Just Try

Posted by: La-Tessa

SnoopySinger Colbie Caillat recently released the music video for “Try” {posted below}.  The song, and it’s message, struck a chord immediately.

The opening lyrics to “Try” are:

Put your make-up on
Get your nails done
Curl your hair
Run the extra mile
Keep it slim so they like you, do they like you?

And here is part of the chorus:

You don’t have to try so hard
You don’t have to, give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don’t have to change a single thing

The song is about women in general, who try so hard, either through dieting, make up, spending money, etc.,  to get people to like and accept them; to get society to like and accept them. This song, and it’s video, beautifully expresses the theme of the  Seven Dress Sizes collection. While watching this video, my mind went immediately to this particular collection of short stories.

No, not just because I have a story included in this anthology, but because I think we (regardless of age or sex) need more stories like this in the world and in circulation.  They need to be read, to be discussed, and most importantly, they are needed as a counterbalance to all the “standard of beauty” none sense that our girls and boys are being indoctrinated with.  Seven Dress Sizes takes you into the lives of seven different modern women.  All struggling, in a full scope of shapes and sizes, to find the keys to unlocking their confidence, self worth, and acceptance of their individual brands of beauty.

My grandma use to tell me all the time: “Don’t eat anything prepared by a cook that won’t eat their own cooking.”   This is a creative paraphrase as I can’t remember exactly what she said, but you get the idea.  Why would you eat anything (no matter how desirable it sounds, looks, or smells)  if the person who made it won’t eat it?  There are so many people out there in the world that are willing to hurt, maim, starve, nearly kill, or bankrupt themselves all to get other people to like and accept them, when they can’t even like and accept themselves.

We face so many societal pressures, and not just women, members of all minority groups (be them based on sex, race, or privilege).  There has been a time when we’ve all been caught up on trying to be something we’re not, just for the sake of fitting in, or not being ridiculed, or gaining something we think we want/need.  As a mom of 3, I am hyperaware of the many negative images and pressures that exist in our world. I wore myself out trying to keep all these negative influences away from my children. I then took a different approach.  Yes, I still teach my kids right from wrong, but I also place a high priority on allowing them to develop their own personalities, their own interests, and their own quirks.  But giving them this freedom to grow is not enough, I make them to own up and accept themselves for what they are: the things that make them unique, special, and beautiful.

Most of the time, this is involves lots of jokes and laughter. You should SEE some of the outfits my youngest puts together, but as long as it is age and weather appropriate and doesn’t clash too horribly, I let her roll with it.  I can’t tell you the number of times I joke with my son about his love of all things camping and outdoor survival related (seriously, I’ve NO CLUE where he got that from, because it most certainly didn’t come from me).  But hey, he’s not harming anyone and he’s learning valuable skills.  So even though it’s not my thing, or most people’s thing,  it’s perfectly okay that it’s his thing.

But sometimes a serious conversation is needed to reinforce their values, morals, and norms, AND to reassure them they are fine the way they are. I tell them often they cannot, nor will not, ever please everyone all the time. Once my daughter came home in tears and wanted to cut her locs off–which are halfway down her back– because someone told her she “looked like a boy” with them. My response to her was “We can cut your hair if you want you, it’s 100% your decision.  You are beautiful with or without locs, with long or short hair.  However, we are NOT cutting your hair because of something stupid and idiotic some child said to you.”  It took her a couple of months to think on this, she decided she didn’t want to cut her hair after all. :-)

This is my way of instilling a strong sense of self confidence, self worth, and self love  in them.  This is something that took me nearly 30 years to grown into and develop on my own.  I wanted to give them a leg up on the learning curve. I think it’s working and wish more adults would start living and loving for them, not some unobtainable society standard.

Hey, go be you!  Try loving and accepting you for exactly who and what you are. Try not downing those that are not like you or that don’t live up to your standard of beauty, whatever that is.  I’m not saying don’t strive to improve yourself, no one is perfect.  But try looking at yourself with an honest filter vs. the hypersensitive, harsh one.

Just try.

 


7 Dress Sizes

 

 

What is a woman’s worth ? What is beauty? Depending on culture, commercialism, family, or our peers, men and woman have allowed society to dictate a woman’s worth based on nothing more than the outer shell of her existence.

There is no perfect number. No measurement or shape is safe under the judgmental eyes of the world.

No eyes can judge a woman as harshly as her own.

 

 

**Music & lyrics are property and copyright of their owners; provided here for educational purposes and personal use only.

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2 Responses to “Just Try”

  1. Shelly Picarella Says:

    This is beautiful. You have a way with giving a flowing grace to the blunt truth. When I saw this video, my heart sang along with the words I didn’t yet know. I also thought of Seven Dress Sizes and the message. It is a message not stated nearly enough and not common enough and the way this video stands out is a perfect example of that fact, just like the love Seven Dress Sizes has received. We’ve got to keep it going. We have to light a fire so big it never fades. I always love reading your spin on things. Thanks for sharing another piece of your heart with the world.

  2. La-Tessa Says:

    Thank you Shelly! I try to be true to myself when I do these pieces.

    And yes, we need to keep the message of Seven Dress Sizes alive and well. Beauty resides in the eyes of the beholders, which means there are different strokes for different folks. :-)

    While beauty may be the initial switch that gets flipped, it’s confidence and self respect that opens the door for more. (IMO)