Friday, February 11, 2011

In which I risk being called mean things

So for most of my life, I've walked around in jeans and T-shirts. Except - not CUTE jeans and T-shirts. Loose, too-short jeans and loose, too-long T-shirts. My hair was mid-back and I just let it air-dry naturally. (Translation: scraggly.) No jewelery. Minimal makeup. (Just enough to cover the zits.)

Brazil did not change me. Even when all my friends were blinged out on a daily basis and wearing high heels, I prided myself on being a slouch.
(Because really, the definition of cool is not caring - right?)

So let's back up to about a year ago.

I was getting ready for the day, and deciding between two particularly shapeless pieces of cotton. And Little Prince pulled out a blouse. A pretty, colorful blouse that I usually wore on Sundays.

"No, LP - that's for Sundays. I don't need to look that nice today."

"But, Mom, I like it when you look nice."


And that's when I had a revelation. And epiphany, if you will.

Why shouldn't I dress up every day? Why do I feel I can't look nice "only" for my family? Aren't my kids and husband the most important and best people in my life? Shouldn't I want to look my best FOR the best?

Answer: Y.E.S.

Thus began a journey to The New Me.

I buy nicer clothes now - not just the clearance racks. I wear earrings - and sometimes even a necklace - on a daily basis. I do my hair. I put on makeup. Every day. Even if the farthest I go from home that day is the backyard.

It's amazing how much nicer you feel when you look nice.

Disclaimer: My one rule is that I have to be able to PLAY in my clothes. No dry cleaning allowed. If I can't jump on a trampoline or get down in a sandbox, I won't wear it. And yes, I've broken a few necklace chains (thanks, NBC), and yes, my hair is usually pulled back in a pony by 3:00. 'S alright.

Second disclaimer: If you wear your pajamas all day - good on ya! I see nothing wrong with this. If you feel good in those pajamas, then go for it. I am not judging you. Really.

But what I didn't anticipate is that sometimes - just sometimes - I make people uncomfortable. Like when someone stops by early morning and sees that I'm dressed and ready - it's, "Oh my gosh, that's DISGUSTING! You look so good!"


I think they think that I'm judging them? But I really couldn't care less ....

I don't know. I feel good in my new skin. It fits well.

The end.


Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I'm sitting here in my pajamas. But I still like you. A lot. This is something I can (should) do much better at.

MommyJ said...

I think I'm somewhere in the middle... see, I'm also still in my pajamas, but it's cause I'm going to the gym in ten minutes and naturally wouldn't get ready and fix my hair just so I can go sweat it all up. But I do get ready generally... even when I'm only gonna sit around the house. Mostly because it makes ME feel better about me. You can only look like a booger woman for so long before you start to really FEEL like a booger woman. And that isn't good.

MommyJ said...

And I like you a lot. No judging felt or given... :)

Megan said...

For my major (in Family Science) I had to take a class on the psychology of clothing. We had an experiment where, over the course of 2 days, we did the same things but dressed differently to see how we felt and how we were treated by others. The boys at BYU were so well-raised they still opened the doors for me on my slouch day. But I felt gross. The dress-up day was a day of confidence, energy, and looking people in the eyes. If nothing else, I learned that our outside can affect our inside. When I go to a new doctor or take my car in for service, I wear a power color (like red) and put on a little make-up. It seems very superficial, but it works.

Try it.

--written while in jammies. Don't worry though, I'll be up and dressed in time for radiation. (25 to go!)

Anonymous said...

My cousin works at Loft part-time. She gets a killer discount. Since she's been working at this store she has taken me under her fashion wing. Now after reading your post I realize I do feel better when I wear my cute clothes versus my slouch clothes. =)

Melanie Jacobson said...

I love it. I'm a little more in the middle here, too, but I like the idea of taking time for yourself because your family deserves to see you prettied up.

The Jensen Family said...

I am also a fan of the t-shirts and jeans, no hair do and no makeup. One day I realized that I felt really blah. I actually went out and bought clothes that fit and some shirts with a little more color. Did my hair and makeup and wow, I feel like I am actually someone that people can talk to. It's amazing what small changes do for us dashing ladies. By the way, quit stopping by peoples houses early in the morning just to catch them in their PJ's. j/k

Rachel Sue said...

I know how you feel. I had the same realization a couple of years ago. And it does make a difference. Although, there are days when I do stay in PJ's all day. They don't suck.

Kimberly said...

I made the exact same decision a few years ago. Right this moment I'm wearing nice jeans, a button up blouse, funky earrings, and my hair and make up are done. And I feel good. Whereas yesterday when I stayed in my pajamas all day because I was sick...well, not so much.

I think you've nailed it here. It's about what makes YOU feel good. Problem is, we crazy human beings tend to think people who are extremely different from us are walking judgments of us. That their very existence is a criticism.

I'm still trying to shake that kind of thinking. It's no easy thing, but it's infinitely worthwhile.

You? Are awesome.

Hilary said...

I spend a lot of days in pajamas lately -- but when it all gets to be too much, I blow dry out my hair all cute, use an extra coat of mascara, and I do feel SO much better.

Lesa said...

You are right on. I try to get ready early in the day. It makes the day go so much better. Once in awhile (ummm...this morning) I find myself doing something different like watching 'Little Women' in my PJ's right after my kids went to school. I called it fun Friday! Those are good days too! :)

I like reading about your date nights!

Qait said...

Yay! I think that's GREAT!
I also think you've hit the important point-- if dressing down makes you feel down, don't do it!
I'd still be your friend if I came over zitty and gross in the morning and you looked fresh. :)
I'd probably still wonder, though, how you manage to make yourself do it. In an admiring way.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I am 100% supportive of your comments here...I dress up for myself (and do hair/make-up daily)...BECAUSE I'M WORTH IT and it makes ME feel GREAT!

The End.

LisAway said...

You make me sick! Just kidding. That's great. I have recently realized that I can keep my house clean. I used to when I had only two kids but somehow as they grew up and two more came along I started thinking of some tidying jobs as the kid's responsibility so I didn't do it and instead spent a couple of years going crazy either in a mess or harping on the kids to do their jobs. Suddenly I realized that I really can keep things tidy. It's actually easy, and the kids do it in the afternoon and/or right before bed.

I also started having a "spa day" where I do a mask, buff my feet, push back my cuticles and paint my nails (clear, thank you) and I feel SO LOVED. Lame, I'm sure but I feel like I'm taking care of myself and I feel SO much less frumpy. I can't wait until we have a few extra złoty so I can get a new wardrobe.

Shellie said...

I've done both of those things, and both are great, it just depends on how crazy life is at the moment. Good for you :)

Tessa Nelson said...

I'm just now catching up on my blogs...

GOOD FOR YOU! I've been trying to do better at that too..

And one thing I want you to know. There is somehow NOTHING I hate more then to see a cute lady who's still skinny and cute AFTER having babies that dresses poorly! I want to go up to her and say, "if I looked like you, I would buy way cutier clothes! I would LOVE to be your size and not have a hard time finding a size 4 or 6 to wear! You should be proud and you don't look like you are.." I know how hard it is to be cute and a size 18 or 20.. and now be pregnant too! Take advantage of your cute size!! (and I know, there are things I'm sure that don't fit you just right either, but think of ME next time you want to dress like a slouch:)