BETHANY MEYERS | Fitness & Wellness Entrepreneur
Part of the Clothes Are Just Clothes photo series, this is a conversation with THE KIT. Founder and Creative Director Daniel Vosovic and friend Bethany Meyers, exploring the relationship between fashion and self.
Photographed by Timothy Mulcare
D. Let's talk about your relationship with fashion, do you think of it as a utilitarian part of your daily life, is function the most important?
B. No, not at all. Clothing is really important to me. From a fitness perspective, I consider my classes to be a performance by every stretch of the imagination, 'Showtimes coming, have to get my costumes ready!' I set my playlist, study it on the way, think about what I want to do, embody this character. I love dressing for the part and getting done up. The clothes that I wear when I am working out are really important to me, the way I feel, I need to look good in them, they need to be sleek, nothing fussy that I'm going to get caught on.
D. I wasn't aware that you looked at dressing as a performance.
B. Yes very much so. I'm going into work when I teach and I should look professional; I don't love when fitness instructors are in their gross clothes... I mean, you're going to work.
D. Function and fashion.
D. I found the relationship between how you internally feel - the person you truly are - and the clothing that one chooses to wear a fascinating relationship. Like what motivates people to wear what they wear?
B. I reread your email this morning and I was thinking about that. I was raised very religious and growing up I went to a very strict Christian School and we weren't allowed to wear certain things. We didn't have uniforms but we had all these crazy rules of what we could or couldn't wear, I had to kneel down and make sure my skirt hem touched the floor, clothes couldn't be too tight, shirts couldn't be too low, we couldn't wear sleeveless, I couldn't show bare feet. When you went to school there you had to sign a contract that you wouldn't dance, you wouldn't go to the movies... all this extreme stuff.
So even when I was young I loved clothes and dressing up, and I can remember when I was a freshman - which was the last year that I spent at this Christian School - Forever 21 had really just hit it's stride, or at least it did in my small town haha! I was like 'Oh my gosh this place is amaaazing' and at the time this skirt that was really in style was polyester, long, narrow, tight with a print on it. So every single day I would get pulled into the office and they would tell me that what I was wearing was not OK and I was like 'So my only options are to be in a potato sack!' and I hated that. When I finally went to a public school at 16 years old, it was the first time that I ever got a chance to dress the way I wanted. I will never forget what I wore on that first day: a tight denim skirt with a center front slit up to here, my shirt had a very thin slit to here and was sleeveless. I went to school and everyone was in sweatpants!
I think it was so impactful because when I was younger I had so few chances to explore and to wear clothes that made me feel good, made me feel sexy, or just me. It's really, really important to me that every time I dress I feel fully like myself because I didn't ever have that... so that's part of the reason why I think clothing means so much to me.
D. Because it was withheld from you for so long, especially in your formative years when you were trying to figure yourself out.