Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fashionista goes bashinista

I struggled to open the large glass doors that were twice my size. Managing to awkwardly wedge half my body between them, I squeezed myself in and let the weight of the doors shut behind me. I was on a mission to find the nail salon for which I had purchased a groupon. This girl was getting a 50% off mani/pedi and to say that I was in need of one was a massive understatement.

I have not permitted myself to wear open-toed shoes yet. Nor have I taken my socks off in pilates class at the gym. No way. They would have called me Wilma Flintstone with the atrocity that was the current state of my toes. And today was the day of bringing beauty to that which was lost - the polish on my toes.

I found my way to the salon and endured the foot scrubbing. I hate it because I'm extremely ticklish; the nail technician probably hates having to deal with my leg convulsions even more as my uncontrollable leg jerks away from her hand anytime she reaches for a heel scrub. While she trimmed the cuticles, I gripped my magazine so tightly that I creased it. I don't even enjoy the process of getting a mani/pedi. It hurts and I'm ticklish. But no pain, no beauty gain, right?

The mani/pedi was complete and I was quite pleased with my Frair Frair Pants on Fire OPI color choice. Happy that I had endured the scrubbing and pricking, I decided to venture out around the mall with the extra time I had on my hands and see if I could find a shirt for work. The dress for my office is business attire. Let's just say I weekly cross the line of what should be considered business attire as I mix and match clothing articles I wore in college.  I throw a thin belt around a shirt and some heels on and voilĂ !

There were two stores in which I was interested to see if they would have a cute button-down collared shirt for my budget of $1.50. Grin. In the first store, I tried on several pieces of clothing and put them back. The second store I wanted to check out was on the complete opposite side of the mall. By the time I'd made my way there, I was completely disinterested in trying anything on and couldn't even make myself walk through the store. I was done


Perhaps it's because I haven't stepped foot in a mall in many months. Perhaps it's because I'd spent that afternoon in solitude. I turned on no television. I called no one. I text no one. I wrote in my journal. I sat outside with our 65 lb. boxer mix Hudson and watched the birds. I spoke aloud to the Lord. I jealously guarded this rare Saturday in which I was by myself with the Lover of my soul and had little responsibilities.

There are likely a myriad of reasons involved in why yours truly, fashionista, went all the sudden bashinista on the mall. I walked slowly back through the mall to get to my car. Overstimulated with sounds and sights, I got the heebie jeebies there in the midst of the women's makeup section. It was just too much. (Mind you, this is coming from a woman who loves makeup). The larger-than-life posters on display that tried to tell me I wasn't pretty enough. The beautiful clothes every inch around me that tried to tell me I needed them in order to be in style. The individuals in the mall decked from head to toe whose mere hipness contrasted against my Saturday favorites: a white v-neck tshirt and a boyfriend style pair of jeans with holes in them (on the knees of course). The mannequins and employees alike whose proper appearance and form marketed that thinness was in and anything else was not. The absolute excess of all things that advertised one would need more to be happy.

As much as I love clothes and style, I got out of that mall. A battle had taken place in my mind where beauty, form and excess took an unforeseen jab at my spiritual gut. And I briefly fell victim to its power. That's when I made a u-turn in the mall and headed to my car. With each step back, I declared my lack of agreement with what I saw. I looked at certain store signs and window displays and quietly told them how much I did not need them, how beautiful I was, how pursued I was. Under my breathe, I spoke to inanimate objects to be sure they knew I had been beautifully and wonderfully made. (Don't tell me a particular poster or image hasn't shouted back at you in the mall before about how not good enough you are.)

I understand this sounds so completely hyper-spiritual. You must know that I am too girly at heart not to love shopping, good clothes and fashion. I love it. But what I don't love is that our fashion and shopping culture too often dictate the impossible, either in image, worth or financial stewardship. And during my unsuspecting stroll on Saturday, the enjoyment of that which can be good turned into a battle of ugly.

I'm sure I'll be back at the mall before I know it. But one thing is for certain, when I'm older and grey, I don't think I'll join the ladies' walking group that makes laps in their local mall. Nope. I'll take my sweatsuit into the great outdoors amidst the beauty of a creation that still doesn't reflect the beauty of God like you and I, who were made in His image.

1 comment:

Linda said...

I love this and have often felt the same way!