"I don't like how you dress."
Don't click away, I'm not saying that to you. In fact I wouldn't want anything but for you to be who you are, own and love it. Others don't need to get it, just you, just your soul.
Late last week when I was on afternoon school pick up to collect Cohen, I was embracing my normal style loud and proud, when another school mum's very first words out of her mouth to me when she saw me were:
"I don't like how you dress."
I kid you not they were her first words when she looked at me. Back in my much, much younger days an outright statement like that would have rocked me, but not these days, not now. I'm older, wiser, in control and confident in who I am and where I'm going in life. I dance to the beat of my own drum and I don't conform to a lot of social conventions. I'm not scared to be different, but the truth is I'd be far more scared of not being true to me and killing my soul slowly.
So without missing a beat and without hesitation I laughed at this mothers statement to me and said:
"That's okay I dress for me and no one else."
As you can imagine with other parents around it cued some back peddling from the offending parent to try and justify and explain why she was saying that. This parent referenced the fact that I look like an old school teacher she once had, one I apparently share the same name of, as well as a very close resemblance. Did I mention that this old teacher of this school mum has also been described to me previously as being a bitch.
This whole exchange made one of my close mummy friends with me feel very uncomfortable as she saw it as being extremely rude for me to have copped such a comment. The fact is what was said to me and how it was said is rude, there's really no two ways about it. But do I care if others don't like or approve of my style? No not one bit!
On the flip side to this incident, after school drop off this morning as I passed through an entirely different area of the school to where this exchanged happened last week, I had a mother who I have never seen before look at me and stop me and with a great big smile said:
"I just want to tell you that you look awesome today."
Is that a statement I care about? Of course it's nice to hear something great about oneself and I returned this mothers compliment with great big thanks. It seems that we live in a time where everyone has an opinion and regardless of it being positive or negative people feel it's a necessity to voice them with little regard to the impact of their words.
This mornings lovely exchange was also followed with a visit to the fruit and vegetable shop where Fraser and Sarah's crazy antics where in fine form. Their fine form was tutted at by older shoppers, with shakes of the head and a statement called out to me by a grandmother as I finished at the register:
"Give them to me for one week and all of that won't happen."
I have to admit that I had a moment of wanting to turn on my heel and tell her that I'm doing a great job with my kids thank you very much. I love them, I understand them, nourish them and accept them as they are. I'm doing the absolute best I can with the skills, love and commitment I have and the challenges we encounter every day.
But I thought better in that split second of turning on my heel and voicing my spiel because the reality is I know my truth and she doesn't. Her assumptions of me are based on a small segment of time in a day. So I went on walking knowing that I'm perfectly okay at being who I am, the way I dress and the way I parent. Others don't need to like what they see when they look at me or observe me, because I know my truth and know nothing about me.
All of these incidents have compelled me to remind us all, especially us women and those who are mums to STOP being so critical and judgmental about acceptable fashions and styles, not to mention the whole style of parenting debate. The way someone dresses or parents is no measure of someones character as a person, mum or friend. Being vocally judgmental for others hear only serves to make those who are less confident, afraid of straying from the trend or norm for fear of embarrassment or ridicule.
So let's return to a good old fashion time of if you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all or feel free to mind your own business if you don't like how someone does something. We all have our own unique ways whether it be the way we dress, the way we parent or the way we do everyday tasks. If it serves a purpose to getting something done or honoring you, embrace it.
Whatever it is for you that is your truth, your style, your way I say answer it, live up to it and honor it. The only opinion you should worry about is the one that speaks internally to you to your soul and says you're being true to yourself.
Have you ever received negative comments about your style, fashion or clothing? I know there will be plenty of people who will have tales of outspoken parental judgement? Tell me what happened and how did you handled the situation?
Labels: Personal Life