The Uniform

My daughter sent me a picture recently. It was her and her roommates on a rooftop at some party. I asked her what the theme of the party was.

She said “what theme?”

And I said: “Well, you’re all in medium fade jeans and black tank tops. You’re all wearing white sneakers. And it even looks like your apple watch bands match.”

She responded: Nah.” No theme. That’s just the XYZ University started pack for weekend evenings.”

And I laughed. Because the group of kids most responsible for screaming about individuality and having 50 ways to express one’s sexuality is also the group most likely to become conformists.

And my daughter sent me a group shop of other people, and I saw what she meant: a bunch of young women in almost the exact same outfit. The guys all in jeans and graphic T shirts and sneakers…

So what makes these kids do this? Is it a feeling of belonging to a community? Or are they actually too scared to show who they really are?

I have friends who, like me, wear black most of the time. And then when they go on vacation, they attempt to figure out the style of the place they are going and adapt their wardrobe to that place. (FYI- I get that if you go to a tropical resort you may have to change up your style as your furry boots and wool turtlenecks might not work) I mean going to someplace with the same temperatures, but having a different style/look than you normally do.

Do you do this to blend in?


Do you do this to not stand out?

Are you adapting because you want to fully experience the place where you are, to add to the interest of your trip? Or are you trying not to be seen at all?

Now I fully admit that the style and look of the clothes my daughter wears is the same in DC as it is in NYC- her favorite clothes here are her favorite clothes there. So maybe this is just how Gen Z dresses…but I really don’t know

But now think about yourself: Do you dress in the clothes that make you feel confident from the inside? Or do you dress to feel accepted from the outside?

I know I feel more confident in my battery of black dresses and shirts and sweaters. I like the solid neutral palate that I can dress up with fun accessories. That’s my look and I’m sticking with it, no matter where I go or what I’m doing or who I’m with.

So how do you dress? As you like it, or as others do?

I’ve Got The Feeling in Me

In April I saw Pink live at the Prudential Center in Newark.  I happen to love Pink- she is talented and brilliant and empowering. She wears her individuality proudly: she is who she is, and doesn’t care what you think.

But here’s the funny thing I noticed about the Pink concert: the amount of people there who looked like Pink.  I don’t mean facial resemblance: I mean people who have imitated her look.  Same haircut.  Tattoos.  Clothing style.  Everything.

This aesthetic is not solely devoted to Pink fans though.  I live close to a live music venue, The Gramercy.  As The Gramercy is standing room only, I often see the attendees lined up outside, waiting to get in so they can procure the best spot.  More often than not I can tell exactly what type of performer is playing without googling the name on the marquee by how the crowd is dressed.  The crowd often mimics the musicians.

So.  Are people fans of the music, or devotees of the musician?  Are these things mutually exclusive?

I am not going to dress like Gene Simmons circa KISS.  I am not going to cut my hair and dye it so I can resemble Pink.  But what makes people mimic the style of a performer?  Is it the Oscar Wilde statement about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery?  Or is it something else?  Do we feel more comfortable adopting a style if we see someone else wearing it?  Is there something deeper?

Music plays a very large part in many peoples lives.  Music helps define moods and feelings in ways other things can not. So I understand why it’s easy to idolize a singer or a band or a performer- they are relatable and make you feel, and often verbalize all the secrets that you keep buried deep inside.  You listen to their music and you don’t feel weird or lonely: you think, wow, this person is just like me.  And you revel in the thought that you are not alone, there are others who share the same thoughts and ideas and feelings.  I get that.  But is there a point where it goes from a healthy outlet for the mind to a dangerous obsession?  What is the point where idolizing a celebrity goes too far?  Are you dressing like Pink because you think “Wow, that’s a great look, and I know that would work for me” or “Well, Pink does it, so I guess it’s fine if I do it too.”

There’s nothing wrong with copying a style: there’s an entire industry devoted to that.  We all do it to a certain extent. But remember, you can  wear anything that you want- it’s window dressing.  But you have to be comfortable with the way you are on the inside.  Your clothes, your haircut- they don’t really make you confident.  How you feel about yourself does.  Don’t adapt a look just because you think it will make you awesome..  Do the things that will make you feel awesome.  And that may. or may not include dressing like a pop star.




