Confession: I’ve been spending the past twenty-four hours obsessing about my wardrobe based on an off the cuff jocular remark made by a friend over the fact that I was wearing a pair of jeans and the baggiest t-shirt I own.
While I know logically he was taking a stab at being funny by pointing out that I was dressed like a soccer mom, the remark registered on my radar more as a low blow than humorous.
I’m going to excuse the fact that coming from a guy, the negative comment on the day’s clothing choice came off vaguely objectifying… I owe to no one nothing on what I may choose to wear on any given day irregardless of anyone else likes it or not, but honestly? That wasn’t why I got mad. Choosing to rage on that finer point of contention misses the point entirely.
Which is I got upset for far more personal, far more complex reasons.
I got mad because getting dressed every morning is a psychological struggle for me… One in which I don’t win, because irregardless of what I choose to wear, I have an inner critic yelling obscenities at me about how whatever I’m wearing is somehow inappropriate.
If I wear jeans and a t-shirt, I didn’t try hard enough. If I put on a dress, I’m clearly looking for unwanted attention. If I wear sneakers, I have no pride. If I wear heels, I’m cow towing to what “the man” wants of me. If I wear makeup, I’m a slut. If I don’t wear makeup, I’m never going to get a promotion. The list goes on… In short, my inner critic hits me with every conflicting message that has ever been laid out for me as to how I should dress, act and be as a woman.
Silencing that voice for the day is difficult in it’s own right.
Having a friend trigger it out of the blue… That kinda sucks.
But ultimately, at the end of the day, my reaction is my own problem. My insecurities? My own problem. Working through them? My own problem.
I mean, sure… I can tell my friend, “Low blow, bro,” and ask him not to do it again.
(And I did… but unfortunately I think it probably clocked in on the passive-aggressive richter scale at about 7, so he’s probably sitting over there shaking his head thinking, “Bitches be cray cray!”)
But I can’t control what comes out of his mouth. Or anyone else’s mouth for that matter. I can only control and honor my own reactions to it.
And at the end of the day? What matters is I learned something about myself.