I don't wear dresses. I don't wear make-up. GET OVER IT! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Why is it that everyone and their mother has an opinion on the way I look? It's seriously starting to tick me off. I've never liked to wear dresses or skirts. I wear very minimal make-up, if any at all. I will wear a dress or skirt if I absolutely must (like to a wedding or something) but if I can get away with nice pants and a blouse, I'll wear that instead. I have ALWAYS been like this. I'm just not comfortable gussied up and I probably never will be.

My 3 sisters are the exact opposite. They won't go anywhere without make-up. My older sister even had to do her make-up before she went to the hospital to have her DD (lipstick, eyeliner, the whole 9 yards). From puberty, they would always try to get me to wear things I didn't want to wear and it got to the point that it really damaged my self-esteem. They acted like the way I naturally was wasn't good enough or something. Thank goodness I can see past their shallowness now.

So we are going to church tomorrow. DH practically begged me (I'm an atheist and REALLY don't like going to any church) and I caved. Which means I had to go buy something to wear. I spent $40 on an outfit and shoes that I really do not like, but o well. I put them on to show my little sister and my dad saw me and practically had a heart attack. He said I looked really nice (which was really nice), but the he started going on about how he's glad to see I'm making changes in my life and sometimes changes are good. WTF?

I told him that I'm wearing this outfit only to church and it is NOT going to become part of my regular wardrobe, so he can just forget about these supposed "changes" I'm making. I know he's just trying to be supportive and fatherly, but ugh! Sorry I wasn't good enough before dad!

Why is it that I dress comfortably and feel confident in my own skin and other people see it as some kind of impairment that needs *fixed*?
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#2 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 08:58 PM
 
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Another no-makeup, dress hater here. The only time I wear dresses is for church, and even then no makeup. Just sunscreen and lipgloss thanks.

Family can be the most critical of us, can't they? I'm guessing your sisters especially are insecure and can't deal with the fact that you're so confident with yourself the way you are. Sounds like they're jealouse that you have enough confidence to know you don't need all that junk. I mean putting on all that makeup and wearing those uncomfortable dresses/clothes has got to be a giant pain. Misery loves company.
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#3 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 09:03 PM
 
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Is makeup and a dress really that big of a deal to some people? I like to look nice every now and then-but the extent of my makeup is chapstick (only because I always have chapped lips). I don't care for dresses or skirts, although when it's really hot out I wear sundresses-but they have to be long. Don't see how spending hours grooming myself is going to give me much improvement! Makeup makes my face feel dirty!
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#4 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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The only time I wear a dress or skirt is if we are going to a formal event. Make-up-a little blush and lipstick for the event.

Daily-pants and no make-up.

You keep on doing what you are doing.

Kathy-Mom to Blake & Mikaela
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#5 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 09:15 PM
 
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Well, to them, putting on make-up and a certain type of dressing up is their way of expressing that their appearance is important to them.

I'm guessing that they are projecting that your dressing differently means that your appearance is not important to you, and they don't understand how that can be.

I can't stand to wear any kind of make-up, only lip stuff when they're dry. I don't consider that to be make-up though.

I wear skirts frequently, but they're made from jeans. Best of both worlds as far as I'm concerned. My main criteria is whether *I* am comfortable in what I'm wearing, not whether other people like my style or not.


"What will you do once you know?"
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#6 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 09:51 PM
 
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I like getting dressed up and wearing makeup. But if you don't, you should dress how you feel comfortable, including at church. I'm sure you can do that and still look very presentable. Your family needs to back off.
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#7 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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I see you are from the south. That's a whole nother ballgame. If you lived in, say New England or Berkeley, you'd be fine. I say move. Seriously, it is hard when you are diff from your sisters. Don't worry, just be yourself.
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#8 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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I'm pretty much a no make up girl too. Although I do like to throw on a skirt someitme, you know the long loose ones (Heavenly compared to some of my jeans! ). But my mother and to a very lesser extent, my sisters, are much more involved in what they wear and how they look. My mom's excuse is always that you get treated better if you dress better, but as far as I'm concerned that's just unfair and I don't want to play into that anyway. And then there's the fact that when I'm taking a walk or playing with the kids, that that excuse doesn't fit that anyway.

