Saturday, January 30, 2010

What Not to ... Say, Wear, Do, Be... Mirrors of Ourselves

Today I went shopping with my darling daughter, her two friends and a mom friend. Now this isn't about writing. It's about girls and women becoming and being and seeing themselves reflected.

REFLECTED. In mirrors, in their own minds, against societal standards, against their own standards.

We all bring different tableaus to the mirrors we perceive. Teen girls? One says she is too short, too thin, too tall, too heavy, too whatever. The clothes don't fit. They aren't perfect. They criticize themselves. These beautiful, young women see the mirrors in their dressing rooms, the too long too small too tight too short too iffy clothes and evaluate their bodies against themselves, each other, the media pictures.

Fast forward 30 years. Moms. Talking. We bring to the table our wrinkles. Not just facial. Nope. We bring our life wrinkles, too. Are we too old to start again? Are we late? Are we on the right track? What kind of moms are we? Have we set the right? Wrong? Examples?

Me. A mom. Knowing my daughter is beautiful, flawed, not a Miss America contestant, but smart and funny and motivated. Me. A mom. Forcing her daughter to view the mirror. Tears. Oh the body isn't Miss America. But oh, me knowing she is smart, witty, motivated and strong. Me. A mom. Sad. Proud. INCREDIBLY BLESSED.

Later, me and a mom talking about our doubts, our fears, our futures, our daughters.

Life. This is Life. Writing is just an offshoot of this life.


marthawarner said...

Hope that shopping trip went better than it sounded!

It is amazing though, how we compare ourselves to the way clothes fit. Instead of demanding clothing that is made to be comfortable and fit properly -- we try to change ourselves. And usually end up suffering for it.

Great post, Christine!

Christine said...

Actually, it did go well. DD tears did fall. She's been battling stupid hormones, thyroid and genetics. But she knows her style. and at the end... well... she made out like a bandit!

I told her, and we agreed, she's no longer a jr. And she's very tall 5/9 with LONG legs and TORSO. Soooo.... poor Amazon--Jeans are a pain!

But we all have pain in clothes. Thank God for Tailors!!

Ellen B said...

When I was a teen, I remember a bunch of my friends sitting in the school canteen talking about clothes shopping and none of us could get clothes to fit. At the time I was 5'2 (still am) and weighed about eight stone (sadly no longer the case :p) and in my case, it was the combination of my short stature and wide hips that defeated clothing manufacturers. The group at the table was a diverse range of shapes and sizes, including two friends who were model thin and tall, and none of us could buy clothes easily.

That was when I decided it certainly wasn't my problem!

Hope your DD feels better and realises clothing manufacturers obviously don't look at humans very much. . . I have so much sympathy for her though because I'm going jeans shopping next weekend!

Christine said...

Ellen: it's so true. I told her that there isn't a single woman on the planet who is completely happy with her body. And the clothes manufacturers are out of touch as well. I can try on 35 pairs of jeans and come away with only ONE. Men just go to the store, look for their inseam and waist size and POOF. Done.

In a way, that's like writing, too. We all think our writing is not as good as someone else's. Even the big NY Best Seller writers doubt themselves. Yesterday my mom friend was talking about how she really was scared about not being able to get a job after raising her children to go to college. She's a smart, capable woman. I looked at her and said we're all scared. Some of us are just better at hiding it than others. The trick is to feel the fear and go for it anyway (that's a part of a quote I used to have posted on my email sig).

I'm actually going to take my tall, beautiful Amazon jeans shopping in a few months and we're not going to the Junior department anymore (she's not a jr. size). We'll have to go up a few sizes to get the pants to go over her muscular dancer legs and then to a tailor to bring in the waist.

Its kind of like revising: write more than you need, trim what doesn't work and voila! The writing fits the model in your brain.

M.V.Freeman said...

Hugs to you and your daughter.

This is one of the reasons I despise shopping. In fact, I contemplate getting medication before I go shopping (I don't..LOL, a coffee will do).

My Daughter, LOVES to shop. So this is conundrum. Sometimes I can get the hubby to go...he has far more patience.

This is a road I will have to travel, it is going to be painful, I'm not going to like it, but walk it I will--and when we shop its like "Princess and the Pea meets the wicked witch and the goat herder's daughter...." LOL!!!

(And you and your daughter are BEAUTFIUL!!!!)

Christine said...

Just give her to over to us... my DD would LOVE to be her guide through the shops :) They can come get credit cards or $$$ from us when it's time for approval and payment LOL.

Going shopping for the DH today--comfy clothes for post surgery.

Can't believe we are 4 sleeps away from it.

Helen Ginger said...

We women (and girls) are too judgmental on ourselves. It stays with us way too long. My guess is it affects even those who society believes are "perfect."

Straight From Hel

M.V.Freeman said...

Any time!! I will take you up on that.

And HUGS!! I'm here for you...4 sleeps away..he will DO GREAT!!!

Ellen B said...

I hope the surgery goes well, Christine, best wishes to your DH :)

Christine said...

Helen: I agree. We are too hard on ourselves. I feel pretty good about where I am as a human being, but I struggle with doubt as well. I honestly believe the only thing that gets me to sit in front of the computer is my belief that I must do it for myself.

I"m fortunate. My DH loves and supports my crazy obsession.

My DD is happy today, Ellen, she tried on women's jeans and they fit and they weren't a horrible HIGH size. Thank goodness. And thanks for the well -wishes for my hubby. He's a bit nervous!

Mary: after we get through this week I'll trade range lessons for shopping with your DD.