Why Do Women Let Themselves Go?

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Here’s a great post from Super Kawaii Mama about why women let themselves go. SKM, or Candice DeVille, is an Australian stay-at-home mom of two who refuses to fade into the mediocrity of suburbia.

She is a fan of fashion, particularly of the vintage variety, but I see her a fashion feminist, even if she wouldn’t describe herself that way. What is a “fashion feminist”? It’s a term I just made up but I think that a lot of younger feminists could relate to it. It’s a woman who makes up her own mind about what she wants to wear. She’s not afraid to go retro or vintage or sock-it-to-ya colorful, or anything else that makes her feel good.

I’ve told you before about mSKMy passion for TLC’s  “What Not to Wear” on which women are taught to  make over their looks through fashion, hairdos and makeup. But that’s not exactly what I mean by “fashion feminism.” WNTW tends to steer its clients toward the latest in fashion. That certainly makes one look up-to-date, but it doesn’t leave room for much self-expression. I’ve seen a few episodes where the makeover wasn’t happy with the results; she just wants to go back to her old ways because they feel like “her.” Even in those instances, Stacey and Clinton manage to convey a few fashion rules–accentuate your assets, don’t be afraid of prints or color, etc.–but it’s always interesting to see them butt up against women who know their own minds.

SKM 2
Super Kawaii Mama: Christmas Vintage Style

I’d like to see a show that educates women about how to affect a look that they like in a way that plays to their strengths. “Wear What You Want” or WWYW would go a step further than WNTW in that it would not just show a woman that she can look better, but it would also help women to think about what they really want. Wouldn’t that be different?

In SKM’s post she says one reason women let themselves go is because they don’t know who they are anymore:

“Life can take over so far that we no longer recognize ourselves.  We do not know what music we like, we have trouble filling in a profile page on Facebook, and our topics of conversation always turn to the minutia of our lives, as that is all we are consumed by.  The girls we were, those we spent hours indulging with gossip sessions, beauty experiments and glee clubs are gone; and yet we never really spend anything like this time exploring the women we are to become.  It just happens…We are not some fabulous new specimen of women handed a glittering crown and a sash as we enter the best years of our lives.  We are little girls in women’s bodies who have lost the road maps to our passions – and it sucks.”

That’s certainly food for thought, don’t you think? Are you the woman you want to be? This is a good time of the year to begin to reinvent yourself. It could just be a turning point in your life. Dare to discover who you are and don’t be afraid to show that woman to the world. What have you got to lose?

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

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