Epiphany-ish

Last weekend, Eric and I were wandering around the mall. I don’t remember which store we went into, but it was one that had men’s and women’s clothing. As expected, the women’s side was packed with a bewildering array of clothes. The guys side had pants, shorts, shirts, and a couple of suits. Comparing the differences, it dawned on me that humans are an anomaly in the animal world. Usually it’s the males that are colorful and flashy. Not so with us.

Women spend staggering amounts of money on vanity. Even those of us who don’t care much about fashion usually have a push-up bra, or a slimmer of some kind, face lotion, whitening strips for the teeth, make-up–the list goes on and on. Some of us go to great lengths to be noticed. That’s when I realized how silly it is, really, for me to concern myself with fashion. It’s not that I keep up with trends, but like a lot of women, I use clothing to enhance “deficiencies” and down-play “flaws.” Why? Because that’s what society says we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to want to walk into a room and have all the men look at us. But I’m married. Happily married. Eric sees me as I really am, and he’s happy with what he sees, so why do I feel like I need to measure up to society’s standard? If he’s happy, isn’t that the most important thing?

I’m not saying clothes are unimportant. It’s always good to dress appropriately, and feeling good in one’s clothing can give a big confidence boost. I’m just rethinking some of my attitudes, and I feel really silly that at age 44, I’m dealing with body image issues. Part of this could be a faith issue, too. It could be that I’m too “in the world.” Some of it is just plain vanity.

Or am I over-thinking this whole issue?

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One comment on “Epiphany-ish

  1. Jean says:

    Not necessarily over-thinking. The “party line” on trying to catch every eye in the room is to serve as a confidence booster for your man. The thinking is that he thinks, when all the guys are drooling over you, “She’s all mine, guys. I get to have her every night or whenever I want. Eat your hearts out.”

    Society has taught us to play these silly caveman mind games which result in women debasing themselves and men getting pretty territorial.

    I’ve never been very good at these games. I’ve always figured that if a guy wasn’t happy with me in jeans and T-shirts, he wasn’t going to be happy with me. Hubby has never asked me not to wear something I’m wearing. Sometimes, we’ll discuss what we’re wearing, and we have several matching shirts we like to wear. I sometimes remember that maybe it might be nice if I put on a shirt that’s not a T-shirt when we go out, and I think he appreciates that (he always wears a sport shirt when we go out, so we probably look kind of funny together if I wear my usual T-shirt).

    It’s really a matter of what works for you and Eric. If the two of you are happy with whatever you decide to wear, that’s what really matters.

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