Wednesday, May 14, 2014
I love this dress, which I found at a thrift store last summer. The exact same style (in a different fabric) popped up when I was browsing racks of vintage in Portland. I regret not buying it, because the shape is beautiful. If I remember correctly, I was deterred by a $15 price tag. So sue me, I'm cheap!
The dress is loose, but it hangs well, flaring out at the shoulders--dramatic in a Swan Princess kind of way--then cutting in toward my waist and skimming back out over my hips. The defined waist helps me feel confidently feminine. Like most women, I'm self-conscious about my figure and the ways in which it doesn't conform to society's ideal. It would take a really crazy bra to make me an hourglass, but I emerged from puberty with a Marilyn-esque hip-to-waist ratio... if you'll excuse the self-serving exaggeration. Voluptuous sleeves broaden my shoulders, helping to balance my bottom-heavy body. I just wish that I didn't have to nudge myself toward an arbitrary, unattainable standard in order to feel properly pretty.
Lately I've been babysitting my neighbor's two rambunctious toddlers, the older of whom is a three-and-half-year-old girl. I try to be careful not to box her in with gender-based expectations. She loves fluffy dresses and pink is her favorite color, which I can relate to, but I don't want to limit how I engage with her. Something that's scary about hanging out with little kids is that they calibrate their perception of the world in part based on your reactions. My behavior affects her paradigm. I want to treat her as a young person who happens to like fashion and frills, not as a stereotyped girly-girl. I don't want to her to suffer from damaged self-esteem like every woman I know; I don't want her to feel defined by her appearance.
This little lady zooms around the dining room table on her trike with speed and enthusiasm that would put a Nascar racer to shame. She does it while wearing a tutu. That's an example worth following!
All about that messy floral updo. The disarray was not intentional; I'm still figuring out how to handle short hair. I might need a million more bobby pins. But at least the back is long enough to fit in a clip!