I do like to get dressed up on special occasions, but even then I usually put on blush and lipgloss. Anyway, I like the way my families draws drop when I actually take the time to get all dolled up, it just wouldn't be as much fun if I did it all the time! And I also think that the more you wear makeup and get dressed up for everyday things, the more you feel like you have to do it, and the more you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. I don't have the time or desire to spend the time to do that stuff. I'd much rather spend it on a tickle fight with the boys, or a few extra minutes hiding in the bathroom to read a book!

So do what makes you feel right, and just feel sorry for your family that they can't see their own non-makeuped, non-dressed up value the way you do!

 
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#9 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 10:28 PM
 
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It sounds to me like your sisters are very insecure about their appearance without all the makeup and dresses, whereas you are feel fine without them. Pity them for their lack of security.

No, I'm not saying that all women who wear dresses and makeup are insecure; I myself like to wear them occasionally. It's just that if you feel that you HAVE to wear them before going out in public, then you may want to question where that feeling comes from.

Shaunam, you are fine the way you are. to you for not following the herd!
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#10 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 10:50 PM
 
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I'm another no makeup woman. I went to an all girls' school for highschool and the whole "rolling out of bed" thing really stuck! I have to look nice for work, but I think that I can do that without makeup. Most of the women I work with don't wear any either, so I never feel weird about it.

I think the pp was right that location makes a huge difference. I work with feminist academics and it is almost expected that you don't cake on the makeup. I guess I probably wouldn't care anyway, but no one gives me any slack about it, so maybe it would bother me if everyone had an opinion.

Sorry about your sisters though- and have "fun" at church.
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#11 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 11:08 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Shaunam]Why is it that everyone and their mother has an opinion on the way I look? It's seriously starting to tick me off. I've never liked to wear dresses or skirts. I wear very minimal make-up, if any at all. I will wear a dress or skirt if I absolutely must (like to a wedding or something) but if I can get away with nice pants and a blouse, I'll wear that instead. I have ALWAYS been like this. I'm just not comfortable gussied up and I probably never will be.[Quote]




Couldnt have said it better myself....I hate makeup, unless its Halloween
I do like to wear skirts sometimes in the spring and summer.. but I am most comfortable in my jeans and tees...
I always tell those that say things like that to me .....Its to bad that they cant accept me for who I am, I am a much nicer person when not dressed up like someones barbie.
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#12 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 11:09 PM
 
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I'm sorry members of your family judge the value of a person by how they dress and look.

I'm sure you look much better in the clothes that make you feel good than super dressy clothes.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#13 of 20 Old 04-15-2006, 11:23 PM
 
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Wear what YOU want to wear- be yourself. It's rude of them to comment on your appearance.
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#14 of 20 Old 04-16-2006, 12:11 AM
 
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I understand....I just bought my first "ladies" coat/jacket/whatever in many,many years....i only had mens coats either by choice or circumstance.
I never wear make-up and i hate nail posish or jewelry.
It's just the way i am comfortable.
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#15 of 20 Old 04-16-2006, 12:17 AM
 
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My sisters and I are different in the same sorts of ways as the OP. They mostly wear some make-up, though not excessive. They dress differently, and usually more "fashionably" than I do. Their choice as it is my choice to stick with my jeans, homemade skirts, and t-shirts. The difference is that they don't bother me about my style and I don't criticize them for theirs.

I noticed something at the last family wedding. All of us, including our brother's wife, wore ecru to the one sister's wedding. Every dress was different, reflecting the individual tastes of the wearers. Mine had colorful embroidery and was nursing accessable--though not because the maker had any thoughts on that. Others were more suitlike and such. It was very interesting.

"What will you do once you know?"
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#16 of 20 Old 04-16-2006, 03:28 AM
 
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I'm sorry people are treating you like that.

I personally like to wear makeup, though because I'm perennially running late I rarely have time to put on more than foundation and powder, sometimes mascara. I do feel more "ME" though, when I have time to do the whole thing - it's a personal expression thing I think. I feel better when I look put-together - when I dress ratty I feel run down and have much less energy. That's ME though, and everyone's different.

