education, Influences, marker and ink illustration, motivation

Jo’s Journey (A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better) – From Invisible to Va-Va-Voom?

A few years ago in a fit of pique, I confided to a friend that some days I felt invisible.  My friend sympathized.  However, to my surprise, she also gently pointed out that I didn’t wear much color in my wardrobe and that my clothes tended to be on the conservative and “quiet” side.   That got me thinking…If you’ve got it, should you flaunt it?

Now, to be honest, I was pretty sure I didn’t have “it”, but I decided to do some research anyway.  At the library I stumbled upon the book The Science of Sexy by Bradley Bayou.  As I flipped through the pages, I paused to read the chapter on “What to wear if you have a rectangular figure.”  (I was pretty convinced this was my body type and that there wasn’t much hope for improving the way I dressed.)

Skeptical, rectangular Jo…

Whimsical illustration of rectangular-shaped girl, by Joana Miranda

However, I decided to take the book seriously and see if I could learn something.  Part of the “science” involved meant taking my measurements, and for that I needed an assistant.

The measuring tape (husband not pictured)…

Marker and ink illustration of measuring tape, by Joana Miranda

Measurements taken, I was surprised to learn that my figure is not rectangular, but an hourglass shape.

The hourglass…

Marker and ink illustration of an hourglass, by Joana Miranda

Bradley Bayou points out that every figure type has assets.  The key is to reveal the assets and conceal the flaws.  With the “ideal” hourglass figure type, I really had no excuse not to dress better.  Did I throw out my entire wardrobe and spend a fortune on new duds?  No.  Using Bradley’s closet checklist, I bought a few key pieces and gave away all of the clothes in my closet that were ill-fitting or unflattering.  More importantly, I got rid of the negative attitude I had about my body.

Invisible to va-va-voom?   Not really.  The change was more on the inside, but it made a big difference all the same.

Whimsical marker and ink illustration of black and pink lace teddy by Joana Miranda


  1. What fun….I’m going to look for that book in MY local library! I figure I have an idea of what to do, but I’d love some other ideas.

    • Hi Helen,

      The book is fun and and the tips are easy to follow. Now if only I could find a similar “how-to” book for dealing with my hair…thick, partly wavy- to mostly-curly on the sides, cowlicks, and all atop a very “delicate” (skinny) bone structure.

      Any hints?


  2. oh adorable. Just what I’ve been waiting for – to see you in COLOR. Now what to do if you are an apple on two toothpicks shape…… (and won’t go near a measuring tape)

    • Hi Ma,

      I think Bradley Bayou has a chapter in his book entitled The Cherry Tomato on Two Toothpicks body type. Except…you MUST get out that measuring tape!

      Love you in whatever shape or form you are, Joana

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