Tag:

self-esteem

school uniforms, little girls, body image, private school, self-esteem,

Have you ever thought about how our daughters’ self-esteem and body image could be affected by the school uniforms or dress code policy? Sounds crazy, right? I mean isn’t that the entire purpose of school uniforms in the first place, to level the playing field; to equalize all children and neutralize all social hierarchy? Isn’t a dress code to keep kids comfortable and tidy.

I have daughters, who have to wear school uniforms. There is no option. I thought this was a great idea when we started school but now, I think it’s stifling and worse, I think it’s causing some damage to my tween’s self-esteem and worse, her body image. It’s bad enough that they are not allowed to even look like girls; no ruffles, no frills or even pale pink polish because it might be “distracting” to boys but now we are even making the clothes to fit like a boy. Someone once told me that I should cut my daughters’ hair because they “read somewhere” that long hair is conducive to rape. I said, no why don’t women teach their sons not to be rapists and to respect women and their bodies. Why should my daughter have to look like a boy so your son doesn’t get any ideas? Why do the girls have to be punished?

But how are school uniforms destroying little girls’ body image, you ask?

This year, it has become almost impossible to find anything that fits my child and believe me; I have tried all the stores and all the sizes. I’m frustrated; my poor daughter is beside herself. She had a growth spurt over the summer and suddenly all of her clothes are too short and tight. So, since I don’t want to send my child to school looking all “Hulk Smash” I decided to try to just buy her some bigger clothes. Makes sense, right? WRONG!

You see, I’ve noticed that for the last few years, the girls’ uniform pants that we bought at Children’s Place were made slightly different than boy uniform pants. It was the little details like a little spandex mixed with the cotton so that the pants could bend and mold to a little girl’s body. Also, little girls’ pants were slightly flared for aesthetics and had a cute little ribbon belt. The pants were perfect. My children have been wearing them for years.

But this year, with all the let’s eliminate labels like “boys” and “girls” campaigns being on trend, nothing fits. It’s not my imagination. They have actually stopped making the pants we previously bought and have gone to a more streamlined look, that happen to look exactly like the boys’ pants. Let’s put it this way, my waif like 8 –year-old who almost blows away with a strong gust of wind and typically wears a size 6X/7 had to buy a size 10, in order to fit.

My poor 10-year-old who typically wears a 12 or a 14 depending on the length of the pants, literally, could not find a pair of pants that fit her in the length and waist. Either they swallowed her whole or fit in the waist but were up to her knees or in one particular worst case scenario, we had to try on a size 14 that was tight on her waist and her butt and then we found out it was a mislabeled 10. With tears in her eyes in the dressing room, she looked at me and said, “Mommy, I just want to be normal. I just want pants that fit to wear to school!” I’ve only noticed this in uniforms, but of course, that’s all I’ve shopped for recently.

My heart broke into one million pieces because I saw every single woman that has come before her and every single little girl that will come after her if we don’t do something to change this NOW! There is plenty of time for her to feel like shit about herself because the fashion and style industry do not cater to normal sized women and they surely don’t cater to tall women, who are neither anorexic or plus sized. Our options are crying in the dressing room while trying to either starve ourselves into see thru micro mini everything, wearing muumuus or dressing like a man. Why do we have to dress according to them? And who the f*ck are they anyways?

Isn’t it enough that our daughters are bombarded by images on television and in the media of starving women as our standard of beauty, now my 10-year-old and 8-year-old are being told their bodies are wrong by fucking uniform pants. And by the way, if there was ever proof that the patriarchy is in charge, just look at a school uniform policy. It is made to inflict embarrassment and shatter self-image by making every little girl feel as ugly and plain as possible.

This is my plea, manufacturers and designers of little girls’ school uniforms

Please stop making school uniforms cut to give our elementary school aged girls doubt in themselves and their bodies.

My daughters are perfect and healthy and beautiful and in one shopping trip, fashion has planted a seed of doubt. I saw her face. I know that look…

 If only I could lose 5 pounds, I could fit into those pants!

I didn’t ever want to see that look in her eyes; that partial disgust and doubt of her own body.

It had nothing to do with wanting to be fashionable and every thing to do with just wanting to be normal and wear pants that fit. Why are we allowing the fashion industry to destroy the self-esteem and body image that we have worked so hard to instill in our girls? We pay for these clothes, shouldn’t they be made to fit our bodies not the other way around? The fashion industry works for us.

What are your thoughts on vanity sizing and unisex cuts in girls’ school uniforms?

