Tag Archives: Personal Style

Relinquishing Rapunzel

We’ve all been there before. Post bad haircut, second-guessing our decision to be brave, and waiting for it to grow out with painstaking regret..and a new hat.

It’s only hair, right?

It will grow back, right?

I get that, I really do. But in order to understand why it’s so much more than that, you have to also understand what it represents, what it symbolizes, and why losing it and letting it go are two totally different things.

Long hair in literature is well documented as a sign of importance for various reasons. Samson’s hair was the root of his virility and strength. Lady Godiva would not have been half as memorable without her trademark long tresses. And of course there was Rapunzel.

But what about Rapunzel?

How would she have ever been rescued from the tower without her long flowing locks to aid in her liberation? She probably could have freed herself by chopping off her braid and using it mount a daring escape… but that’s not how the story goes. Actually, that’s not how any of the stories went when I was growing up.

Barbie had her Ken, Sleeping Beauty needed the Prince’s kiss to awaken her, Cinderella waited for Prince Charming to scoop her up out of abject servitude, and Snow White relied on the Seven Dwarves to protect her from the wrath of the jealous evil Queen.

But I always felt a little bit more like “Snow Off-White” in my early 20’s. I was the designated good natured chubby friend that was relegated to entertaining the awkward third wheel friend of the cute guy that was flirting with my gorgeous Malibu Barbie roommate. Making tedious conversation to pass the time, sipping wine coolers until she was ready for me to drive her home. Sadly, back then, the only (real life) Seven Dwarves that I ever encountered were Itchy, Scratchy, Burpie, Sleazy, Humpy, Gropey, and Prick.

I grew up envying Farrah Fawcett’s long feathery locks, the perfect coiffes of Charlie’s Angels, and Christie Brinkley’s flowing mane. Not to mention every Whitesnake video featuring a wild haired token beauty with her lustrous tendrils blowing in the wind in hair band  slo-mo. Even Daryl Hannah in Splash, with her shock of blonde Mermaid hair adornment bewitched and beguiled me.

I wanted Mermaid hair.

I wanted what I never had.  Continue reading Relinquishing Rapunzel

The Uniform

Essentially, that’s what it felt like, a uniform. 

My go to outfit.

My routine was to go to Walmart (because they were the only store that had a 5X) and find the least hideous thing that would fit me. 

All I cared about was being comfortable. 

I had a certain idea when looking at a garment whether or not I would find it comfortable. I didn’t like things to cling to me, or pinch, or be too short waisted. 

I could tell from looking at something whether or not it was going to work, and I didn’t like to try anything on, because I never liked how any of it ever looked.

So once I found something that wasn’t the worst thing I’d ever seen, I would just buy it in every color in which it was available. 

If I found a shirt that fit the bill, I would have five of them. 

Same thing with pants. I always had to have an elastic waist. 

It was my uniform. 

I had given up. 

I had no desire to wear make up, or to even to do anything with my hair. I wore my hair in a bun most of the time, and I just made sure that all my clothes were neat and tidy. 

I wore the same shirt and the same pants in different color match-ups pretty much everywhere I went. 

I only had a few pairs of shoes, and they were all flip flops and Crocs. I was what you you would call “fashionably challenged”.

I remember seeing something in a store window once when I was shopping with friend, and commenting that I liked it, to which she replied “Really? That doesn’t seem your style.” 

I pondered over that statement for quite some time before I realized, that in the 10 years that she had known me, she literally had no idea what my style was- because nothing I ever wore had reflected it. 

Did I have a style? It was a provoking thought.

So, you can imagine, that when it came time to buy a new wardrobe after losing the first 100 lbs, I wasn’t exactly ahead of the game. 

The only thing I knew for sure was that I was desperately in need of a bra fitting, and a make-over.

I didn’t get too daring, or start to think about coming out of my comfort zone until I was pretty close to my goal. I was reluctant to buy all new clothes until I was close to the weight I was going to stay at, so the Goodwill and I were good friends throughout my entire weight-loss journey. 

But even though I have found some very cute things at Goodwill, I really just wanted to be able walk into a store that had not formerly been accessible to me, and be to be able to buy something off the rack.

So when the time came, I took myself to the outlet mall, and I walked in to ‘Loft’. It was the first store that I had seen that appealed to my inner fashionista.

It was a very overwhelming experience. 

Like over-the-top overwhelming.

I had never had that many choices before.

I was frozen in place trying to decide where to go.

The room started spinning, and  I was completely clueless. I quickly backed out of there like the place was on fire. And then, after ducking into the Dress Barn to hide, a very nice sales woman came up and asked if she could help me. 

A few moments must’ve passed because she leaned in to my line of sight and asked again, “Is there something I can help you with?”

I stared at her blankly, and said “Honestly, I have no idea. I need clothes.”

She smiled, “What’s your style?” to which I replied, “I don’t know yet. Because the last time that I was able to see something that I liked, and then actually wear it…I was in high school.”

I had no idea what would look good on me, or what I would like, or what my “style” was. 

I mean, I was 43, and there had been about two decades worth of style that had passed me by. If I was going to make up for lost time, then I might end up being dressed in some retro 90’s grunge attire that would be strangley outdated.

Now I was starting to wonder if what I picked out would even be appropriate for my age. Hmmmm.

Who cares?

I always thought that was a ridiculous sentiment anyway. It shouldn’t matter what age you are, you should dress to express yourself. 

But I still needed a starting point, and I knew that I needed help. And help me she did.

I certainly learned a lot about myself that day, and hopefully going forward the learning curve will be much more adaptable.

And now, after a lot of trial and error, I am pleased to announce that I left did in fact leave there that day with the basic beginnings of an actual wardrobe. 

I finally know what I like, I wear what I want, and it feels amazing! 

I never even knew how much I liked shoes until I had all of those outfits to buy shoes for. 

And for the first time in my life, I feel confident, that if someone were to look at me, and how I am dressed, they would actually be able to tell what my style is.

My style is “happy”, my style is “healthy”, my style is “ME”!

(and a few pairs of totally adorable rockin’ boots that I wear every chance I get!)