Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Head Gear

In my teen years I was so uncomfortable with my body. I was as skinny as a string bean, extremely self-conscious of my big nose, braces and chipped teeth. In grade eight I remember wearing the same t-shirt almost every day until I realized I was wearing the same t-shirt every day. Also burned into my brain is the memory of my brother having a hot friend over, and as I was talking to him I became acutely aware that I was wearing my full helmet head gear (I have another great self-awareness story that involves Taylor Kitsch coming into my back yard to find my mom, sister and I in a beached dingy filled with water, but that's a story for another day) Ahhh, self-awareness, sort of like a punch to the gut. 

I asked my mom to take me shopping and I found a forest green, silk crop jacket embroidered with flowers and a pair of white jeans. I dressed in the outfit for my grade 8 school dance and my brother walked into my room and said, "You actually look sort of good." That's a big compliment coming from a 14 year old boy. I only recently sent the jacket off to Sally-Ann. 

I was 19 when I realized the way I dressed could alter how I was perceived by people. I had a few more curves, the braces were gone and I fell in love with fashion magazines. I poured over editorials for hours, studying how dressing could be an art form. I worked hard at being fashionable and even though I received compliments on my clothing choices I still felt like I was sporting head gear (Now I wish I had a head gear picture because seriously, it was a beast). 

What was the lesson here? Identity issues cannot be masked by what's on the outside. I needed to be grounded in my faith, who God created me to be, how I was perceived by him. That took time, humility and a good husband who thought I looked most beautiful first thing in the morning, no make-up, old t-shirt, stinky breath. 

Now there's now. I'm almost 30, I've given birth twice and usually the only clothes I buy are for little people. Despite the vast changes to my size and shape, I like getting dressed because it's no longer for other people and it is my choice of art form (sometimes not pretty art. C'mon yoga pants are comfy). I don't take it too seriously. I.e. the skinny jeans I'm sporting are cleverly held up by an elastic band, the black dress can be yanked to the side for quick nursing access.

Who are you dressing for?


  1. I love it when you tell stories about Taylor Kitsch.

  2. I wish I had more but he was kind of forgettable back then. Just another skinny teenage boy.

  3. Tami, do you recognize the black dress? I must return it!