Brains, Meet Beauty

Blogger Sally McGraw flaunts her fashion—and her feminism

Minneapolis blogger Sally McGraw has chronicled her style journey on her blog, Already Pretty, for three years. Daily outfit photos, fashion how-tos, and thoughtful essays on fashion, feminism, and body image led to gigs with Glamour and the allegiance of 200,000-plus daily monthly readers. Here, some things she’s learned.

When I was young, I was a brain and not a “pretty girl.” I wanted to fit in, but nothing beyond that. I didn’t want to adorn my body. I had incredibly low self-esteem.

My journey to becoming a stylish being is rooted in my struggles with body image. I’m not sure if I could have come to accept my body without fashion.

Understanding your body as it interacts with clothing is a wonderful way to access yourself and your personality.

Dieting never changed how I felt about my body. It’s not about height, weight, or perfect breasts. It’s about learning to dress the body you have. My inadequacies quickly dissolved when I figured that out.

Style blogs the world over have blown fashion open in a very positive way. They make me want to keep playing and exploring.

People who went to design school will understand clothing in a way I never will. But I am approachable. People won’t write to Anna Wintour about what to wear to their 30-year high-school reunion, but they will write to me.

True style is intensely personal. Any attempt to apply “the rules” across the board will fail.

A lot of people are afraid of failure or embarrassment when it comes to fashion. I think there are more important things in the world to worry about. Take a risk.

Society is suffering from a single construct of beauty. It’s so counterproductive. We don’t need another style guru telling us to be as tall and thin as possible.

Find Sally’s musings at