Beauty, style, fashion. These things are often part of every day in a woman’s life, starting from a very young age. My friend’s 3-year-old daughter loves to wear frilly dresses and gowns because they make her “feel beautiful.” Her twin sister prefers romping around in a comfy pair of jeans and sneakers. At just 3, these girls have their individual style. They also have confidence and great self-esteem, which comes from being loved, listened to and honored in their opinions and choices.
I’m curious to see at what age they start to care about what other people think and when they will start to view themselves through the eyes of their peers. I think it happens to all of us, maybe in middle school, maybe sooner. I recall my seventh-grade math teacher, Mr. Zumphy, commenting that I had a “style of my own,” which made me feel great in my paisley gauchos, long sweater vest and lace-up boots.
In preparation for my first day of eighth grade, I begged my mother to buy me a pair of burnt orange, high-heeled bootie-type shoes, which were the coolest thing I had ever seen. I wore these with a matching mini-dress with a Nehru collar and could not have been happier when the coolest girl in the whole school (an upper classman) said, “Nice shoes.” Never mind the fact that I could barely walk in them and my feet ached for about a week!
I write about a time that was 40-plus years ago, but as I read the stories and columns in this month’s issue of Maine Women Magazine, I see that things have not changed. Women still struggle with their own beauty and style. In Katy Kelleher’s feature piece (page 24), she writes about wearing (or not wearing) makeup. Her experimentation began around the age of 14, and she still goes back and forth on this one. Katie Bell opts for 20 more minutes of sleep most mornings and skips the whole makeup thing (page 40), but admits that she likes the way she looks and feels when she does take the time to primp. Emily Straubel writes about sexual attraction in her Love & Lust column (page 38). It seems that we all want to be desired, and it’s really hard to predict who might desire us and why things just don’t click sometimes.
Maureen Emerson, who appears on our cover this month, learned to love her natural beauty, her springy hair and her passion for nurturing others. She has it all right when she comments, “Our royal robe is our flesh. That is not vanity.” Read more of her story on page 18.
In case you missed it!
Maine Women Magazine’s inaugural Maine Women’s Expo brought hundreds of women together for an afternoon of fun, learning, sampling and shopping. The Expo was held Nov. 5 at Portland’s Ocean Gateway and proceeds from over 750 tickets sold will go to Crossroads, a provider of gender-responsive addiction and behavioral health treatment services in Maine. Check out photos from the event on page 44 and stay tuned to www.mainewomenmagazine.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for information on future events.
As always, thank you for making Maine Women Magazine a part of your busy life. Happy Holidays and all the best for a beautiful season of joy.