Tuesday, May 31, 2011

No Dress Code, Please

Last week, I read this article on Motherlode, a New York Times blog. It starts off with a woman talking about how she moved from L.A. to Seattle. When she took her kids to the beach in Seattle, she removed her clothes and was standing on the beach in her bathing suit. She looked around and noticed that all of the other mothers on the beach were fully clothed and staring at her. She felt like a freak.

The piece made me think about being a mother, what mothers wear and how mothers judge other mothers. During the summer here in Pasadena, the temperature reaches 100 degrees. We don't have central air conditioning. It's hot. Really hot. I hate it. So I wear shorts a lot. Not bermuda shorts. And not hot pants. Just regular, old shorts. The other mothers in our apartment complex wear long skirts, knee-length skirts or capri pants. And they look at me the way a tourist looks at the women standing on Hollywood Blvd. You'd think I was in my underwear.

With their pants or longer skirts, my female neighbors wear fitted tank tops or t-shirts. I have never worn anything fitted on top. I was gifted with what feels like to me, a Jack Black-sized gut. I have the body of a chicken. I'm an egg with legs. My neighbors have little waists, and broader hips, butts and thighs. So ladies, give me a break. My flow-y top is tenting my not-so-tight abs and my not-yet-offensive legs are all I have so I'm rockin' the shorts for now.

I just sorta wish that we, as mothers and women, could not make each other feel self conscious when one of us wears a bathing suit or something tight or shorter than someone else. Or when we choose to stop breastfeeding sooner or later; or when someone chooses to either be a stay-at-home mom or a working mom; or when we decide to marry or stay single; or whether we have one child or five, or no children at all; OR whether we are older or younger when we have these experiences or decide to have a different set entirely.

There is no mom dress code or way to be female. Everyone is different. No choice is better than another. Our choices suit us as individuals and there isn't ONE way to do anything. I have no interest in keeping up with Mrs. Jones. I'm wearing my shorts and letting my freak flag fly. Cause I'm crazy like that.

Shorts from American Apparel

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