Friday, May 16, 2014

public displays of terrible fashion

Sometimes I am a little sissy-girl.

For example, there are stores that I don't enter, simply because I am extremely intimidated by the level of fashion and beauty all around. I just don't belong there in my jeans and Nike sweatshirts. If I were ever to enter them, I would only do so after a fresh haircut and color and an intensely-detailed plan about what to wear for my visit.

Sadly, this is my normal. 
This might make me sound shallow. I get that. But I'm hoping it's normal, that other women feel the same way: "I don't measure up," whether it's in the fashion world or everyday life. (Ask me about my patience with Brody, my sweet three-year-old who is experiencing drastic emotional highs and lows as of late. I dare you to ask me about that. You will see me clearly not measuring up.)

But back to this shopping thing. I once had to go into an adorable little boutique nearby to get a gift card, and the second I walked in wearing my sweatpants and jacket from school and received my first glance from the salesperson, I assumed they would kick me out. I bought that gift card as quickly as possible and jetted out of there before they could point me to their hidden sign.

You know, the unwritten sign in some stores: No public displays of terrible fashion allowed.

My sissy-girl self was put to the test once again a while back, when I had the amazing opportunity to be a "model" (I use that term very loosely in my case) for a local boutique that I LOVE. And when I say I love it, I mean I normally admire it from afar. Because I didn't think my terrible fashion sense was allowed inside.

But then I got an interesting phone call. One of my (fashion-inclined and beautiful) friends works at STAXX, the boutique I love from afar, and she had recommended me as a model in their "For the Love of a Child" ad that was set to run in a few months. They were selecting mothers with a story to tell or a cause to defend. My cause: Adoption and orphan care. I was humbled and excited that someone would tell me how to dress my awkward self. (And then I might have hyperventilated a little just thinking about my lack of model attributes.)

They did tell me how to dress my awkward self. They put me in a snakeskin-printed shirt, tight white jeans, and black pumps. PUMPS. The only pump I know is the kind that puts air in a ball. And then a professional makeup artist airbrushed my makeup on, making my face flawless. Oh celebrities, you have it rough: Airbrushed makeup, airbrushed magazines, photoshopped thighs. No wonder the rest of us feel inadequate.

But I digress. I met some amazing women at the photoshoot.: Women who had lost the children they had once held in their arms. Women who were fighting for the lives of other children, even though they couldn't save their own. Women whose stories had me fighting like a dog to keep the tell-tale chin quiver and streaky makeup away. Women who rearranged their entire lives to care for their children with significant medical needs. These women were tough. They were beautiful, and more than anything, they were selfless. I didn't feel worthy to be in the shoot with them (but since I already had the pumps on I couldn't just run away).

In the end, the photos didn't really matter. It was fun, and I got a couple of amazing gift cards and the one-day, loose title of "model" out of it, but the stories the women were able to share because of Staxx....that's important.

I will also say that the people of Staxx are some of the friendliest, sweetest people I've ever met. My friend Abby, who works there, spent a good deal of time picking out cute clothes for me, even making me step out of my comfort zone of sweatshirts and t-shirts for a while. I even tried on this jumpsuit. A jumpsuit, people.



Clearly, I looked really good in it. Oh wait, that's not me.

And every person at Staxx was as friendly and sweet as my friend, who I have known since high school. I watched as she did the same sweet shopping for someone she didn't even know. Love that girl.

Sidenote: I used my gift card at Staxx to get a ridiculously expensive pair of jeans that I never would have considered had I not had a gift card to spend. I even held onto them for two weeks before wearing them because I felt guilty for how expensive they were (and they're probably not that expensive for jeans...it's just that all of my clothes normally come from Target, TJ Maxx or Old Navy, soo...). However, I must say that THEY ARE AMAZING. I never understood why people always talked about going home to throw on a pair of jeans (but maybe that's because I can wear sweatpants to school). But now I get it. They are like P-Jammies!

Go visit Staxx, and tell them the awkward girl from the photoshoot sent you. (No, I don't work for them, I am just a secret admirer.)

PS -- Have you voted yet today? You can vote EVERY DAY to send me out of the country for a while. Lucky you. VOTE HERE: http://www.noondaycollection.com/styleforjustice#view/23056/2105677