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Monday, September 1, 2014

Try

Posted on IATG website on 10/16/14

Recently, one of my young gymnasts informed me that she had BIG plans for after practice. In fact, she really didn't want to be at practice. She had already straightened her hair, applied her make up and set out her outfit for the evening.

I said, "Let me guess… high waisted shorts and a crop top?" I was half right. She was wearing a crop top, with leggings and a very cute flannel shirt to be tied around her waist.

That's very IN right now.

I giggled and then asked which boys were going to be there, because, obviously she was excited to be all dolled up and going out with friends. She filled me in on the new friends she had made and her excitement to begin high school in a few weeks. And as she began to complain again about getting her hair all sweaty and developing a "ponytail bump," I could feel a slightly teachable moment approaching.  So, in all of my Yoda-like wisdom I said, "You know, those boys are going to like you whether your hair is up or down. You shouldn't be afraid to sweat at practice… because if they don't like you with your hair in a ponytail, they aren't going to like you with it down either. And those are the boys who are absolutely NOT WORTH IT.

She laughed a sort of, "I know you're right but I still want to look cute," chuckle and then proceeded to tell me she wasn't dressing to impress the boys. She was dressing to impress the other girls.

My jaw dropped.

The raw honesty completely set me back. She was right. I do it too. I can remember trying on 8 million different things for events, parties, gatherings, etc. in college. At one point, I had four roommates, and four opinions for every evening out. 75% of the time, I wasn't even wearing my own clothes because someone else in my house had something cuter to offer. And as I've never been overly aggressive when it comes to hitting on guys (let's face it… I'm a pretty solid wallflower), I still found myself obsessing over my wardrobe, my hair and my make up. Why? Because the girls were going to judge me.

A recent, "no make up, messy bun,
I'm going for a run" selfie. #noshame
Perhaps in my new life, I've forgotten a lot of these things. You see, I've been so focused on appreciating myself these days that I've let go of some of these self-harming tendencies. Ladies, we CANNOT focus on impressing everyone else. We CANNOT spend our precious time stressing out about what clothes we are going to wear, if our hair is perfectly straight or if our handbag is going to accent our outfit well enough. Our minds are FAR too important to be wasted on wondering if everyone else is satisfied with our appearance.

Instead, we should get dressed in the morning and be confident in our choice- even if it is a t-shirt and yoga pants (my wardrobe of choice most days). Instead of spending an hour in front of the mirror making sure our hair and make up are perfect, we should take a few minutes to watch the news, get informed with what is going on in the world, call a friend or read a bible verse.

I'm not saying we should all fly off the handle and stop showering and taking care of ourselves at all. But your best accessory is your attitude. So wear it well and make sure it rubs off on someone else!

I love the song "Try ," by Colbie Caillat because it is SO true and so beautiful. It has an amazing message about not surrendering to the media's portrayal of what is beautiful. Being yourself is the most perfect expression of beauty. So, ladies… let's stop trying so hard to be someone else. And just be ourselves. There's no effort involved in being yourself, you don't even have to try.

Love True,
Allison