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slut shaming, sexting, misogyny, shaved, Mean girls, raising girls, hair, shaving, waxing, self-esteem

Last fall, I received a personal laser hair removal system because I’d already shaved myself silly for the past 30 years and waxing hurts my feelings. My 7-year-old saw it and asked what it was. I told her. Then, she mentioned the hair on her arms. She said if the laser hair removal worked, she wanted me to use it on her. I took notice but didn’t want to make a “thing” of it. It felt like a little punch to my gut that this was a concern of my 2nd grader. It broke my heart a little.

I’ve always believed that when my daughters came to me about hairy legs, out of control eyebrows or the inevitable extra lip hair (because God knows I am living proof of maintenance) that I would help them. It wouldn’t be an issue, until they came to me if it bothered them. As long as they love the skin they are in, that’s all that matters to me.

I remember being in middle school myself and having hairy legs and my dad forbidding me to shave my legs. I had to wear ugly tube socks to hide the Sasquatch I was evolving into. It was humiliating. Eventually, embarrassment and humiliation got the best of me, I butchered shaved my legs and nearly took my ankle off with it. I never wanted my girls to have to sneak and shave their legs, tweeze their eyebrows or, heaven forbid, wax their mustache. Mostly, I never wanted them to feel that awkward humiliation or be stumped when someone else pointed out what they already knew.

So, when my 7-year-old came to me for a second time last night and asked me if I could laser her tiny little arms, I looked her straight in the face and asked her, “Why do you want me to take the hair off of your arms?” And she answered, “Because it bothers me, Mommy.” I made the decision to stick by my guns and I agreed to shave her arms.

You see when she originally asked about it, I consulted my aesthetician and she recommended shaving her arms. When my daughter came to me, very seriously, after several months and still wanted the hair gone. I had to do what was best for her.

I took her to my bathroom. I explained that hair is natural and we all have it. Some of us have more than others but that if this were what SHE wanted, I would shave her arms. She was sure.

I washed her arms. Lathered them with shaving cream and almost surreally,

I shaved her tiny arms from her elbow to her wrist.

When we were done, she hugged me and said, “Oh, Mommy! They are so smooth. Now, I don’t have to wear my fleece every day in class to cover my arms!”

She was ecstatic. She ran downstairs to show her dad and her sister. And then I died a little bit inside, as I held back the tears because I realized that she hadn’t given me the entire story.

I followed her downstairs, pulled her aside and asked, “Baby, why do you wear your fleece every day in class?”

Then she said something I never wanted to hear, “ Well, *Sophie asked my why my arms were so hairy. Then she told me they were weird. Then she laughed.”

I can tell you that as a mom, I wanted to punch this other 7-year-old in the face because she has put it in my daughter’s head that her arms are weird because they have hair on them. That will never go away. She’s never going to forget that moment that someone laughed and called her “weird” because of her body. That infuriates me.

I know some of you reading this are thinking why on the earth would you shave your 7-year-old’s arms? I realize that it sounds vain and cosmetic and no I don’t want to encourage my girls to believe that they need to change to meet society’s expectations of beauty. This wasn’t about that. This was me helping my daughter feel better about herself because it bothered her just like I would take her to a dermatologist if she had acne or get her braces if her teeth were crooked.

I shaved my daughter because that’s what she needed to feel happy in her skin.

I’m thrilled my daughter feels more confident without the hair on her arms but I’m hoping, since I didn’t have the entire story, that I didn’t send the wrong message. I don’t want her to think she has to conform to other people’s concept of beauty because I think she’s perfect already.

What would you have done in this situation?

Would you have shaved your 7-year-old if you could see it truly bothered her?

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Robyn Lawley, plus size, bathing suits, fashion, Throat Punch Thursday

Throat Punch Thursday,Robyn Lawley, plus sizeRobyn Lawley launched a plus sized clothing line that starts at size 8.8!!!!! As if girls today don’t have enough of a challenging existence just trying to survive the teen years with their self-esteem and body image in tact, now we are labeling average sized women as plus sized.What message is that sending? And honestly, do we grown women need any more media outlets to tell us we could lose a few pounds? Haven’t we all given Spanx enough of our money? Spanx wins every time. What.the.FUCK?

