I began my career as a Mary Kay consultant almost 14 years ago with aspirations of one day becoming a work at home mom. Over my almost fourteen years I have noticed a very disturbing phenomenon. I must admit despite my deep desire to be a work at home mom, this phenomenon has had me deeply concerned and deeply afraid for my wardrobe and sense of style. Tell me you have not noticed this too among our hard working stay at home moms? Frumpy Mommy Fashion Syndrome. Its plaguing communities and families everywhere and what is the real crime behind this, is it really and truly doesn’t have to be.
While not true for every mom at home, who I lovingly call domestic goddesses and engineers, the majority of the moms at home that I have worked with during my career have seemed to have forgotten that they are beautiful women, have traded in their once confident and fashionable wardrobe for yoga pants, sweats, baggy t-shirts, flip flops and the dreaded mom jeans (really these should be outlawed by now). Some where along the line, these amazing women seem to have gotten caught up in the lives and hectic world of children, husbands, and the belief they have no “real” need to put on makeup, get stylishly dressed. Sadly, meeting with these women, many have lost confidence in what they once were and succumb to “this is life as a mom”. And yet this sad phenomenon doesn’t have to be. Proof can best be summed up by one husband after one Mary Kay color session with a client of mine, “thank you for giving me back my wife.”
It was in that moment that I learned a really important lesson for my future marriage and my role as future wife. I was once told that when we get married, a man falls in love and spends the rest of his marriage hoping his wife doesn’t change (while a woman falls in love and spends the rest of her marriage trying to change her husband). Based on my client’s husband’s reaction, I knew in that moment that part of what our husbands fall in love with is our physical appearance…the visual and they don’t want that to change. Research I was exposed to during my studies for my anthropology degree backed this up solidly. Please don’t get me wrong, we change. Children and age cause our bodies to physically change. That’s life…though I am really hoping someone events a pill that’s tag line is “Get Your Best Body Back”. But if you took time to make sure you were put together, stylish, did your makeup and strutted a modern hair style before you were married, your husband is expecting this trend to continue. That is, like it or not, part of who he fell in love with. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you if you stop but it is an aspect of who he fell in love with. As my husband has often said…”first you have to have a good relationship between you and God, then between you and your spouse, and your kids will fall in line.” It’s a reminder that as much as we love our children, live for our children, our spouses are with us until death do us part. Shouldn’t we do what we can to honor that relationship? I think we should…and really what a better excuse could you have for buying clothes, going to the salon, or splurging on the latest lipstick trend, “honey, I want to make sure I look good for you.”
So why do women change? I think women get caught up in the day to day and, for many stay at home moms, it’s simpler to not take the time to do their hair, to do their makeup, to “get dressed”, especially if there are screaming kids, or a house to clean, or errands to run. It’s easy to get caught up in our kids and the day to day. Frankly, remembering my summers free from school, I completely get the temptation. And I will be the first to admit, I have fell victim to the temptation on those days that I felt overwhelmed. It’s easy to do, I know. There is no need to put in the effort per say when you spend most of your time wither playing taxi cab, errand girl or molly maid. Its different when we have a nine to five job, we generally make the effort to look nice and put together. When all we are doing is running to the store, dropping kids off or working around the house, it’s very tempting to say, “who am I getting dressed up for?”
I suggest that besides our spouses we really should take the time to put away the yoga pants after the workout, put on a stylish outfit, fix your hair without putting it in a knot or ponytail, throw on some makeup for YOU! Numerous studies have shown that when a woman looks good on the outside, how she feels on the inside improves. It’s one of my favorite parts of my Mary Kay job. I have seen it time and time again. A woman starts out unsure about this make-over thing we are doing, having either never been taught or it’s been so long. But after one little hour of step by step instruction (which really amounts to max 10 minutes if she were doing it on her own), this radiant, confident and energetic glow emanates from her. Her mood has changed. She’s glowing and feels better about herself. Put on your lipstick and see for yourself. You too might just find an extra spring in your step.
So if you find yourself dawning mom jeans or yoga pants on a regular basis, if your hair is more often in a ponytail or twist knot, if your version of putting on make up is grabbing Chapstick out of your purse, then my next series might be for you. I have worked in the beauty world for over a decade. Fashion has been a passion since I could walk. I could hardly advise women on makeup without taking the time to educate myself on fashion and style. And I am convinced after almost 14 years of working with women of all walks and ages of life that looking good doesn’t have to take forever. In fact, makeup takes about five to ten minutes, putting on stylish clothing takes just as long as putting on mommy clothes and doing your hair can be a mix of fast hair and stylish hair. Looking good is about choices not about time.
In this series, I am going to focus on fashion but I promise to get to make up and hair in the future. I will first be sharing the tips and tricks for general fashion advise, things that every woman should know. Then will follow up with decade appropriate fashion suggestions. Besides mom jeans, there is nothing that ages a woman faster than when she is not dressed appropriately for her age. I’m sure you have seen them. They come in two categories – they either dress like they are still 20 years younger or they go the opposite spectrum and wear items that are 20 years older than they are. Neither works and just points glaringly at what their age really is. In the end, I hope that the tips and tricks will help you move out of frumpy mommy fashion syndrome and in to Stylish and Hot Momma! And if you are not there yet, will hopefully help you stay away from that oh so tempting yet oh so wrong land of frumpy mommy fashion.