Category Archives: Women

Suffering for Fashion

Why do I do this? Every stinkin’ time I swear that I won’t do it again, and every single time I fall back into the trap. Honestly, it must be an addiction. Maybe I need an intervention. What is this stupid mistake I keep making, you ask?

I suffer for fashion.

I can’t help it. Maybe I’m a victim of those subliminal media campaigns against women that the conspiracy theorists and feminists always decry. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. Maybe I subconsciously have some weird addiction to pain. (Ok, that’s a stretch. I hate paper cuts. Much less anything that would cause me really serious physical pain.)

Whatever it is, I’m miserable today. And I’ve got no one to blame but myself. And Anthropologie. See, it’s their fault for advertising the skirt I bought put together as a cute little work outfit with gray tights and booties. It was something I would NEVER have put together on my own, but I had to do it. The new brown suede boots I found over Thanksgiving were just clamoring to get out of the box, you know.

My feet are killing me. My feet were killing me before I left the house. But I was too stubborn to give up and to lazy to change. (After all, it’s easier to grin and bear it than try an on-the-spot change on my way out the door, right?) I spent most of my commute rationalizing that I’d be OK now that I have this desk job. I mean, most of my day is spent sitting, right?

Not today. Of course not. Two new guys starting today (one a complete surprise) and a major graphic design project mean that I’m spending my time running around the office. Yes, running. The deadlines are that tight. At this rate I’ll be lucky not to end up with a stress fracture by noon. And why? Because I was so danged determined to be just a bit fashionable. Wonder if I could claim Worker’s Comp on that one? Somehow I doubt it.

For a person who likes to think that appearances don’t matter all that much, I’m embarrassed that I fell into the trap. I’d rather think that my actions and performance are more important. But I’m also enough of a girl to drool over InStyle every month too. But really – women should unite and protest the platform shoe epidemic before someone loses a limb.

Why is this? Why are otherwise smart, independent women so willing to suffer for fashion’s sake? Why am I cringing at my throbbing feet just so I can feel stylish? Maybe it’s a midlife thing. I’ve been feeling old, I want to look reasonably young, so I’m gonna torture my poor feet? It sounds even more stupid as I’m rereading this. Seriously.

Whatever. I’m resigned to a day of sore feet. But is that going to make me think twice next time? Probably not. But hey – it will help the budget. I mean, with my dogs barking like this there’s no WAY I’m going out to run the errands I’d planned for lunch. Uh uh. Not. At. All.

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Filed under Fashion, Moms, Platforms, Women, working moms

Pretty Girls

This is me:

Just kidding. I found her at the Museum of Fine Art and just fell in love with her. Maybe it’s my recent fascination with Downton Abbey, but if I could put myself in any place and time this would be me.

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not, nor have I ever been, a Pretty Girl. Ugly Duckling would be a kind description of me as a child. Seriously. There’s a reason that my seventh-grade English teacher, upon hearing my name on the announcements for a musical accomplishment, felt it necessary to inform her class that ‘Sometimes the girls who are really unattractive now turn out to be beautiful later. Trust me, in high school lots of you guys will probably want to date her.’ Yes, I still remember that over twenty years later. Yes, I found that teacher on Facebook. No, I will not be friending her any time soon.

A dear friend recently blogged about the lovability of being a dork. Growing up as a dork, I was the one usually described as ‘smart, with an interesting personality.’ I was a dork. Indeed. And not a quirky-artsy-cool dork of the kind that is actually sought after and admired nowadays. Serious, intense, shy, etc. In fact, after graduation I found out that some people thought that I was stuck-up and conceited. Not true. I was just so shy that the idea of initiating a conversation made me break out in a cold sweat – especially with the Pretty Girls.

Ah, the Pretty Girls. You know who I mean. The smart, focused, socially adept girls with flawless skin and expertly-applied makeup – if they wore any at all. Some of the prettiest Pretty Girls were so confident that they wore none at all, nor did they need it. The girls who didn’t care what other people thought and didn’t try to fit in because they just knew that they did. (Granted, some of them may have been pretending to feel that way, but they at least exuded tons of confidence.) They weren’t necessarily the most popular or wealthy – but it didn’t matter. They were Pretty Girls.

And where are they now? Smart, successful, driven women? Why, in incredibly fascinating and challenging careers of course. Performance artist? Check. Musician? Check. Former CIA operative? Check. (Yes, I’m serious. I went to school with a real-life former spy.) Event planner? Check. The list goes on and on… Maybe it’s my current state of job-hunting that’s brought this out – or my still-developing self esteem. Or watching too many Lifetime movies and reality TV lately. But whenever I’ve tried to imagine my dream job it’s been in a challenging, unusual and creative field. A bright, contemporary office. A field that would require me to attend intellectual events as part of the job description. And I get bogged down with this fact that I don’t fit in there.

I’m still shy. Not as painfully as I was when I was younger, but striking up a conversation is still a major effort. Even without the cold sweat I still find my brain racing a mile a minute. I would love it if Stacey and Clinton showed up on my doorstep one of these days. Yes, I am working on these issues – which is probably I decided to blog about them today. Just throw it out in the open and see it for how ridiculous it is. Because confidence can be acquired – I’m sure of it. And until I acquire more of it, I’ll keep looking.

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Filed under Careers, Self Image, Women