“Mom, if only you had more confidence, I’d like to take you on a shopping spree. You know, like on TLC What Not to Wear. You know, you could be more glamorous.”
Brought to you by a conversation with my 12-year-old child this week, who is at the ripe age for self-image concerns and genuinely wants to help me.
For those uninitiated, the TV show, What Not to Wear has been running 10 years and has featured fashion makeovers of even the most fashion-challenged women suggested by their loved ones, who are each given $5000 to spend in NYC on garments of their choosing, coached by two fashion experts. These are equal parts clothing and psychological interventions, and each individual who goes through the process comes out the other side of tears with a new-found appreciation for how to feel mahvelous and confident.
I am to fashion what Anderson Cooper is to food. He has famously stated he would be happy eating the same thing each day and eats off children’s menus at hotels because they’re simpler.
I love variety in food and creating healthy concoctions on the fly, yet I would be happy wearing a burlap bag each day. It would be most helpful for my ego of course if everyone else was wearing burlap bags as well, but think of the benefits. No need to ponder what to wear each day. Sturdy construction you can decorate however you feel that day.
There are plenty of reasons self-image is whacked for most women in our society (and likely men as well, but women focus on image a great deal to attract men or women to women and men to men depending on the preference), and I am the first to be aware I have image issues.
But I just don’t get the point of all the kerfuffle about fashion and self-worth. I know it’s biologically driven and universal to the natural world to attract attention with colorful bits, but I could live with picking a flower each day to adorn my burlap.
Working at home has worked out well for me in this regard. There was a time I wore nylons and skirts and “office dress” to work each day, but I can’t really say it benefited me in any way to do my job any better or feel better about myself. It only made the daily walk I loved up the steep hills of downtown harder.
I’m not sure if my apathy toward fashion will ever change, but if you see a woman walking around in a burlap bag with arm holes, it’s probably me.