Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Over the past six months I’ve come to realize that most women seem to carry around a cracked mirror. It’s a reflection only they can see and it showcases only their ‘flaws’. It seems to make no difference the weight, age, shape or nationality. They walk into my store and ask for something that will hide ‘the flaw’. They step in front of the three way mirror and see only ‘the flaw’.  Some stand way back from the mirror, not even stepping on the stage. They seem to be almost afraid of what they will see.  It’s frustrating and heartbreaking to watch a woman of any size stress over that flaw.  And as an outsider, there seems to be nothing I can do but help to find clothes that minimize 'the flaw' and maximize their assets.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Some answers are obvious. The bride whose mother says “You can’t buy that dress. Your butt looks huge!” The women for whom the years have taken more of a physical toll then is fair. The teen who seems to be fighting a losing battle with her weight. And some are just simple body shape concerns. You’ve heard the terms the “apple”, the “pear”, the “rectangle”.  These are the women that, if anything, it is easy to help. Gowns with a princess cut to emphasize the waist, tops with blingy detailing to draw the eye upward, skirts just the right length to make the leg look longer, ruched in just the right spot to create that hourglass, an empire waist to help hide a baby belly.

But then there are the girls and women who have the figures the rest of us envy. The 5’9” girl who is frustrated because she’s too tall. The 36/24/36 who is convinced her hips are “huge”. The slender leggy woman who feels ‘shapeless’. The petite woman who feels like she looks like a little girl playing dress up no matter what she trys on.

I’ve had these and more in my store in the past few months. And I wonder, how do I help these women see how beautiful they are when all they can see is that cracked mirror?

 When I decided to purchase this store I made a choice to be the salesperson I would want to deal with. In other words, not a salesperson at all, but to play the role of a good friend you can count on to be honest no matter what. I will never tell a woman she looks great in something just to make a sale.  By the same token I do practice tact and I will not tell you you look like crap lol. But if it’s totally the wrong colour or cut or style I will suggest you try on something different.

When these women come into my store, most especially the ones with the horribly cracked mirrors, we play dress up. We talk about how each gown or suit or dress works or doesn’t work. And item by item I do what little I can to help with those cracks so they can see the beautiful women they really are.

Every woman of every age and body type should have at least one thing in their closet that makes them feel beautiful. And I really hope I can help with that.

The real trick is when they can stand in front of a mirror naked and realize the same thing. No matter what you may think your mirror says, we are all beautiful to someone. And that first someone should be ourselves.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome, Jessica! Thank you for this post.

~ Homegirl