This started off as a post about beauty and fashion, but I can feel it turning into something else as I’ve considered my perspective. At the end of the day, the Lord looks on the heart and it would be wrong for me to encourage anyone to pay more attention to the clothes they are wearing than the state of their souls. I also don’t want to pressure *anyone* by my perspective, as petty as it may be. So bear with me here. I am going to talk about fashion a teensy bit (I’ve got no credibility so if you stop reading I’ll totally understand), but it’ll be in the context of change and having a spirit that stays young and fresh.
Ladies, I think we have a problem when it comes to the way we dress and present ourselves to the world. I think we give up on ourselves way too easily. I’ve long wondered who it is that walks in to the mall department store and ends up with the purple muumuu from the back corner. Seriously, some stores still sell muumuus, which means that some women are still buying them. The thing is, no one looks cute in that. Granny, you don’t even look cute in it—we love you, but you don’t need to wear a tent. I promised myself years ago that as I aged I would continue to look around me. This means that I want to observe the women walking by on the streets in the Haymarket, the way my coworkers dress, how people on tv are fashioning themselves, what folks are wearing in magazines. I want to see what kind of shoes are a bit trendy and which ones are true classics. I want to try out a new hairstyle or a new color and not get stuck in a rut.
Now, I turned 35 a few months ago so these thoughts are feeling more important to me. Someone recently asked us to think of where we’d be in 10 years and I realized I’ll be 45 (uh, what?!) with an 18 year old child. All this aging is weirding me out a bit! I don’t want to get comfortable with all the 30-somethings out there; I don’t want to start to settle into a fashion routine and forget there’s a fun world that still exists outside my door. I went on a date with my husband the other night after a particularly grouchy kind of afternoon and I didn’t try hard to look nice. Jeans, top, boots, cute scarf, done. I looked around the restaurant and all the 30-something women nearby looked *exactly the same.* Grrroooooan. What? Is that the new uniform for 35 year olds? Is that all we can manage anymore? By contrast, I picked up my awesome and beautiful 17 year old babysitter and she looked more ready to go out on the town than I did. Bright tights, cute retro dress, real makeup. Hm.
There are yoga-pants days, friends. And that is fine. I’ve experienced a whole stretch of them after having surgery last month. There are t-shirt and sweatshirts days. Flip flop days. Ponytail, unwashed hair days. That is to be expected.
But what about the unexpected?
Have I come to a place in my life where I can’t put forth effort on myself anymore? Have I decided that this particular hairstyle is the one I’m going to rock for the next 20 years because it looked good when I was 25? Have I become content with all the non-trying, not-changing complacency? Do I think I’m not worth a new haircut or a new pair of shoes every so often?
I think the real issue is that we get tired. We age out of culture. We felt pressure in earlier days to look cute and we’re kind of over that.
But let’s not get tired and old and sad, girls. Let’s keep things fresh and new and interesting. I’m not talking about a shopping spree, I’m talking about trying something new. I’m talking about getting out of a rut. I’m thinking about buying a green scarf when all I tend to wear are neutrals. Or chopping off my hair when I’ve had the same haircut for the last 9 years. Or picking up a summer skirt when all you are used to wearing are shorts.
All I’m saying is let’s keep it interesting. Don’t be afraid to try something new. You are worth the effort.
**This post is offered as something of a counterpoint to Maralee’s latest blog post. Though, as you can see, we mostly agree with each other.