I cannot, and will not begin to count the amount of times that I have been fashion shamed.
Oui, mes amies. Such a thing exists. Not the “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that dress” shame, but the “you spent how much on what?” Or “the magazine has no words, it’s all pictures” shame.
We live in a society that is obsessed with youth and physical appearance. Yet, if you outwardly display your love of said obsessions, you’re vain, or my personal favorite “superficial.”
Earlier this year, my son was hospitalized for almost two-months. During our hospital stay, a portion of his room was converted to a mobile dressing room. My Louis Vuitton Luggage and duffle bags were stacked neatly in the corner, while my dresses hung from bathroom doors and curtain rods on velvet hangers. I also had a steamer and sewing kit in tow.
When new (all of the OG nurses know how I roll) nurses or staff would do rounds, they would ask “when will his mother be back?” When I responded that I was in fact his mother, they’d look at me and say things such as, “wow, I couldn’t imagine putting so much effort into myself while my child was sick.” The Pollyanna part of me, wanted to take this as a compliment, but it was hard to do so at times.
I look at vintage photos of my beloved grandmere and I question, when did “doing too much” become a bad thing?
Women of my grandmere’s era wore white gloves when shopping downtown. They stuck a pin in their hat when leaving for the day. They had dresses specifically for events being held after 5pm.
I believe the better question is:
When did we start doing the least?
I am often told “I would never wear that to work.” Not because it’s inappropriate but because it’s so “much.” Most Americans spend more time in the office than home. So, je suis desole, what are you waiting for?
I laugh when I hear “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” While that is very true, who actually doesn’t judge a book by its cover?
I remember hanging my head in such shame during gatherings in D.C. (the city that births lawyers and lobbiest) when asked “What did you study in school?”
I can still hear the “Ohhhh, just fashion design?” response. And the side eye that soon followed.
I often felt that I had wasted time or resources studying something so “vain.” It wasn’t until that infamous scene when Miranda Presley tactfully checked anyone who felt that fashion was feeble that I began to take such pride in my “superficial” schooling.
Do not be ashamed to read your September issue while your flatmate studies Socrates.
Wear that tutu to back to school night.
Sip your sherry in the middle of a South African safari while wearing CHANEL.
Drape your fur over your shoulders while dining at a Mexican truck stop restaurant.
Never feel guilty or ashamed for “doing too much.”
If you’re ever in doubt, message me. I’ll assure you that you are doing just enough!
Are you team too much?