining methodology. Now, I most desire freedom. Freedom from feeling like I have to prescribe to other’s ideas that are based upon making women feel even more insecure about themselves. How many of us have fallen victim to all the hype surrounding the definition of beauty? How many of us have voluntarily surrendered our self-esteem while blindly trusting “experts” to tell us how we should feel and look and express ourselves? You can’t fake authenticity. That is what we are doing when we allow someone else to take the reins of our true nature.
I do understand that wearing certain colors can make one feel a bit more energized, but I think that has more to do with how each of us react to color and our mood at the time. We, as women, are a moody bunch. Our hormones cause to act and react in all kinds of ways as they are constantly changing. So how in the world are we supposed to only wear certain colors all the time? We are not static and unchanging. Sometimes we might want to blend in with the wallpaper in our gray outfit and other times we might to feel sexy in leopard-print leggings. The point is – do what makes YOU feel good and happy and energized. Unless you are truly clueless, don’t give your money and self-esteem over to someone who claims to know what will make you look the best or feel the happiest. Trust yourself. Let your intuition guide you to make the best choices of what colors to wear. You know YOU the best! Be your own kind of Beautiful!
Here are some great quotes from beautiful women – enjoy!
“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together” – Elizabeth Taylor
“To all the girls who think you’re ugly because you’re not a size 0, you’re the beautiful one. Society is ugly!” – Marilyn Monroe
“Beauty is how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.” – Sophia Loren
“Happy girls are the prettiest.” – Audrey Hepburn
“I know who I am. I am not perfect. I’m not the most beautiful woman in the world, but I’m one of them.” – Mary J. Blige
And from a few good men:
“My Mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my Mother. I attribute all my successes in life to the moral, intellectual, and physical education I received to her.” – George Washington
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius
“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariable excites the sensitive soul to tears.” – Edgar Allen Poe