We all have them, right? Those pieces of clothing, those accessories, that make us feel a million dollars?
I know if I wear certain items of clothing, I’m going to feel good and, when I feel good, everything feels better. I make the effort to get my ‘fabulousness’ on and I’m like Gru from Despicable Me, dancing to Happy….bouncing down the street, happy songs playing in my head…
One of my favourite ever items of clothing, which has sadly been lost, was a black cardigan from Laura Ashley (weird, because I hardly ever wear black). It fitted perfectly, had bead embroidery flowers, leaves and swirls across the top and down the front, near the buttons. They glittered when they caught the light. It made me feel wonderful every time I wore it. It was so comfortable, so perfectly girly, so perfectly delightful.
I felt like a film star every time I put it on.
So – I wonder – why do I keep all the clothes that don’t make feel like a film star? [And, worse, why do I wear them if they don’t make me feel all kinds of fabulous?]
And why don’t I wear – more often – the clothes that do make me feel good? Why don’t I make the effort to dress up, to feel wonderful, to feel those all kinds of fabulous?
Why do I do this to myself?
[I know I’m not the only one that does this……why do we do this to ourselves?]
Do we need to give ourselves reasons as to why we should start to dress up every day? How about….
– You deserve to look the best you can [and when you make the effort, you know you’ll feel so much better…so everything will seem better….then everything will become better….it’s a veritable virtuous circle of betterment!]
– Because you want to. [Deep down, you want to dress up. You want to feel fabulous. Why not honour those feelings? Especially when doing so will make you feel wonderful. Why deny yourself that? It’s weird that we don’t honour those feelings…totally counter-intuitive]
– Life is short. [Wear your best with pride! Who knows what might happen tomorrow? Be your best today! (How many platitudes?!!)]
– You’re never going to be as young as you are today ever again a.k.a. “If you’ve got it, flaunt it” [So what if you’re feeling ‘yuck’….get over yourself. Have a shower. Do your hair. Put some make-up on. Put your best clothes on. Accentuate the bits you love (so they stand out and the bits you don’t love don’t). Rock your body. Rock your life. You’ll be feeling old before you know it – who wants to get to the stage where they’re feeling old and then rue the days when you could have rocked skinny jeans and high heels?! (or whatever’s your own particular dream of fabulousness!)]
– You can never tell who you might run in to [I guarantee when I’m sweaty and dressed in my oldest, saggiest, jogging trousers, that’s the day I’ll run in to the person I’ve been trying to arrange a meeting with for months. It doesn’t take much effort to make sure I’m presentable at all times….make the effort…you never know who you’ll meet nor when. “Dress to impress”: its an adage because it’s true – first impressions count and we only get one chance to make a first impression].
– It’s fun! [You get to use all your best stuff…..and feel great…..double win!]
– It’ll help you build your confidence [Unsure you can wear it outside (that you can carry it off)? Try. You’ll be nervous at first but you’ll grow in to it, I guarantee it. You’ll have hunched shoulders, and a nervous face, walking out the door, but I guarantee you’ll sashay your way back home smiling your head off because you’ll have proven to yourself that you can wear something you thought you couldn’t. All women know there’s power in that!]
I’m my own worst enemy, I have to admit it….I sometimes shower just before my daughter arrives home from nursery (at lunchtime). I sometimes go to the shops in running gear that should have been thrown away years ago. I’ve got a whole closet full of dresses I haven’t worn in over a year. I’ve purchased things thinking “I’ll wear this for so and so event” and when it came the event, I was feeling ‘yuck’ and didn’t wear it, and its been hanging there ever since. Unworn. Unloved.
On the weekends, if we don’t go out, I sometimes don’t change out of pyjamas (they’re so comfortable). My son called me out on this one the other day (which prompted my thinking about this issue)….
“Mama”, he said, “…you’re beautiful. Why don’t you act like it?”.
Oh. My. Goodness.
For those of us who are Mamas, we all know that the non-verbal messages we send out to our children are so much more powerful than the words we choose to say to them and the verbal messages we give to them.
When we come to see our communication with them in this light, we see we’ve got a responsibility to them, really, to be the best we can…not only in terms of caring for them and being there for them and supporting them in everything they do, but also in terms of giving them a positive role model as to how we take care of ourselves and how much we appreciate ourselves.
How we feel about ourselves determines how we treat ourselves which converts in to how we present ourselves in front of them. Which, ultimately, has a great influence on how they, in turn, feel about how they should appreciate themselves and how they treat themselves.
If I’m telling my son, so strongly, non-verbally – through the way I dress, through the way I present myself to the world – that I don’t feel beautiful, and therefore don’t make the effort to present myself well, what will he learn (and, perhaps worse, what will my daughter learn) from me?
That their Mama doesn’t feel good about herself? That they don’t need to take pride in their appearance, that the way they present themselves doesn’t matter?
(My goodness, what a series of awful life lessons I’m sending out to them)
They’re not lessons I ever want them to learn – and certainly not from me, their prime role model.
I’m their point of reference for everything.
I want them to see me feeling good, feeling beautiful.
I want to show them a good example in this regard.
Life sends us lessons and even small ones like this matter, and need to be learned from and acted upon….
It’s time to get your fabulousness on, Helen.
Time to get it on. Step up. Walk the walk. Walk the talk.
Get those dresses out the closet and on your body.
Who doesn’t want to sashay all the way home feeling like a million dollars?
I know I do.
And, more importantly, I want to teach my children that they deserve to sashay and so should sashay.
[P.S. Can you tell I like the word sashay?!]