As for church, my church is perfectly accepting of women wearing nice slacks, and last summer we went casual - many of the youth wore stuff they'd wear to school (just not ratty stuff, the nicer stuff, though jeans were not uncommon). We're Southern Baptist, too - so this was VERY strange to a lot of people when it first started!

Easter is a whole other ballpark in church though - it's the real biggie day and you're expected to dress up a bit more. I'm just going with a comfy floral skirt rather than my usual pants, with a button up shirt (maybe ditched before the service) worn open over a tank. I have to wear a choir robe over it anyway, and those things are HOT!

Easter often involves a special, different service than normal with lots of special music (at least at my church. Tomorrow as our service we're doing Handel's Messiah - the Easter portion - with a chamber orchestra.). I hope you have an enjoyable time.
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#17 of 20 Old 04-18-2006, 12:01 PM
 
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No makeup, no dresses here niether.
I am no-nonsense, and so different from my mom and sister!
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#18 of 20 Old 04-18-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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My only make-up is chapstick. When I was in my SILs wedding last summer, she asked me if I wanted to have my make-up "done" by the person she hired. I declined and said I would do it myself. I then discovered that the only make-up I owned was some now crusty stuff left over from my own wedding 4 years earlier. I ended up borrowing someone's lipstick and calling it a day.

One of my sisters (a former make-up artist herself, never goes out of the house w/o inches of it on her face) declared to me that when I'm 30 I'll start wearing make-up, b/c "you just have to when you get a little older". Well, I'm 29 now, and I'm certainly not spending my afternoons browsing at Sephora.

Honestly, I don't think you're going to change your family. This is something that is "normal" to them and they probably (subconsciously) find that your attitude toward it challenges their assumptions (i.e., that a woman has to look a certain way to be pretty, that certain things are "part of" being a woman, that a woman can't feel good about herself unless she conforms to cultural expections, etc.). While I obviously think the ideal solution would be for them to back off, it also might be worth considering how to make it bother you less. In other words, if you're really secure in your decisions--then *be* secure in them and try to just laugh off the "well-meaning" suggestions of your family. Even if you don't always really feel that their comments are innocuous, outwardly laughing them off can help diffuse their power.
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#19 of 20 Old 04-18-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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No makeup here either except for mascara (sp?). I love the way my eyes look w/ it on ( I have great eyes ) I do Love dresses and skirts though. I don't wear them everyday but when its hot out they are way more comfy than shorts imo.
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#20 of 20 Old 04-18-2006, 12:50 PM
 
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Ok-disclaimer-I do wear make-up pretty much daily. I don't HAVE to wear it to go out but I wear it even at home by myself all day (in the pre-child days where being my myself was a legitimate possibility LOL) I would be a person who put on make-up on the way to give birth, even if the birth was going to be in my home. I just like it, make-up is fun for me. I also like clothes but since that is more of a budget issue-you may not know that i like clothes just by seeing me!

I think it is up to the individual to pick what she wants to wear and frankly if Kate Hepburn could get by with pants for most occasions I can't imagine a situation where a "dress" pant outfit could possibly be inferior to an actual dress. I mean a great pantsuit is elegant! Who cares if it is not a dress? That makes no sense to me at all.

I also think that many women bond over make-up, clothes etc Maybe it is hard for your sisters to feel close to you in this area because they just don't get that your approach is different. (they could just be jerks too but since they are not able to see past this sometimes it can be helpful to figure out why)

Are you happy with your sense of style? What is your ideal look for yourself? Is it really "you" to wear what you wear? Do you like the make-up you do wear even if it is occasional usage only or would you rather never wear any at all? If you are happy with your decisions then just tell them that and leave it alone. I think your family telling you this all the time is also destructive because it puts you in a box. I mean, I know I have changed my "look" a few times, what if you ever want to? Their comments would make it hard for any change to feel authentic. (at least for me it would be hard to change if I knew that any alteration would cause such a potentially dramatic response)
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