Sunday, August 2, 2015

#iwillwearwhatilike

 There are plenty of articles out there on the internet written by so called 'experts' who seem to have figured out what goes when it comes to appropriate attire for (fill in the blank here). Take this one called 24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30 by a Ms Kallie Provencher. Read it if you want to get annoyed like I did a few weeks ago when I stumbled onto it in my Facebook newsfeed via Not Dressed as a Lamb, but I can save you some time by summing up parts of it here.



 There are also just as many articles on the internet providing tips and self help techniques for how to feel more confident, or happy, or sexy, etc. Does anyone see a connection here? Why is it we allow others to tell us how we should dress, or what we shouldn't wear, etc and then wonder why we don't feel good about ourselves?


Here's the thing, though. I don't bother with these kinds of lists anymore. If I read them, it's only for amusement. Otherwise they just frustrate me because they usually say the most preposterous things. Take for example, Ms Provencher's list.  In it she claims that women over the age of 30 are expected to be more mature and to dress that way, too. Like with crop tops, apparently even if we have a "bangin' body' we're meant "to leave these shirts to the young folks." My ass. Whatever. If I have abs after giving birth to three kids then you better bet I'm showing them.


Or another one, American Eagle Outfitters..."sure their jeans fit perfectly, but that doesn't make it trendy for women over 30 to be wearing them." Really? I mean, to be honest, I haven't shopped at AEO since college, but if the jeans fit perfectly, why shouldn't I be able to wear them if I want to?

I say I can. Rules or lists are just suggestions.  I found Ms Provencher's one more offensive than most because of her tone. I mean, mini skirts? She says "by this age, women should know better to leave something to the imagination." Well that just tells us that younger women don't know better.  Nice. A sneaky insult.


And glitter eye shadow. Save it "for things that should actually sparkle" Wow. Thanks. Another insult. We women should stick together, so I'm always disappointed when we don't.  Enough judgement comes at the hands of others; we should have solidarity amongst ourselves.

I'm thinking (hopefully) that she isn't 30 yet, because if she was, she would know that your thirties are the best decade, ever.  For me, living through my thirties helped me really feel comfortable with who I was because finally I really understood myself. In my thirties, I was less afraid to take risks. I feel like I stopped having goals to change myself because I was happy and settled with where I was then and where I am now. There are probably things on that list of 24 that none of us should be wearing any longer, but who am I to say?  If a woman feels good, they should go for it.


 I'm not the only woman with these thoughts. Fellow blogger Catherine (@notlamb) and I chatted about responses and she created a fun way for us to prove naysayers wrong.  In addition to other bloggers who are writing their responses, Catherine has dedicated the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike and a fun list of items of her own for us to wear in the month of August.

I know I'll be taking part in the fun.  I hope you will, too.  Check out my Instagram feed (@imanorbyah) and follow the hashtag to see what we all come up with.

15 comments:

Shapeofagirlinla said...

Amen, sister! As another woman in her 30's who wants to and will wear what I like, thanks for posting this. Your style really has inspired for the past couple of years I have followed your blog. :-)

Catherine Summers said...

Norbyah thank you so much for the mention...!! I have a theory after reading so many of these types of posts: I think they're purposely written in order to get our backs up so that we'll all talk about them on social media, thus driving traffic to their site.

Well I know I'm guilty of doing that myself (I was the one who started this whole thing by linking to the article, after all!) but it IS tiring, it IS unoriginal and it DOES send the wrong messages to women with low self esteem.

And that's what worries me. The likes of you and me and lots of other bloggers (and non-bloggers of course) have confidence about what we wear; we're not going to be told by anyone how to dress. But many, many women see growing older as a negative thing, and they need their confidence boosting especially as they live through life-changing events like childbirth, divorce, health issues, losing a parent... They need support and things that will make them feel good about themselves, not to be told that they have to stop wearing pink or leopard print!!

Anyway I think the rant you mentioned on Facebook has been echoed here by me (!!) - but I'm glad that reading these preposterous articles has made us all stand up and join together with the likes of #iwillwearwhatilike... Can't wait to see what else you come with as the month goes on!!

Loved the post, sweetie, thanks for sending me the reminder to come and read it!

Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb x

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