This post is sponsored.
“Didn’t you wear that yesterday, Mom?”
Encouraging and embracing Mayhem’s wild (to me) sense of style was not my default response. At first.
I went to parochial school back before going to parochial school was cool. And uniforms were mandatory. Truthfully, it took the guesswork and a whole lot of fussing out of our days because there wasn’t a question as to what we’d be wearing. A plaid skirt/jumper and a white shirt was the only option.
I attended a public high school and the agony of choosing what to wear each day set in. As much as I had always thought that wearing a uniform was horrible, the reality of trying to fit in or keep up with what was “in style” mixed with a lot of self consciousness to make those four years my least confident. I never “learned” about fashion and I always believed you had to spend a lot of money to be stylish. Money we didn’t have. That’s what I thought, anyway.
To this day, I prefer having a bit of a uniform. I wear the same earrings everyday. I have a few pair of jeans that are my favorites. Solid color shirts are almost always the norm. I don’t wear heels unless I feel forced to. My hair generally looks the same and day to day. And my makeup routine is exactly that … routine.
Mayhem is appalled by this. And as much as I’d like to claim that I’m being efficient for the sake of success (per the likes of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Matilda Kahl), that wouldn’t be entirely accurate 😉
Mayhem, on the other hand, has a particularly creative sense of fashion. She’s never met a scrap of fabric she didn’t like. Or seen a fabulous shirt that she didn’t think could double as a skirt. It’s not uncommon for her to turn things inside out or backwards if she feels like it would look better.
Pants and all.
But then I observed how she was feeling/acting when she’d wear the ensembles she put together on her own. And it’s a confidence that I don’t ever want to see slip away from her. She’s fiercely imaginative and tends to be much more at ease when she’s happy in what she’s wearing. Whether that be head to toe leopard print or a pair of leggings as a shrug.
Fairy wings for grocery shopping is not uncommon.
“OMG, MOM!!! You’re going to love this one – she can wear flat shoes!!!”
That was Mayhem’s response to being introduced to the new Fashionista collection from Barbie. And she was right – I do love that some of them can wear flat shoes. (High five Barbie!) But what I love even more is the variety I see in the 23 doll collection. And that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Mayhem either.
Mayhem was quick to point out that one Barbie (with curly hair) looked exactly like a high school senior client of ours (at our photography studio) while another looked like one of the gymnastics coaches at her gym.
“Hey Mom – I need you to help me build this runway!!!”
“We’re having a fashion week fashion show and we need a runway and I don’t know how to make it stay up.”
Oh. THAT kind of runway. Gotcha.
“And can you help me make new outfits for the girls too? Pretty please.”
So I sat down on the floor with my girl and we chatted while we constructed a runway and new paper threads for her new Barbie pals. I asked her what it is about making clothes that she likes so much and she told me that it’s fun.
When I pressed the conversation a bit more she told me that different outfits are like different pictures in her coloring books. And that she uses different colors on every page so she can see what she likes best.
“How come you’re not really a fashion girl, Mom? Don’t you like trying new stuff?”
I explained to her that fashion just wasn’t something that I spent a lot of time on while growing up. And then I followed that up quickly by telling her how much I’ve enjoyed learning about fashion just from watching her.
Our conversation shifted to how different things make different people feel good about themselves. Some people like to play sports, some people like to do art projects, some people like to build stuff, some people like to make music and some people like to design things.
She told me she likes to do all of those things. AND be a fashion girl. Then she added, “That’s OK, right?”
“You bet!”, I assured her. “In fact, you make me want to be more of a fashion girl myself because you make it look so fun.”
And with that, our Barbie fashion show ended and a new one began.
“You and Dad always say that change is good,” she said as she got to work on me ….
And she’s right. We say that a LOT around here.
Change is good.
Like changing clothes. Or changing environments. Or changing jobs.
And 23 distinctly new varieties of Barbie is most definitely a very good change 😉
Disclosure: Thanks to our friends at Barbie for not only sponsoring this post, but for introducing kids like Mayhem and moms like me to an updated version of the fashion doll. Opinions are, of course, my own … but Mayhem and I are truly impressed and big fans of the Fashionista collection. Flat shoes for the wiiiiiiin!!!! 🙂