Keep it Fly for the Hubs!

January 4, 2011

 

Looking good together

As my friend Monica says, I have to “be more vain,” and have more pride and self respect. Further, real talk, I’ve got a handsome husband who makes a good living and takes darned good care of me and my children. Trust, I’m not the only who has noticed that. He deserves a wife who keeps herself up. –Roslyn, commenting at The Sojourner’s Passport blog.

One day a few years ago, Mr. Foreverloyal and I were out to dinner at a trendy restaurant in a nice section of town.  As we were on our way to our car, a voiced called out his name, and a middle-aged man came up and said hello.  My husband introduced us, he smiled warmly and we exchanged pleasantries for a few minutes before going on our way.

That night,  I was wearing a nice outfit, including a new jacket that fit and flattered.  (As an aside, fit is at least 33% of making clothing work for you.  This was the first top I had ever bought in petite size.  It’s amazing what proper-length sleeves and no excess fabric on the back does for your look)  I looked quite presentable, which is more than what can be said for how I looked the previous week.  I would have been embarassed to meet any of his friends/business associates that night.

A husband and wife is a team, and in addition to all the other ways in which they support each other, they should each be a flattering reflection of the other.  Your appearance and comportment does have an effect on how your husband is viewed by others.  Make it a positive one.

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I Love me!

“When it comes to other adults, I refuse to be more invested in an issue than the people who are directly affected by it. So, in your case, if you don’t value your health, I don’t care about your health either. It’s your party, you can unnecessarily die an early death if you want to. Your free and voluntary choice to set yourself up for unnecessary health problems does not trouble me. To the tune of the Isley Brothers: {“it’s your thang, do what you wanna do…”}”  –Khadija of The Sojourner’s Passport blog, http://sojournerspassport.com/

What does the world see when they look at you? 

A woman who holds herself in high esteem, or one who doesn’t necessarily think she’s worth a whole heck of alot?

And how does that influence how you are treated?

I was going to do a longer post, and maybe I”ll flesh it out a bit later.  But, in sum:

If you keep yourself at a healthy weight, step out always with neat hair, groomed nails, makeup, and flattering clothing, you are telling the world that YOU MATTER.  After all, you put in the effort to take care of yourself.

If you are significantly overweight and disheveled, you are telling the world that you don’t hold yourself in high regard and can’t be bothered to treat yourself well.

Don’t be surprised if you are treated with a little more or less regard, accordingly.

Decide you are worth it, and

Go forth and be gorgeous.

Hijab

June 12, 2010

I've been giving this some thought

“Zahra permalink

good post. I scarved with intention upon conversion but as of late – I am conflicted. I do not think it “protects me” and have come to belief many of my Muslim brothers only see me as potential Fitna. I feel the need to be ashamed of my gender, the pressure to lock myself away lest I “stir the desires” and it just becomes so lame. I cover. I dress modestly – although Western (oi, I dread the immitating the kaffir lectures), I don’t act like a hootchie, have manners, etc but it never seems enough for some. I hold down a job (not enough hijab), I question sexist policies at the Mosque (not hijab enough), have a personality (not hijab enough). Good hijab in these parts is the demure, stay at home at all costs sister with nary a concern in the world outside of pleasing God and hubby. That isn’t the faith I was drawn too. It makes me sad and depressed. I want to swim! I want to go to the gym! I want to breathe. Think of how much time we spend explaining how we aren’t oppressed and think of how often within our communities we are just that – oppressed. I guess after 7 years it gets hard to keep trying to give the same old “Islam gave women rights 1400 years ago” ….while thinking “and men have been taking them away ever since). Sorry to be a downer, but it is where I am at these days.”

I saved this quote from another blog host’s site so long ago, that I don’t even remember where I got it from.  If I had to guess, though, I say it probably came from Organica’s site.  I’m going to leave it up and chew on it, back to comment insha’allah in a bit.

Fitting in with the fly crowd

I hang out with some fly mamas.

No, really.  Annie has 4 kids under age 10  and still manages to keep a fresh mani/pedi and go to the salon every few months at least for a haircut.  She switches up her haircolor sometimes too.

Mary has 3 as well, and the only time you might catch her out without her makeup is if you run into her at the grocery store at the crack of dawn on a weekend. 

Lainey  is trim enough to look like she never even had children, and “mom jeans” are out of the question.

They are all stay-at-home moms with husbands and young children who particpate in many activities.

They give the lie to the assertion that frumpyness and dumpyness are an inevitable part of mothering young children, to the idea that it just comes with the territory the way cold air comes with winter.  Such an idea can be easy to cave to.  Especially if all of the women you socialize have.  Sitting on the bench at the playground watching your toddlers, you commiserate.  “The baby spits up on me all the time.  I don’t bother with nice shirts anymore.”  “Who has time for a manicure?  It’s all I can do to get a shower everyday!”  “I’m just too busy.  I’ll wear makeup again when the kids are older.”  And so you give each other permission to settle for the “not-as-bad-as-I-COULD” look

It’s a different scenario when you hang out with fly mamas.  You all have little kids and husbands and houses.  Everyone has diapers to change and dinner to make.  They manage to bathe the kids, do the laundry, cook dinner AND step out of the house with an attractive, casual “mommy on the go” look, so why can’t you?  You start to think about trying for “As-good-as-I-can” look.   The three ladies I mentioned above are proof that it can be done, a subtle message to the less-fly mommies around them:  “You could look like this, too.” 

And if you want to look like that, it’s encouraging to know that it can be done.  If you befriend a fly mama, she’ll probably be willing to help you out.  Recently Lainey helped a friend clear her closet of all unflattering and hopelessly outdated clothing.  Next, she and Mary teamed up to take the friend shopping and critique outfits, Clinton and Stacy style. (Meaning, the friend agreed not to buy anything that Lainey and Mary deemed unattractive on her).  I wouldn’t be surprised if a trip to the salon for an updated cut and makeup consultation was next.