Gorgeous Australian model Robyn Lawley debuted her plus-size swimwear collection online this week, in hopes that it will eventually become the “go-to brand for swimwear for all women.” The collection includes swimsuits from size eight to 18 and ranges in price from $140 to $200. This idea I love; cute bathing suits for every woman. It is much like the Jennifer Lopez line at Kohl’s (a personal favorite of mine due to the fact that it fits my curves and doesn’t make me look like I am banished to a life of burkas for having an ass), the Kardashian Line at Sears who takes into consideration all body types and Torrid a store that makes fashionable clothing for women sizes 14-24 ( that is more in the realm of plus-sized.) These places and lines are awesome because they give women with a little weight on them cute clothes to wear so they can look like everyone else because believe me just because we are overweight doesn’t mean we want to wear ugly clothes or Mrs. Roper moomoos. We’re thick not blind for God’s sake.

Robyn Lawley, plus size, bathing suits, body image, fashion

Robyn says she swims a lot and found that in order to find swimsuits that fit her, she fell into a category that wasn’t very fashionable. Wait a minute, what? I’ve seen her photos, she is only a size 12 but the woman is 6 foot 2 inches tall. If she were any smaller than a size 12, she’d blow away. I realize a size 12 is considered obese for certain parts of the United States, like Los Angeles and New York but she definitely looks like the average fit woman to me. She doesn’t look overweight and there is no way she is shopping in the plus sized stores. Big and Tall, maybe. There is plenty of fashionable clothing in her size, unless she only shops sample sales. Then yeah, nothing probably fits because all of those pieces are specifically designed for anorexic 12-year-old boys who eat tissue paper and chain smoke. The only thing they get close to nutrition is if they accidentally drink a diet coke with lime. (Gotta keep the scurvy at bay.)

Robyn Lawley, plus size, bathing suits

Lawley, who was the first plus-sized model to star in a Ralph Lauren campaign and appear in the pages of Vogue Australia, hopes her line will change the public’s attitude about plus-sized fashion. Despite the fact that the average American woman wears a size 14 or larger, Lawley said companies still cater to the smaller segment of the population. The whole idea that Lawley is even considered plus sized in the first place is preposterous. She is a beautiful, average body type woman. The fact that any asshole wanted to pat themselves on the back for letting a “plus sized model” fatty, fatty two-by-four that she is in his campaign in the first place needs to be bitch slapped prior to their throat punch.

So this week, my throat punch is to Robyn Lawley for creating this beautiful line of swimwear only to ruin it by caving to the man and labeling a size 8 as plus sized and to our society who thinks it’s acceptable to label clothing in a size 8 as plus sized and worse still to make women feel like their worth is defined by the size of their pants, how much they eat and what size everyone else deems is acceptable. We live in a society where people feel like they can freely comment on other people’s size, shape and how they look. When did it become okay to insult people just because you don’t like the way they look? This is bullshit. Stop letting the media and fashion houses fuck our daughters up! Give them the chance to love themselves before society teaches them to hate their body.

Robyn Lawley, plus size, bathing suits

Instead of all of us trying to starve ourselves to fit the fashion industry and Hollywood’s idea of beautiful, why not make them make clothes that fit all of us without shaming us? After all, they work for us. We buy the clothes that pay their bills and make them famous. It is not the other way around. If we refuse to accept their standards and bend to their will, if they want to stay in business they will need to meet our needs. Who the fuck made them the boss of our world?

Rage against this mind-set for your daughters and your granddaughters. If today’s fashion designers can’t be inclusive, then maybe it’s time for a change in designers not in us.

What do you think of a Robyn Lawley being considered plus size and worse having a line that labels size 8 plus sized?

Robyn Lawley, plus size, bathing suits, body image, fashion

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body image, eating disorders, my daughter thinks I'm ugly

Talk about your body image being crushed. My daughter thinks I’m ugly. She told me that I’m prettier on the “inside” than I am on the outside. She even qualified it by saying, “Mommy, I’ve lived on the inside, so I should know.” She told me this last week.

I won’t lie; I wasn’t looking particularly pretty on that day. If I remember correctly, I was wearing yoga pants, a tank top and my hair was pulled back in a disheveled ponytail. You know, the same thing I wore yesterday and the day before and probably today. Isn’t that the standard new Mommy uniform? It is in my house. Or maybe I’m just too tired to care lately. It’s been a hectic summer with lots of changes and little sleep.

