So, I am totally not a girly-girl. I hate shopping, I never wear make-up (seriously – I did not even wear any to my own wedding), I dry my hair by blasting the heat in my car and shaking my head near the vents at stoplights, and when travelling I take less stuff than the girls and my husband combined.
I’ve been hyper-vigilant about many aspects of raising my girls. I don’t want to squelch who they are, but I also want to share my values and ethics with them. I am relieved that, at least as of now, neither one of them has any idea what a Disney princess is, nor a Barbie (I’m sure not watching TV helps). I don’t want them to place unreasonable expectations on themselves or other females for what a woman is ‘supposed’ to be and ‘supposed’ to look like. My mother always stressed that ‘it’s what’s inside that counts’, and I guess that is largely why I am so not into my appearance. I look professional when I am at work/in court/teaching, but I tend to wear the same suits over and over (and they are suits that I bought second-hand from a friend with excellent taste – saved me from shopping!) and I don’t include hair/make-up as part of my professional look. I am hoping to pass on to my girls my mom’s lesson about ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’. I want them to be proud of their academic, intellectual, artistic, athletic, musical, etc. talents, rather than proud mostly of how they look; I want them to be interested in accomplishments and achievement rather than in trying to please a societal standard of looks. If they are interested in style/fashion, that will be fine, of course; I just want them to be interested in it for their own enjoyment, rather than because they are trying to be or look like something based on what others think of them. I enjoy being an independent, strong woman, and I really hope to raise them to be the same. I can already tell it is going to be hard work, particularly considering the area in which we currently live, where ‘ambitious’ is seen as a negative personality trait. Sigh.
Anyways…..there were two recent events that made me feel kind of girly-girl, and I enjoyed both of them! One was these strawberry cupcakes (recipe coming soon). We had a surplus of fresh berries from the local strawberry patch, and this was a fun way to use them.
The second girly thing was …. using, for the first time, body spray – and liking it! I had a court hearing today and although I did shower this morning, I was convinced that I smelled. A colleague keeps several body sprays (and lotions) in her office and offered me a selection. I chose one from Victoria’s Secret, of all places. I have NEVER used body spray. Anytime I am given one as part of a gift, I give it to Goodwill. I had no idea what the benefit of body spray was – it just seemed like a waste to me. However, I have to admit that I liked how it smelled, and it was a totally low-maintenance thing to use – just spray and go! I have a tendency to think that anything used for maintaining or improving one’s appearance must, by definition, be expensive, frivolous, picky to use, and generally high-maintenance. It was a true surprise for me actually enjoy using a ‘girly’ product, and I’ve actually since thought about – gasp – buying my very own body spray! We’ll see, we’ll see….it will depend on how much they cost, naturally. 🙂
If you spend a lot of time on your appearance, do you do it because it makes you feel better, or because you feel like it is expected? I admit to doing some appearance stuff based on what is expected: for example, it is expected that I wear a suit in court, so I do, even though my natural inclination is towards curdoroys and a sweatshirt.
Do you consider ambition a positive or neutral personality trait?