Then there will be yet another certified fly mama in the area.  If this keeps up, it could really catch on.  “Pssst.  Come with us to get mani pedis.  Throw out your mom jeans.  Let’s meet for pilates at my house.  Come on… all the cool moms are doing it.” 

Sure, it’s peer pressure.  But it’s the positive kind.

So, I was talking to my BFF about the ongoing     <a href=”http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/11/inner-sanctuary-part-4-are-you-ready-to.html“>Feel Flawless</a> effort. 

The topic, this time, was shoes.  I’m often out and about with my children, and I had fallen into the bad habit of wearing sneakers with my long skirts.  Nice heels aren’t really practical as one of my children has the nasty habit of running heedlessly into the street if his hand is not held.  If he gets a head start on me or breaks away for a second, I need to be nimble and quick to catch him.  Yeah, heels aren’t so good for that.  I commented that I had crossover Mary Janes, something like these:

Much better than sneakers

But so often I just grabbed the sneakers.  I wondered aloud exactly  how bad it looks.  She pulled no punches. “Really bad.”  she said.  I think she went on to use such words as “clunky” and “ridiculous.”

See, a real friend will tell you when you are slipping and need to step up your game.  They’re not going to tell you that all is well when you are busting the seams on your favorite jeans.  She’s not going to pretend that new foundation flatters you if it makes your skin look like you’re wearing a Halloween mask.  She’ll tell you that stylist jacked you up and she will not, not tell you that you look ok wearing some running shoes with an ankle length skirt.

Here’s to all the real friends out there.

I AM talking about how many Black women’s exteriors reflect a total lack of self-worth.  –Khadija

 

You may have heard a woman refer in old movies to getting made up as “putting her face on”. 

As a child and young woman I thought this phrase was silly.  After all, one already has a face.  Makeup is merely an enhancement.

Reflecting on the issues raised in Khadija’s essay about black american women and presentation, (http://muslimbushido.blogspot.com/2008/11/inner-sanctuary-part-4-are-you-ready-to.html ) I’ve completely changed my mind.  When you step out of the house, everything about you from head to toe conveys a message to the world.  Clothes matter. Grooming matters.  People are going to look at you, and the conclusion they reach WILL affect how they treat you. 

You my be kind and intelligent and well read and funny and have a high level of self-respect, but that’s not how it appears to those observing you at the grocery store in a spit-up spotted t-shirt and frayed jeans.  The face you present to the world says alot about who you think you are and how you expect to be treated. 

Here’s blogger Monica Mingo sharing a relevant experience:

For comparison, Monica usually leaves the house looking something like this:

Ready for the world

Ready for the world

Like it or lump it, you can get alot further in life if the image you present to the world is a near-flawless version of yourself.  Even when you keep it casual, you should still polish it up a bit.  You can certainly leave the sparkly eyeshadows and shimmery glosses in the drawer if you are going out to the store.  But dabbing on a bit of foundation, powder, mascara and a smudge of natural lip color will take 5 minutes or less and make a dramatic difference in your appearance.

Be comfortable at home.  Relax at home.  Look sloppy…. yeah that’s right, AT HOME. 

Before you open that front door and step out into the sunshine, make sure your shoes are polished, your teeth are clean, your shirt is ironed, and your “game face” is on.

Love Kara Saun

July 9, 2009

http://clutchmagonline.com/fashion/10-questions/10-questions-with-kara-saun/

Classy

Classy

I’m a Bad Wife

February 16, 2008

Why did it just occur to me last week that I have been letting Mr. Foreverloyal leave the house with a black shirt, khaki pants, and BROWN shoes?

Better get to Zappos asap…

The Jacket

November 1, 2007

patent What you wear sends a message about who you are.  We would like to think that people judge us only on what’s inside, but that just isn’t the case.  Every fashion choice you make is a word, a sentence, some kind of punctuation.  We all make fashion choices everyday, even if we think we are unconcerned with such trivial things.  If you spend time perusing the vogue and glamour to get tips and then put on the latest trends, it says something.  If you throw on whatever is clean, it says something.  Sometimes what you are saying when you get dressed and what other people “hear” when they see you are totally different.

Nothing brought this home to me more than a fashion choice I made some years ago in college.

I was at the mall with friends, shopping at one of those teeny bopper stores, when I saw The Jacket.  I fell in love.  It was (fake) black patent leather done in “jean jacket” style.  Elena said,”Oh ha ha funny. You aren’t really going to buy that.” She was shocked when I walked out with it.

When I walked into the cafeteria the next day wearing my new purchase, Sandra said sarcastically: “You can really tell Foreverloyal is muslim with that jacket on.” Whatever chick! I went right on about my business.

I started getting catcalled.  Dudes trying to approach.  It was uncomfortable.  None of this had ever happened before The Jacket.  But that couldn’t be the cause, could it?  It was just a dang jacket!  I didn’t want to stop wearing it.  It was shiny and happy and fun, like me.  So I kept wearing it.  And I kept getting the same reactions.

Clearly I thought the long skirts, scarves and the jacket were saying: “Happy, fun (not that it’s any of your business), practicing muslima.”  But alot of people were seeing “Happy, fun muslima, but maybe not-so-strict. You’ve got a shot! Go for it.”  As much as I loved that jacket, I had to let it go.  I put it in a bag gave it to the thrift store, hoped it would find a good home. 

Black patent leather is back in.  Foreverloyal is all grown up and married.  I wonder what a long skirt, scarf, wedding ring, tribe of children, and a black patent leather jacket would say?