Dressing Jr. Haute

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Bismillah!

Simplicity 5827I posted a few things on Facebook about dressing modest young girls.  I thought I’d share them here. One of the first things that I do, when styling Jr. Haute, is seek her opinion.  She has her own style and opinion.  I never want her to feel like she’s being made to dress this way.  I let her express her Islam as only she knows how. The other key to styling your Jr. Haute is to re-imagine what we call a dress, pajamas, or a costume.  Some of both her and my best pieces have been fashioned from a costume pattern.

This pattern is one that I have used for years.  It is a simple dress pattern coupled with a simple pants/skirt pattern. Very easy sew.  I think it may have taken me 4 hours to sew the whole garment.  The top is made from Simplicity 5827. The skirt is made from Simplicity 2576. Also, I use a general tam pattern and leave off the 3rd piece (the bottom band) and put a really thin piece of elastic in it to make sure it fits and will stay on. (Note: Simplicity 5827 could be lengthened to make a really princessy dress…which the younger girls really like.)DSCF4981

Normally, when I find a pattern that works or even tops at the store, I buy several in several different sizes/colors to last her through the years. The top you see in this 2nd picture > was brought as a long dress four years ago.  Now she wears it as a top of appropriate length.  If you’re reading this blog you already know that modest clothes are hard to find, for both women and children.

I’m including several variations of this pattern so that you can get an idea of how you can go about sewing one pattern with different fabrics to change the entire look of  each garment.  Hope this is helpful to someone.

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Virginity, God, and Shug Avery

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Bismillah!

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So, I was twenty when I was kicked out of my parents home.  I hadn’t the slightest idea of the proper etiquette/demeanor needed to survive in the world.  When I say the world, I mean outside the parent’s home, in a non-religious environment…dealing with people who were not raised to put God as the center of there lives, beyond Sundays on Easter and Christmas. I wasn’t prepared for men telling me how beautiful I was or to what extent they would go to see me naked.  I simply wasn’t prepared.

Parents, when you have a young girl, if she messes up, don’t put her out. Particularly, one that is raised in a sheltered religious household.  She needs you and your guidance, even if she doesn’t know it.  (I recently heard THMLF talk about this…) From my own personal experience, I can attest that this is not the way to go.  A child may call your bluff and begin to try to fend for themselves.

raftersI was a virgin up until October 21, 1993, when my father kicked me out.  In my 20 year old mind, I felt that if I am already being treated like I’m having sex….I may as well have it.  My decision was not based on love. Though later I would lie to myself saying that it was. No, my decision was based purely on immaturity and vengeance. There were no violins, roses, or candles.  I lost my virginity on a twin size bed in a basement…romanced by rafters in the ceiling.

Yeah…it was by Allah’s grace and Aunt Jane’s heart that I didn’t end up homeless…that I didn’t get pregnant…or worse, AIDS….oh, yeah…it could’ve been a lot worse.  But, thank Allah, He has always helped me land on my feet and I was able to eventually get my own apartment, car, secure employment and eventually find my way to the mosque. Everyone does not fair as well.

jwimageYears later, my father admitted that he thought I would humble myself and beg to stay at home…instead I called my cousin who lived on my ex-boyfriends block and moved out for the second and last time in my adult life, but this time I lived with my Aunt Jane’s family…actually, I moved my clothes in with Aunt Jane and my person in my ex-boyfriend Mama’s basement. (Sorry Mrs. Williams if you’re reading this…)

Now, I don’t want to act like I didn’t do anything to get kicked out for…yeah, I did. I stayed out for the first and last time for three nights straight.  I called home every day so they wouldn’t think I was dead (I called when I knew they weren’t home, thinking I was super slick), but truth be told,  I was out kicking it!  I had a three day party! LOL…A party that, in hindsight, changed my life’s trajectory. I don’t think, to this very day, that I would change a thing…though I went through an amazing amount of pain because of that decision. (I ended up being disfellowshipped from a Jehovah’s Witnesses, my parents would not speak to me for quite some time…but that’s another blog)

weedI think sometimes as parents we forget exactly how we got to where we are in this life.  We forget the nameless partners, who were someones daughter.  We forget buying weed from people we didn’t know, smoking God knows what.  We forget being stopped by the police who confiscated the weed and Thank God not you. We forget cutting school to see Pretty Woman and getting U’s in Science.  We forget what it was like to have that crush on Ramsey Moore that wasn’t reciprocated and how it felt like the end of the world.  We forget that once we taste independence, our world is so much larger than our living room.  To judge our children by our forgotten indiscretions is a mistake…I pray I remember this as my children get older.

What’s funny is that I would not change a thing I went through. Because if I did,  the life I am living now would not exist.  If I never ventured beyond that life style, I would not consciously be a Muslim, married to who I’m married to, and definitely would not have the three wonderful babies we have.   So, in my case, I believe that it had to go down like that.  I just would not wish the emotional pain that I still deal with on anyone else. (Ingrams) I accept it, because it makes me who I am. It seems that acceptance is the theme for me for 2013.  Perhaps God is trying to tell me something…(This scene makes me cry everytime…)

I bet if we think about a painful time we went through, now that we are out of it, we can clearly see the blessings or at least why God had us go through it…not so much when we’re going through it.   Sometimes, God has us go through the rough stuff to get us where He needs us to be.  Receptive, willing, and humble enough to seek Him.  This is a hard lesson to learn…I know cuz I’m still learning it….

Pluses, Deltas, and Life

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Bismillah!

GrannyMy grandma passed away in 1999, right before I got married.  I loved her sooooooooo very much. She was my confidante, mentor, and guide.  I had never lost anyone that close to me before she passed away and the pain of losing her walks with me daily…though the wound is not as fresh.