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hair fashion, hair, hairstyle, haircut

Hair, Fashion Haul Friday, Fashion Friday, Fashion Hair

Fashion and Hair ~This week’s fashion Friday is all about the hair. Sure, it’s nice to have a hot outfit on but the hair is truly the glue that ties it all together. Shit hair with a hot outfit can destroy the whole thing. If you think I’m exaggerating, try a ponytail with a hot red dress.Not sexy, just sad. Maybe the look could be pulled off with one of those loose and sexy ponys. You know the I just fornicated ponytail that looks like someone just tried to rip it off your head in the heat of the moment as you rolled around in bed. Yeah, that one is sexy. The one we throw our hair into when we drop the kids off in our pajamas…not so much.

fashion, hair, hair makeover, haircuts, hairstyles

My Hair on my Birthday, Fall of 2010

Long, shiny and layered has always been my preferred hairstyle. All boys like long hair, right? Long hair is sexy. Men love to run their fingers through long hair. Isn’t this in the handbook for tween girls somewhere?

I felt pretty with all that long, flowing hair. When I wore it big and curly, I felt even more sexy. But then sometime in the last 6 years, not coincidentally around the same time I became a Mommy, all that beautiful hair spent 97% of the time in a ponytail. What am I, 6?

Sure on special occasions, I fixed it and most of the time it looked awesome. But I have naturally curly hair and a LOT of it, and it’s strong willed and stubborn (consider the head it’s attached to) and has a mind of its own sometimes. So some days it would look great and other days it looked like I had gotten into a wrestling match with my hair…and I clearly lost.

Then all that ponytailing made my hair start to break off, couple that with stress making it fall out. There you have me, forehead turning into a fivehead and my tub looking like kittens were trying to escape down the drain each time I shower. Pssst, I’m pretty sure all that hair boycotting my head decided to be political and occupy my floor. Then this fall, this started happening….

Hair, Fashion Haul Friday, Fashion Friday, Fashion Hair

My hair in the fall 2011, a bit matronly and unruly.

The hair completely boycotted ME! Sure, it doesn’t look awful but this was a good day. This was no ponytail.But NO CONTROL. Any other day of the week, I can assure you that I was wearing yoga pants, a t-shirt, and a ponytail. It made me feel ugly. It made me want to be invisible. My hair had always been a source of beauty on me. We all have them, parts and pieces of who we are that we love and adore. For me they were as follows, in no particular order; intelligence, humor, hair, eyes, teeth, boobs and legs and a good fashion sense. But everything else had to come first and I devolved into someone who couldn’t project self confidence and worth if she felt ugly and sub par.

They say that every great change throughout history has started with a very small step. Yesterday, I took that step.

hair fashion, hair, hairstyle, haircut

My Hair Today

I haven’t had a haircut in over 6 months and not a decent stylist since before Abbi was born ( she’s 4).  I’ve been band aiding my soul with just getting by. Meantime, my self confidence has been being chipped away at an alarming rate. I made up my mind, I bought a hairstyle magazine, found the one I liked, asked siri for the top stylist in town and voila…new amazing stylist. She was intuitive and receptive to me and what I wanted but reminded me of what I needed. This is the cut I decided on. We cut off 8 inches of my hair yesterday in that Aveda Salon and sent it away to Lockes of Love ( a charity very close to my heart because of my nephew who suffered from leukemia .)

I left the salon feeling lighter, not only freed from the weight of the hair that had been cut off but of the weight of having to figure out what to do with said hair. My hair is currently too short to pull into a pony. I chose this hairstyle because it forces me to fix my hair and form a new habit. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that with this new cut, color and style; I don’t feel like just these precious little angels Mom. I feel like a woman again. I feel feisty, sassy and ,dare I say it, even sexy.My husband absolutely adores it and hasn’t been able to keep his hands off the back, as it is shorter and textured. He told me that he was afraid to put his hands in my long hair for fear of messing it up or getting tangled up in it.

I just want to tell all of you beautiful ladies, who have been wanting to change your hair, the color, the length, or drastically cut it shorter; GO FOR IT! It was so liberating. I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do. I feel like when I go out and people are staring at me, they are staring at how hot my hair is. It just screams run your fingers through my hair. Unlike before, they were staring and thinking to themselves, poor girl really needs to run a brush through that nest.

This haircut was like going to college, it totally liberated me from being who I allowed myself to be preconceived as. I’m happy, I am optimistic, I am sexy, I am Sassy, and I am feisty and loud about the whole thing! What a difference a hair can make.

Don’t forget the giveaway for the Karen Kane $100 GC is still open until next Friday. Please see here for direction and how to enter via. Raffle-copter. My new hair looks stunning with my Karen Kane vest, a long t and  well-fitting, good pair of jeans.

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