Say “Yes” to the…

In February, A Utah elementary school told its students that they were not allowed to say “No” to anyone asking them to the Valentine’s Dance.

The school later overturned this decision due to parental complaints.

Ya think?

Telling girls and boys that they must say “YES” to a someone because the asker might feel bad if declined?


Let me let you in on a secret. You don’t have to like everyone just because everything in our society includes a like button. (FYI- you still must like my posts, because I exist outside of these boundaries)

Think back to my post yesterday. I discussed how some parents try to pave the way for their child so that the child has no set backs or disappointments.  This dance thing- this is what happens when you try to clear the path: ridiculous rules meant to save a child from suffering.

Does anyone really think this is the right path?

The problem is, we’re focusing on the wrong issues.  Yes, we want our children to feel good about themselves, but there are better ways to do that.  Think about the ramifications that a “must say yes” mentality has?  Besides the fact that it is not realistic at all.

Instead of making children “like” one another, why don’t we focus on being kind to one another.  Kind.  That’s a concept that our children should be taught.  Be a kind person.

How about respect.  Teach your child to be respectful to those around them, whether they are teachers, or students or anyone.  Tell them to respect the ideas of others whether or not you agree with them.  Tell them to stop the shaming, and the eye rolling and the trolling.

We have a generation of children raised on everyone gets a trophy, and everyone must be invited to everything.

How’s that working out?

Instead of worrying that someone might not feel confident if they are told no, let’s work in building self esteem the proper way.  Work hard, do the best you can, finish a task once it’s started.

Let’s work on teaching children to be kind to others.  This doesn’t mean they have to like everyone.  It just means that they treat them with dignity.  Let’s teach our kids to be respectful of others.  Again, not like, but accept.

And remember the most important thing: learn to like yourself.  Teach your children to like their quirks, their strengths and their weaknesses.  Because that ‘s the person to like: yourself.



I’m going to do a little weaving experiment.  I’m going to take two different thoughts and try to put them together.  Let’s see if this works.

Warp: There’s a Frasier episode where a focus group listens to his radio show.  19 people love the show, one doesn’t.  Frasier is unable to accept the fact that one person doesn’t like his show.

I think we all want to be liked.  I’m guessing it’s a survival instinct: if people like us, we are more likely to survive.  Most people do not go out of their way to be miserable to others (except my MIL who will go to ends to make my life a living hell)

But has liking become an obsession?

Have we made the “like” button essential to our self confidence?

Weft: I was recently talking to a blog friend. We discussed how difficult it can be to write about personal issues, because we don’t know how it will be received by our readers. We worry about being liked if we share too many things about our lives.

I try to be very honest in my blog.  I am trying to accept myself, be happy with me.  This starts with honesty.  When I write I share my frustrations and vulnerabilities.  I share my high points and the things that make me happy.  I do this at the risk of being mocked, of being scorned, of being debased.  Yet, I do it anyway.


Because I spent a good deal of my youth being dishonest.  Dishonest with those around me, but more importantly, dishonest with myself.  I was so intent on being liked, that I would morph myself into what was expected of me.  I tried to be the daughter my parents wanted, the sibling my sister wanted, the friend, the girlfriend, the roommate…You get the idea.  I tried to be everyone except myself.

This is not a good lifestyle choice.

Then one day I decided that I was good enough just as I was. (score one for maturity and wisdom with age)  I didn’t need to be anyone else.  I needed to be me, whether or not people liked me.  People liking me wasn’t going to help my self esteem if I didn’t like myself.  So I began my journey to be true to myself.

When I blog I tell you how I’m feeling.  This is not easy:  exposing yourself to the world is not easy.  But it makes me stronger.  Every time I tell you how I feel, I feel a little better about myself.  This is me.  This is who I am.  Accept me, don’t accept me.  It doesn’t really matter what you think of me.  I know what I think of myself, and I like it.