Fancy on the inside?

An anonymous reader sent in this poignant post today. We all deserve to feel fancy on the inside…read more…

The holidays. Nearly ubiquitous with parties, potlucks, informal get-togethers, and, occasionally, a fancy catered affair where folks get decked out in their finest. This season was no exception as I dressed and got ready to attend such an event. After nearly an hour of hair and makeup and carefully selecting a dressy-but-not-too-dressy dress, I looked myself over in the mirror and thought, “Not bad!” and with that I headed out to meet up with friends and enjoy the evening. The event was beautifully and tastefully done and the attendees were dressed to match. Looking around at the women in the room I was struck by the tailored dresses, expertly coordinated jewelry, and perfectly coiffed hair … and I instantly felt like a little kid playing dress-up in her mother’s clothes. Something about being around these incredibly beautiful, wealthy women had me feeling like an imposter. While my outward appearance was fancy enough to be acceptable at the event, I just didn’t feel fancy enough on the inside. It’s funny how sometimes we don’t even need to have a mirror present to have our supposed personal “shortcomings” reflected back on us. Somehow, within an instant, my self-confidence had fallen and I’d gone from enjoying my evening to feeling awkward and out of place. I realized that comparing ourselves to others is such a powerful and self-defeating habit and one that has to stop if we really want to end negative self-talk and develop a positive self-image. Thankfully, I had great friends with me who, with their lively conversation and shared laughs, quickly reminded me why I was having so much fun in the first place and what was really important about that night. I can only hope that the next time I’m at the same kind of event I remember this lesson and can feel “fancy” in my own skin no matter how fantastically dressed anyone else is.

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About womaninthemirrorblog

Author of The Woman in the Mirror: How To Stop Confusing What You Look Like with Who You Are
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One Response to Fancy on the inside?

  1. Roshi Fernando says:

    BUT – I’ve been to loads of these events, through my husband’s work, and more recently through my own, and I think EVERY woman in the room feels the way you felt. Self image cannot simply be about the way you look or the way you dress. When I went to events accompanying my husband, I felt I was ‘just’ a wife, and when I had taken time off to bring up my children, there was no way to define myself apart from something lame like ‘homemaker’ – which I remember feeling could never express the myriad skilful and beautiful things I did with my day – the organic vegetables I grew to feed my children, the quilts I made, the dollies I sewed, the curtains I sewed, the cordon bleu meals I cooked, the mountains I made them climb, the camping trips I drove them to – all that was nullified when I put the uniform of the beautiful dress, mascara and straightened hair on and held a glass of champagne. Now, I have a PhD, now I’m a published writer. Now, I see other women look at the dress and the hair and the mascara and think – THAT’s what success looks like’ – but under it all, I’m still feeling awkward, and looking at my nails and thinking I should have got a manicure because I did too much gardening this week (I’m 45 and still haven’t got a manicure, because life is too bloody short!). I think we are all feeling the same way – the one’s who look rich and coiffured too.

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