Evie 3Comment

Ladies, It is Time to Get Dressed

Listen, I get it. Life with kids is messy and the furthest thing from glamorous. Mothers spend their days sitting on floors, wiping butts, managing collateral damage from blowout diapers… I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for five and a half years. Like I said, I get it.

But moms, we’ve taken this comfort and practicality thing too far. Sure, it’s “comfortable” to wear pajama pants all day. Sure, it might be more “practical” to choose your husband’s raggedy college tee over a button-down blouse. But I’ll tell you the honest truth no one wants to admit: we look like slobs.

When we walk around in public with pajama pants, stained sweatshirts, slippers, dog-chewed sneakers, “crazy hair / don’t care,” and makeup-free undereye circles, we’re just screaming “I DON’T GIVE A SHIT!”

But is that really true?

I doubt it. If it were, our culture (and women in particular) wouldn’t be obsessed with diets and exercise and fashion magazines. We do care about our appearance deep down, because we understand that people judge us based on it, but lots of moms just choose to let themselves go. We get lazy. We assume we get a free pass because we’re caring for little kids.

But we don’t. There’s no free pass. If you look like a slob, you look like a slob with a screaming toddler slung on your hip or not.

And we know this. We know we’re being judged.

So what message are we trying to convey with our appearance, then?

I’ve given up.

I’m not a priority in my own life.

No one’s looking at me anyway.

How utterly depressing. Motherhood is not a death sentence for a woman’s physical appearance. There’s nothing that prevents us from waking before our kids to get a few extra minutes to make ourselves presentable for the day. It wouldn’t really be wildly restrictive to wear jeans instead of ratty old exercise-wear that everyone knows darn well you aren’t sporting because you’re headed to the gym.

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It’s time we make ourselves a priority again, for our own sake and for our kids’. I could nearly scream when I read about moms protesting school administrators’ requests that they arrive at drop-off in daytime clothing (not pajamas). How incredibly reasonable! It’s embarrassing that our children’s principals have to remind us to GET DRESSED! If we expect our kids to get to school looking ready for the day, why the hell should we show up in what we rolled around in last night?

Why is it that we feel justified in setting an example for our kids when it comes to other social behaviors–having good table manners, saying please and thank you, holding the door for the person behind us–but not when it comes to the way we look. Wouldn’t you feel ashamed to send your child to school in her pajamas, hair unbrushed, sleepy-eyed? So why do you get to show up that way?

You don’t. Get dressed.

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3 thoughts on “Ladies, It’s Time to Get Dressed

  1. While I personally don’t wear pajamas out of the house (except immediately postpartum) and typically make at least a minimal effort to look put together, I’m not sure I agree with the overall message that women need to care more about their appearance. What about men? Do they need to stop wearing sweatpants, gym shorts, torn jeans, and ratty old t-shirts? I definitely cared more about my appearance before I had children, but I don’t think it is because I have given up or am not a priority in my own life. It is partly having less time or less space in my head to worry about my appearance, but also partly a purposeful shift as I have noticed how my toddler watches and imitates everything that I do. For me, sometimes not wearing make up or blow drying my hair and wearing comfortable clothes is a very small way to set an example for my daughters that it is okay to do these things. They don’t have to conform to society’s expectations. Lastly, it is easy for you or me to slip on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and look pretty put together, but for a lot of women who might be struggling with post-baby weight loss, it is not so simple (particularly if the finances aren’t there to buy a new wardrobe).

    1. Honestly, I do feel the same way about men. I think Americans in particular have become so lazy about their appearance. I love looking at photos from our grandparents’ generation when men and women looked so polished for even the most mundane tasks.

      I know I’m being a bad feminist with the argument I’m making here, but I’d also say I’m being a realist. I’d love to live in a society that didn’t place so much emphasis on physical appearance, but I don’t think that’ll change anytime soon.

      You’re right that we don’t have to conform to society’s expectations, but doing so can positively impact people’s perception of us and the opportunities that are open to us. Makes me think of Hilary Clinton. In theory, we should be judging presidential candidates on their experience, voting record, views on issues; instead, we end up talking about what they wore, their hair, etc. I’m as guilty of it as anyone. We’re all so visual.

      I hate to sound judgmental of fellow moms, but I also hate to see moms who look like they’ve just given up on themselves.

      1. I agree that it is a trend across the board in America. Even in professional settings, the trend is toward casual — when I started at my law firm 6 years ago, our dress code was business formal (i.e., a suit every day); today, pretty much anything goes, including jeans.

        And, it IS much more difficult for women to succeed if they do not conform to more typically feminine appearance. I see it in the law firm setting all the time. Super successful male attorneys wander around the office in old ripped jeans; you would almost NEVER see a female attorney do that. I just wish it weren’t so much more work to look “put together” for women than for men. Like if I have a client meeting, it is a lot more work for me to get up early, blow dry my hair, put on more make up than normal, wear uncomfortable shoes, etc. For men, it’s just adding a tie (which is probably uncomfortable, I’ll admit).

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