Fortunately, but unfortunately we are women (and if you are a man reading this, well … I can’t help you right now). It is in our ungodly nature to be catty. If you just read that and said to yourself, “hey, way to give into stereotypes because I’ve NEVER said ANYTHING bad about another woman in my LIFE.” Hey you … get off your stupid high horse because you are a dirty liar. Straight up. You’ve talked shit. We all have. Whether you thought it, whispered it to someone, had the audacity to say it to the persons face, tweeted it, texted it … it has happened. Don’t have a Regina George complex:
“Some of us shouldn’t have to take this workshop because some of us are the victims here.” – Mean Girls. We are all victims and bad guys.
So in elementary school through high school, I don’t know when it happened or how it happened or who said it to me, but someone made a comment about an outfit that I was wearing and from that day on, I stayed in the safe zone. Even if deep down I really wanted to dress like Carrie Bradshaw, whatever was on sale at the Gap was mine. Don’t get me wrong, I dressed nicely, but expressive of my personal style? Not so much. Why? Because I was scared shitless that someone was going to make fun of me. And only until you become comfortable in your own skin can you really put all that outside noise to bed and dress for you. It’s been a slow and exhausting process, but I’m FINELY getting the balls to wear what makes me happy, what makes me shine as a person and what expresses who I am.
And you would think in adult world, people wouldn’t comment rudely on what you are wearing … but it happens. Crazytown, right? I’ve witnessed and heard about dumb things ladies say to one another about what they are wearing. “That [fill in garment] is … interesting,” has to be one of my favorites. No, what you are trying to say is I look weird and you would never wear something like that. But Jesus … what is the point of saying that to someone!? Keep it to yourself! What are you accomplishing by pointing out something someone is wearing and not giving them a compliment? You are making them feel super awkward and self-conscious and potentially making them feel like shit, and if you think you aren’t … you are violently wrong. And that is when personal style gets stifled. Know that.
Our parents were wise gifting us with this age-old piece of advice: If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. A-freaking-men. I’m not saying I don’t think to myself every now and then, “wow that outfit is a hot mess … someone didn’t look at themselves in the mirror today.” And I know it isn’t nice, but I would NEVER go up to that person and say, “wow … you look … something today,” because I know it would make them feel awful, and hey … maybe that is their personal style, so I keep my mouth shut.
We gotta throw each other more compliments. We just have to. Going through life for so long dressing the way everyone else was dressing and not letting myself buy the things I wanted to because of being scared of the comments … sucked. But we gotta encourage each others personal style. Even if you don’t like it … don’t say anything! Or dig deep into your dark soul and pull something nice out to say. It is as simple as that. Unless you are saying, “hey, great dress,” or “wow, those shoes are fierce,” or “man, you really just look fantastic today,” then just … don’t. Because these comments that seem like they might be compliments but aren’t … suck. They are the new insult.
So in the words of Tina Fey, “we gotta stop calling each other sluts and whores because it makes it okay for others to call you that.” Well yeah … that too, but we gotta stop taking each other down to make ourselves feel better, because it does more damage than you think.
Here is to encouraging personal style.