“I love it, but it’s not me.”
How many women have said this to me in the past few years? I can’t even tell you. “I love sequins, I could never wear them.” or “I love bright colors, but only wear black.”
Hearing women say this upsets me… probably disproportionately so.
I really, truly, don’t understand. If you love it, why is it “not you?” If it makes you happy, who says you “can’t” wear it?
And back to that first one, if you love something, if it lights you up and makes you squeal with delight, isn’t it then the very DEFINITION of you?
Aren’t the things that we love, the things we are drawn to are, in essence, a very clear reflection of what’s in our heart and souls?
Now, I get that there are certain times in life when you want to be perceived to be a certain way, where certain wardrobe choices are more ‘logical’ than others. Fine. Don’t wear sequins on a job interview.
But the idea that one would entirely dismiss something they claim they love on the presumption that it’s “Not them”… it’s just completely illogical! Honestly, it hurts my heart. I know I sound dramatic, but it’s true. I am dramatic. So sue me. And also, I mean it. It hurts my heart.
In the bigger picture, how can someone possibly be honoring themselves, their identity, their passions, their inner voice and strengths, when they aren’t even honoring their desire to paint their toenails purple? When they are purposely (though perhaps subconciously) selecting clothing that basically blends them in with the furniture? (Or selecting furniture that blends in with the walls….) How can they allow themselves to be seen or heard when they don’t even respond to their own voice about what they love?
They say color and sparkle is “not them”. Here’s a new perspective: Maybe, what’s “not them” is the toned down, subdued, beige and neutral version of themselves that they are making the choice to present to the world. Maybe, by consistently selecting “appropriate” choices instead of “enjoyable” choices, they are just squashing their own unique voices even more.
Maybe, what I’m talking about is more than just sequined, sparkly clothing and colorful shoes. Maybe the point is that as women, we are constantly defining ourselves not by our own bold-faced passions but through a filter of everyone else’s judgemental eyes. We make decisions as personal as what we wear, what music we listen to, what we cook, what we read and what TV show marathons we watch not based on what we love, enjoy or are drawn to, but rather, based on the box we stick ourselves into so we match another person’s ability to understand at a moments glance “who we are.”
Or, worse, maybe it’s to help us understand who we are.
That is a recipe for complete and utter loss of Muchness.
I want you to go out -or go in- in your heart, in your mind, in your local mall, I don’t care- and look around … pay attention to what YOU love, what stirs your insides, lights YOU up and don’t shy away from it. Don’t deny it or categorize it or judge it. Just embrace, accept and be proud that in this moment, nothing on earth would make you happier than a pair of Star Trek Footsie Pajamas.