Victoria Secret Killed my Mojo

PINK… PINK… PINK… PINK…!

In Victoria Secret it’s everywhere!

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You walk in to the store and the walls are pink, the floor is pink, the shelves are pink, the displays are pink, and everything says pink on it. Don’t get me wrong, pink is a lovely color. I know that they are trying to portray the feminine side of life and make you feel all girly and stuff.

My daughter loves to shop in Victoria Secret (much to the chagrin of her father). She goes all gaga about all the shirts, and the bras, and the panties, and the whatevers. She’ll go in the there for one bra and end up blowing her whole paycheck. I’m not keen about that but it is her money.

She loves that the girls that work there are knowledgeable and professional. They don’t make her feel awkward when they are measuring her for the right bra or they are trying to figure out why the one they recommended isn’t fitting right.

My daughter leaves the store quite a bit poorer but really happy and feeling great about herself. She says what she’s wearing under her clothes makes her feel better about herself. All that is great.  I think that is wonderful.

But…..then there is me.

I’m not a girly girl. I wear mostly jeans because they are comfortable and very functional. I spend a lot of time chasing my Autistic son and often having to man handle him and I don’t want my clothes interfering with that. For me that is  good plan.

I’m a bit of hippy.  I love earthy colors and I look good in them. I don’t even own anything pink. I don’t wear make up. I don’t see the point of covering my face in chemicals all day just so I can wash it down the drain that night.

I never thought that this was a bad thing, until I spent time in Victoria Secret waiting for my daughter to finish trying on all of her odds and ends. Suddenly I was a hippo rag-a-muffin who should walk around with a bag on her head. I felt awkward and frumpy. It wasn’t that I was wearing something awful but I FELT like I was.

By the time I got home I had convinced myself that no one on this earth would think I was attractive and I should just give up and stay home. I would never look like a Victoria Secret woman. I would never be feminine. I would only ever be an ungainly mom. At this point I even told my husband that he could do better than me and should just get rid of me.

Dramatic, I know.

But… My husband, bless his heart, told me that there was no reason to worry because he loved me for who I am. He said that I may not wear pink but I was all woman and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He continued to say that there are all kinds of women in the world and that I didn’t need to fit into a preconceived notion of what femininity should be.

I love him.

I thought about this and it’s true. Even though I share a name with one of the Victoria Secret Angels I will never be one and I’m not sure that I want to. I don’t want to be forced into plastering my face with make up and wearing things because someone told me I had to. I would feel so fake.  If I walked around wearing all that stuff that says PINK on it I would feel more self-conscious than if I were to walk around naked.

It’s just not me.

I have my own style of dresses and comfy functional clothes. I love  wearing boots. I love hats and I make my own jewelry. There is nothing wrong with that!

So Victoria Secret, you may continue to make some women feel beautiful, but I will not be one of them. I won’t let you steel my Mojo. I am fine the way I am. I have no need to force myself into a square hole. This peg is a star and will shine however I want to!

Best sandals I never thought I’d find again.

I’m not big on shopping. I know I’m a girl and that makes me weird but I hate shopping. I hate wandering around trying to find something that fits (which is nothing) trying to find something in a style that I’m comfortable with (which is not the skin tight thing that is popular now) and worst of all trying to find shoes. Shoes are the worst.

Then there  is that moment of disaster when you are on vacation and you do something stupid like play too long in the ocean and burn your feet. You have to understand I’m of  Irish decent, white skin, red hair the whole bit and I don’t do well in the sun. We were in Florida for my sister-in-law’s wedding and I was playing in the ocean with my kids. Salt water + Sun + white skin = OH MY GOSH MY FEET GOT BURNT! I couldn’t wear my shoes that I had brought for the weeding. My feet were red and swollen it was awful! So my lovely husband took me to find shoes I could wear. On a small island we didn’t have much luck and time was running out before the wedding so we went into this surf shop.

Surprisingly there was a wonderful pair of easily slip on sandals there. They were perfect. They were made by Pali Hawaii.  However I didn’t know just how wonderful of a thing I had found. They stayed on my feet no matter how dusty, wet, or sweaty I got. I loved them.

IMG_5529It has been nearly 8 years since I bought those shoes. They are finally wearing out. I have worn the bottoms out of them. I was so sad to get rid of them because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to find another pair short of going back to Florida.

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But then…

I was walking past the Hallmark store. I usually don’t go into that store unless there is something that I need, I’m not big into browsing. But there was one day that I had the feeling that I should go in. And Holy Cow and Carrots there they were.! Same sandals that I had bought in Florida! I was so excited I started to giggle.

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When I got home I compared the two pairs to make sure they were the same. I couldn’t believe how much I had worn down the first pair. IMG_5533This is why I’m not a good shopper. I wear things until they are worn to nothing and then keep wearing them until I find something equal or better. Not that I’m picky, I just have high standards. I guess I’m an old fashioned sort and I’m OK with that.

 

You are who you are when you are naked in the shower.

