Monday, October 5, 2015

27 Days Left - Lessons I've Learned as an Expat

Does it matter how we present ourselves to others?  Does it matter if we take time to look nice when we walk out our front door?  What about if we need to run to the store to grab a gallon of milk?  I don't know if there is a right or wrong time to look nice, to take the time to put some effort into our appearance, but living overseas has shown me how little Americans care about their appearance.  

I remember this revolt against Barbie and what sort of model she was to our little girls.  We talked about the negative image our girls had to compete with.  But what about the positive?  What about the fact that Barbie combs her hair and takes the time to put a bit of makeup on?  In a row of Barbies looking out from their shiny boxes, all their outfits are coordinated, they are ironed and look professional.  It's as if Barbie is saying "I'm a woman and I'm proud of it."  I don't think all of it is bad.

I've noticed in many other parts of the world, women care about how they look in the grocery store, or walking down the street.  They wear dresses and slacks.  I'm not talking about a slutty sort of look, but rather, a refreshing, feminine look.  And it carries power with it.  These women stand tall and look you in the eye.  

It's rubbed off on me.  I take more care in how I look when I walk out my front door.  Sure, there are times I want to run to the grocery store in my lazy clothes, but I try really hard not to.   I find myself choosing dresses or skirts more often and having a bit of fun with shoes and hair accessories.  I've also discovered that it really doesn't take much more time to put myself together, it's more of an attitude.  That mental choice to look nice when I go out affects how I feel when I'm in the store or just walking down the street.  I feel happier, and more in charge of life.  It's a positive benefit to a small choice.  

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