Last week I stumbled on upon the blog of SuperKawaiiMama. I must admit my first thoughts were; wow she is so gorgeous and such a great writer. Not often you get that combination. How does she manage to look so good and be a full time mama?
Then, coincidentally the following day I read her post “Why Do Women Let Themselves Go?” and it got me thinking. Instead of bombarding her blog with my essay of a reply I have answered her question here and I’ll link it through.
SuperKawaiiMama is very gorgeous and very glamorous. From her photos I see that she has a lot of beautifully applied makeup, her hair has been set and her clothes are brightly coloured, perfectly cut works of retro art. Her section entitled daily outfit provides readers with a glimpse into her pretty world.
To SKM I’d be her poster girl for “women who have let themselves go” what with my dark coloured clothing, bits of beige and taupe here and there. My often washed but not set hair, my scuffed ballet flats and my scruffy tops and jeans. I certainly don’t wear makeup most days and I never wear heels during the day anymore.To me, I still look maybe a tiny bit stylish but I certainly would fall into SKM's definition of letting myself go. Yes often, I wear whatever I can grab quickly before the little one starts tearing things off shelves or emptying my makeupbox.
So, have I let myself go? No, I do not feel that I have. I think I have let “that” self go.
Which self? The one who valued appearances so highly. The one who got up early to set her hair in hot rollers, apply makeup and squeeze into gorgeous outfits and high heeled shoes. That was not MY self but rather, my appearance. To me the sense of self is a complex thing.
It runs deeper than MAC Mineralize foundation and glittering Jimmy Choos. It is who you are to you, to your friends, your family and the world. What you love, what you value and what you think… for me, it isn’t what I wear or how many heads turn when I enter a room.
Sure, having a baby has meant that even if I wanted to spend 40 minutes on my face and another 40 on my hair, I couldn’t. Why? Because I get so little sleep as it is, I refuse to get up at 4am to apply makeup and blow dry my hair and Tinker won’t sit still long enough for me to do it while she is awake. As for my clothes. Well if I am honest, there are 3 reasons for my glamourless outfits:
1. When I became a mum, fashion, glamour, entertainment seemed to pale in comparison to the depth of feelings I have about life, babies and love now. I’m just not that bothered.
2. Having always been super thin I went from 45 kilos on the day I announced my pregnancy to 73 the day I gave birth, I guess to me no matter how gorgeous the outfit is, I won’t love my appearance until I am back to my old shape. Sure I’m no oompah loompah but to go from an Aussie size 6-8 to 10-12 is a big change and if I am honest I don’t think I’m that worried about it. With my best friend having cancer and my beautiful daughter growing up and amazing me every day, fitting into a teeny tiny dress isn’t really on my radar. Life is short.
3. Practicality and comfort. Painting, cooking, playing in the sand, at the park… none of these things lend themselves to dry clean only outfits and Gucci heels. I do love nice clothes but I don’t enjoy getting dressed up every single day.
So have I let myself go? What do you think? Have you let yourself go? I suppose looking like a million bucks and having heads turn when I enter the room just doesn’t do it for me anymore so in my mind I have moved on. I think of the frum women and the Muslim ladies who wear very modest dress. Have they let themselves go or are they just asking the world to value them for who they are not what they look like?
Thank you SKM for asking this question. It really raises some interesting issues. I like to look nice but I'm not sure glamour has a place in my daily life. It is hard isn't it? To know what to teach our daughters... To value who they are as people not what they wear and what they put on their faces. I have mixed feelings. Tell me yours!