Keep it Real Wednesday
October 2, 2019
My daughter Amanda was visiting a few weeks ago and looked in horror at some of the bras in my drawer, many which were double digits in age (don’t judge me). She knows how much I hate bra shopping and said she wanted to introduce me to a store where shopping for bras was stress free and without judgement. What? On what planet?
So, I begrudgingly went bra shopping with her to a store called Aerie. It was literally a life changing hour for me. Not only are the bras seriously comfortable and easy to wear, but the dressing rooms were incredible. I knew I had to share this experience with my own mother.
So, last week Rosemary and I set off on a bike ride to a few stores and I told her I needed to show her something special. We parked the blessing bike outside of Aerie and went inside. The sales people were excited about helping a 93-year-old find a bra, but I told them we would do that another day. Today was a just a field trip to see their dressing room.
When I brought Rosemary in the dressing room and showed her the mirror, her eyes filled with wonder at the post it notes framing the huge wall mirror. “What do all these notes say?”, she asked. I told her the notes were from people who were in this room before her to try on bras. The idea is to support each other as women and to pass on positive and uplifting thoughts. Here is a sampling of some of the notes:
You are beautiful just the way you are
You are enough
Looking good girl
You are gorgeous
It looks good, I promise
Love your stretch marks, I do
You have everything you need
Your body is rockin in that
I bet there were a hundred post it notes. There were even blank ones and a sharpie so a customer can add to the collection.
The young sales girl watched with her eyes welling with tears as I read these notes to Rosemary and she hung on every word. It was a moment to span generations of sisterhood.
Rosemary and I talked on the way home and she cried a little bit. She said this current generation is getting it right. When she grew up, there was such pressure to look a certain way and it often came at a great price. She shared an experience she had in her teen years when her mother bought her a bathing suit, but it didn’t have the breast padding because she didn’t think she needed it. Rosemary thought otherwise so she cut up a kotex pad and stuffed one in either side of her bathing suit. Of course, at the first dip in the water, the pads filled up with water, came apart, and she was humiliated. She never went swimming after that – ever. She never learned to swim.
I listened to Rosemary and thought about my own generational experiences with body image and societal expectations and I don’t think my generation got it right either.
But…this next generation? Oh, heck yes. They are getting it right. Kudos to Aerie with their mission to encourage body positivity for all women! Even the models in their advertising and posters are not retouched. If you look close enough at the pictures, you will recognize yourself as you see a bit of cellulite, stretch marks, dimples, rolls and skin imperfections. That’s us – that is who we are. We are all perfectly imperfect.
Big thumbs up from Rosemary!