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I don’t know where I fit.
Hippie, Redneck, Business Woman, Mom, Hipster, European, American, Geek, I just don’t know from one day to the next what I am. I guess it depends on who I’m with. I’ve learned to be a chameleon. I blend in because I’m shy and not very good with social situations. So I blend. Its a survival technique.
But then I get home and I’m a mom or a wife or a strategic organizer. The only time I’m really me with no distinctions or parameters is when I’m in the shower stripped of all my camoflauge.
There I am!

Beauty is in the …

The old saying goes “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
That puts our measuring sticks in someone else’s hand. This seems wrong to me.
I understand that it is a wonderful thing to be loved and thought beautiful by someone else. However, we must love ourselves first.
So I say, “Beauty is in the mind of the one who doesn’t look in the mirror.”
I’m talking about mental self-image.
Let me explain. Have you ever put on an outfit and FELT amazing? Before ever looking in a mirror, you thought to yourself, “I am a goddess!” You FELT like you could do anything. Like you could put all the movie stars to shame on an red carpet. You have mental image of what you look like without ever SEEING yourself. You know you are beautiful, but then you went and looked in a mirror…
Suddenly the outfit is terrible. It doesn’t fit right. It’s the wrong color. You look like you gained fifty pounds since putting it on. Your hair is the wrong color or style or length.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!
You were beautiful a minute ago! How did taking those couple if step to the mirror change all that?
Oh that’s right the mirror is the reflection of what society will see. All the negative imagery and impossible standards that we must live up to are in that mirror.
Why do we do that? Why do we put our measuring stick in the hands of a flimsy piece of glass with some shiny paper on the back? Aren’t we, ourselves, a better judge of our own worthiness to be placed in the realm of beauty?
If you FEEL beautiful, then you are!
If you have your own style and you FEEL awesome about yourself when you wear it, wear it!
Fashion is a trend, a guideline for people to feel connected. It is not an absolute. Hair styles are as individualistic as fingerprints. You must find what makes you FEEL beautiful not what you think others will want to see.
I know for a fact that I would look silly dressing in the latest fashions of skinny jeans or short shorts. I am not built for that. It doesn’t make me FEEL beautiful. It makes me feel silly. I don’t match any style that is worn in the town where I live. I stick out like a palm tree in Alaska. But it’s ok. When I wear my “new age hippie dresses” I FEEL amazing, as long as I don’t ask the mirror. So if I want to be beautiful I just look at my mental image of my self- she’s gorgeous!
It doesn’t take others long to see your beauty when they can see that you feel it inside already. It’ll shine right through. And you never know it might just inspire someone to be beautiful too.

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Teenage herd animals

The latest turmoil from that swirling den of hormonal imbalances and petty power shifting otherwise known as the middle school…Dom bum bom. (That was ominous music at the end there in case you weren’t sure.)
At dinner the other night, my daughter was fervently ranting about the new fad gripping her classmates – coloring their hair with bright colors and gauging their ears. (For those of you who are not up on fashion, this is the practice of making the pierced holes in your ears bigger and bigger by gradually wearing larger diameter earrings.) Personally it’s not my thing but a lot of people like it.
Please understand that my daughter is not pleading and ranting because she wants to color her hair and gauge her ears. That is not what this is about. Over the past year my daughter has had several colors of hair including purple. However, I won’t let her gauge her ears until she is older.
The real issue here is that when my daughter colored her hair and expressed her individuality when no one else was doing it she was made fun of and called an Emo. My daughter has since gotten past her colorful stage an likes get hair brown again. Now everyone wants to color their hair blue or whatever and it’s suddenly cool. Needless to say this has angered my daughter. So I had to explain…
The human species is a herd animal a lot like a herd of cows. In a cow herd, the herd will chose a lead cow. It could be young or old. No one really knows how the lead cow is chosen, but the herd agrees and they follow that cow wherever it goes. Humans are much the same one person will think some thing is amazing and start doing it. Suddenly the whole herd (aka a group of people) will follow along and think this thing is amazing too. This is called a fad. It happens in all cultures.
The only difference at a middle school is that the lead teenager is not chosen by the herd but is self appointed and dominates the herd by personality and intimidation. The herd will follow this person out of fear of ridicule. This is known as “The mean girls effect”. I’m sure you’ve heard of the movie Mean Girls
However, there is a strange dynamic that happens in the middle school. Every once in a whole there will be an outcast that comes along who is the natural leader and has a personality that will not be dominated. This leader is a trend setter ahead of their time who’s sense of individuality inspires other and is nice enough not to try and force others to do what she wants them to but instead encourages others to seek out their own happy place and be themselves. This angers the self appointed leader…and the bullying begins.
To keep their position as leader by fear the teen must force others to tease and hate on the natural leader. It is inevitable. The secret to getting past this is the parents of the natural leader must instill a grounded sense of self in their child and reassure them that their individuality is indeed the better quality. Thinking outside that bubble of intimidation is what makes culture move forward in a positive way instead of stagnating in fear dominated ignorance.
To this explanation my daughter thanked me for raising her outside the bubble. It’s fine to be a herd animal but not if the herd follows a fool of a cliff.