I've had some neat opportunities while working retail. I've been asked to be a fashion consultant on a few occasions, which is a little bit hilarious because I HATE shopping. I pretty much look in my closet and think to myself, "What is most like pajamas that I can get away with for my 18 hour day?"
Last week, I was cleaning out the Juniors fitting room (which is always fascinating). There was a teenage girl trying on clothes. Her mom and her brother were there with her and they were saying things like, "You look like a boy." "You look like a dude." "Why do you want to look like a dude?" "That is not flattering." I quietly turned around to look at the teenage girl, who had her back to me. The mom caught a glimpse of my catching a glimpse at her. Her mom quickly said, "Turn around so that lady can look at you." The girl turned around. The mom said, "Doesn't she look like a guy?!" I could tell the mom was just itching for me to say, "YUP! She sure does look like a dude!" When, instead, I asked the teenage girl, "Do you feel cute?" The girl nodded her head "yes." I said, "Done!" Then, I walked away. The brother yelled, "Don't you think she looks like a dude?" I turned around and said, "If she is dressed modest and SHE feels cute, then nothing else matters." Then I continued to walk away.
As I spent the rest of the night cleaning, organizing, folding, answering questions, cleaning, organizing, folding... you get the picture, I thought about that conversation. Was I living what I had just said? If I felt cute, and if I felt modest, was that good enough? Or, was I still clamoring for acceptance? Sometimes, I think I am still waiting for someone to tell me that the way I look is good enough. But, why does it matter?
When I was looking for the picture in this post, I found another one. I've heard it before, but it hit me hard today. It says something to the effect of if we, in our homes, give our children enough self-esteem that when they go out in the world nothing can poke a hole in that, we have done our job. It's so true! I hope that my kids know that they matter, no matter what the world says. And, I hope they always know that I am in their corner. Always.