I had the pleasure of spending Christmas vacation in Florida visiting with my son and his family. While there, my daughter-in-law wanted to go to a concert. I agreed, recognizing some old schoolers would also be performing.
It was a cold night in Jacksonville; the temperature was in the low to mid-40s. Fortunately, the walk to the venue was just a couple of blocks away. My daughter-in-law and I were astounded by the women walking alongside us with difficulty in noticeably uncomfortable stilettos. We found their awkwardness to be somewhat entertaining, an amusing distraction from the cold weather.
When we arrived, a long line for entry greeted us. While there, women scantily clad were shivering from the unescapable, lingering chilliness. I also noticed that the men, who were mostly dressed in jeans and sneakers or some form of comfortable shoes, appeared to be dressed appropriately for the frigid climate.
Once inside, it was challenging to not notice the countless women dressed in unflattering clothing for their particular body types and some in clothing that just should not have been worn by anyone, PERIOD.
All of a sudden, I was surrounded by loud, uncontrollable laughter. I glanced around and noticed people pointing in the direction of this “extremely curvy” woman a distance away. She was dressed in a pair of red, see-through spandex pants displaying a large tattoo on her visible ass. While there were many displays of unique fashion choices, some actually very appealing, that spectacle provoked disbelief and united strangers in laughter.
I wondered what type of individual would leave their home dressed like that – clearly begging to be noticed and desperate for attention. I also wondered if the end game for that type of person was satisfying or if it left them empty and more desperate to feel something, anything.
The contrast between the dress codes of the two sexes was extreme. No contest, the women were dressed more provocatively and the men were dressed for cool comfort. As a woman, I too love to feel pretty and look nice. However, I mulled over the extent that some women were willing to go to feel pretty or even noticed. I’ve heard phrases about how women suffer for beauty, but why should we? Why should we have to sacrifice comfort to feel pretty?
Throughout the years, women have continuously been judge on their appearance while our intelligence is sometimes thrust aside. Think about the negative comments some media outlets made regarding our former first lady’s looks, particularly when President Obama first took office. An extremely educated and intelligent woman was critique solely on her looks. On the flip side, take notice as certain opportunities and advantages seem to befall attractive women.
Unfortunately, competition amongst women is severe. We disrespect each other unknowingly, stepping on each other to grab limited opportunities for ourselves. In order for women to really be empowered, we have to recognize the weaknesses of society and really learn to respect and lift up each other, not in words but in actions.
My hope for 2018 is that women appreciate, support, and respect ourselves and each other. Because when we respect each other, we respect boundaries and relationships. I hope that we dress for ourselves. If we want to wear stilettos, wear them, but at least learn how to walk in them first. I hope that more of our young AND older women are able to find their voices. Most importantly, I hope that we as women never give up our power, OR take back our power, and appreciate the beauty, the phenomenon of being a woman.
Peace and Blessings,
Below is a glimpse of some of my family time.