Tuesday, May 22, 2007

America the...

Beautiful? Nope, America the Slobby. This has been brewing in the back of my mind for a long time now, but tonight as I took Ava to the library and grocery store, it hit me in the chest like a ton of bricks. The majority of us, myself included, really don't seem to care what we look like in public. We will throw on our dumpiest, rattiest, most unappealing clothing and go out in public. Just stand in a crowded area and notice the slovenly attire most people are wearing. Lots of women have their hair pulled back in scraggly pony tails, no make-up, dumpy t-shirts and worn out flip flops. Tonight I went out in a pair of capris that don't flatter me at all, and an old t-shirt. I didn't have a stitch of make-up on, and my hair was sort of messed up. Ava had cheeto stains all over her t-shirt and he hair had never been fixed all day. The thing is, we actually looked the same as, or better than the majority of other folks out there tonight. What happened to the days of wearing dresses, heels, and pearls around the house? Now we don't even wear those out. Frankly, I started to feel embarrassed tonight. I was embarrassed for myself, that I had allowed myself to leave the house looking so unkempt. And, embarrassed for our country as a whole that such a huge majority of us have seemed to lose all concern for looking decent. Now, I am the last person to say we should get caught up in appearances, or try to impress people with our clothing. But, I am thinking we should be making a little bit more of an effort to dress neatly before walking out of the house. I don't think "comfy" has to necessarily mean "disheveled." And we don't have to spend hours on our hair and make-up, but let's not settle for completely ungroomed. I've just suddenly become hyper-aware about this, and it's not because I am above it. Oh no. I am right there looking as trashy as the rest of America. Starting tomorrow though, I am really going to try and change my attitude about this. I think personally there are several reasons why I've allowed myself to present such a messy appearance. Part of it may be that I am lazy and don't feel like taking the time to spruce up just to run to the store. Maybe I don't feel good enough about myself to think it's worth taking the time to make myself presentable. I guess I figure nobody cares anyway so why bother. But the truth is I know I feel better about myself and have a better outlook on life when I am neat in my appearance. I should take the time to do it, even if I don't plan on leaving the house, because it changes my attitude from the inside out.

7 comments:

Kristi said...

Ouch! Yet so true. I have really been convicted of how we present ourselves, the girls and I, to William when he arrives home from work. Mostly we are a mess! I am trying to get us cleaned up and ready to greet him.

I love your challenge!

Stormy said...

I attended a ladies class at RE a couple of years ago that talked about this. Basically it was said that one way of honoring our spouse was to look nice when they came in from work. That is something I struggle with, I get busy and loose the time. I am just as bad about going out in public in whatever mess I look like. I think I will just be a minute, so it doesn't matter. It does matter, I also like the challenge. I will work on it.

Stephanie said...

This is one thing that drives me nuts too! I dont know if I learned it from my mom (probably), but I will not go out of my house without at least looking fairly decent. Now that doesn't mean that I look great at all...at least decent. But honestly, I dont ever look at other people closely enough to really notice how they look.

Dara said...

I have actually been working on the opposite of this. I never go out of the house without making at least a minor effort to look neat. I have always felt better from the inside out if I attempt to look nice. Some people have said I should work on "relaxing" more and not worry about being "neat." I have noticed when I do this, although I am much more relaxed, I do tend to feel more lazy and not as good in general. I also don't seem to be able to accomplish as much. Lazy mentality? Who knows, but it is a good experiment!

I think I may stick to a somewhat neat appearance on a daily basis. It does help me mentality feel like I can take on the day!

Brooke said...

I completely "get" this. Only on rare occasions have I gone into public without make-up, but I loved to be "dressed-down." I don't think I'm too bad yet, but I not running after kids yet. I enjoy watching What Not To Wear. I'm amazed at how some people forget to take pride in themselves. When you think you look good, you feel better and have more confidence. Growing up, I never had the "right" jeans or whatever, and I grew to dislike materialism greatly. I still think you can look nice without buying into the idea thay you have to have something. I like this challenge!

Lindsay said...

Totally agree. No need for materialism but a need to take care of yourself and present yourself as the Temple of Christ. I will go without makeup but my husband swears up and down that is okay - but I try to look okay. Ever since staying home I have been pretty grungy b/c I am with toddlers who are getting me dirty! I love it though. It does make me feel less energized but that goes with the job right now. I would not have it any other way.

Lindsay said...

When I say yourself - I am including myself in that - I should have said ourselves to be more clear. Sorry if my earlier comment was misconstrued - oh I used a big word! :)