I miss her.  I miss her words.  I miss her wit.  I miss her cooking. I miss sitting on the bed in her room with my aunts, uncles, and cousins talking.  It’s funny how things change.  Nothing ever turns out as you expect it.  No one lives forever.

When my grandmother passed away she took a portion of our family connection with her.  We used to have the best holiday celebrations, but I rarely make it to Chicago to even participate during the season.  Some of my cousins live out of state and don’t make it home either.  We have all started our own traditions.  Its sad, but it is also reality.  There are aunts, uncles, and cousins that I haven’t spoken to in years…and its ok.  The love is present, even if we aren’t.

The thing about life is, as the Qur’an states, we plan, but Allah plans, and Allah is the Best Knower.  Being accepting of things that come into our lives by our direct intent along with Allah’s permissive will is a key element in having peace of mind.  There is absolutely no point in stressing or worrying…per the Qur’an.  Every single thing we encounter has a positive or negative side to it…all depends on how we want to look at it.  I am working on meditating on the positive.

A friend of mine asked me what I was doing for my 40th birthday.  I’m very excited about turning 40 and want to visit Puerto Rico.  However, there is so much, by Allah’s Grace, on the horizon for 2013, that I just can’t commit to much outside of a couple weeks into the future.  I wanted to lock it in.  But, that’s not where I am right now and that’s fine because it doesn’t mean I won’t be there in March.  I have always loved to travel and don’t intend on letting the trips I have planned pass me by in my life time.  I just have to accept where I am and make plans to get where I want to be and hopefully Allah has the same plans in mind.

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Busy Good

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Bismillah!

I’m so excited and inspired today!  I’m looking forward to school, Saviours’ Day, and life in general! I feel so blessed right now and have made a mental note to pray more often now that I’m in ease mode…cuz last year had plenty o’ difficulty…(:

IMG_1629I choose the classes that I did this semester to fulfill the requirements of my major, but it turns out Allah had a completely different plan. I NEED the knowledge the classes provide for the plans that we have made for our family…which in my opinion trumps for my major.  Not only is the knowledge needed, but they are fun and are fulfilling a artistic urge. I’ll be doing some film and production work, as well as some photoshop stuff…I also took a business management course and I’m acting CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art!  I’m kinda excited!

What with not knowing school started and all, I’ve been a little behind and I haven’t had time to do much painting. Mostly, because I’m working on sewing and blogging. Though I do have some new (painting) pieces in mind to add to my fishnet collection…My fishnet collection is me exploring the feelings I have and what I do when my husband is out of town. The simplest way to explain it is I am extremely lonely and I buy lingerie. So, in efforts to avoid the impropriety of stretching thongs across a canvas, I created something with fishnets, stocking, and spray paint (one of which you see in picture 1). This process opened up a part of me that I didn’t even know was there and helped me to cope.  Art is truly healing.

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I find that doing things you love is healing.  It’s how I feel about school, cooking, baking, studying…I love learning…especially about myself.  So, I plan to celebrate me and learn about myself as much as I can…FOREVER.  I’m learning to love myself, my life, my mind, my personality, my sense of humor, my body and my hair more and more each day.  It’s funny I’ve spent so much money on hair…to finally become content with my little Afro….I made it a point to not ask anyone, including my spouse, if they like my hair.  It’s not that I’m not concerned with his preference, because I am…truth be told he would never tell me anyway…but the reason I didn’t ask is  because what is important is that I LOVE IT! End of conversation.   Accepting yourself is the key to happiness…I gave you that one for free (:

I Write For Me…Kinda

Bismillah!

Blogging1-1024x768Yesterday someone posted a Facebook status about 30 seconds after I posted my new blog…it said, “i wonder if anyone ever liked or missed my blog posts and rants?” I thought about it for a while and wondered had I inspired the status update…then I got over myself and thought if I would care if no one read or cared what I had to say. I wanted to say hell no!  I would not give not one single cuf… But, that’s not entirely true…I mean if it was, why do I publicize on my other social media sites? Then when someone thumbs up my little post I smile…I try not to look at the stats after I post something, but WordPress makes it so easy to see if people read your stuff.  Then people start following your blog…it’s like a mini affirmation that you actually have something to say.

On the flip side, I’m good if people don’t read.  I posted a blog the other day called Fallen Angels…I think Fallen Angels was one of my better post.  I had an idea of what I wanted to share and why…it just naturally came out…like written Metamucil.   But, according to the WordPress stats only seven people read it and truth be told I’m just fine with that.  I felt the need to say something.  I think sometimes God puts something on your heart for you to share and you are thereby ordained by Him to share it.   Sometimes its for one person, sometimes its for the world.  Sometimes its for you, the writer.

elizabeth-catlett-mother-childIf you have the spirit, the desire to do something.  Do it.  Imagine if John Lennon talked himself out of writing songs or if Elizabeth Catlett dared not to create…if Malcolm X believed that teacher…No! Caring what other people think about the gifts and talents God has imbued each of us with is the quickest way to NOT achieve success. Each of us has a gift…it’s up to us to mine it out and use it.

I don’t know what God has in store for me, but I do know I was born to do something.  It may not be to be a writer, though I have found success in it.  But, then again, it could be and how would I ever know if I did not take a chance and at the very least try.

Artist: Elizabeth Catlett,  Mother and Child, c.1990

God’s Peace

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Bismillah!

Mary MargaretWhen I think about the many things I am thankful for one of the top of my list is being married to a God-fearing man.  It’s invaluable…if someone asked me what is the most important thing to look for in a spouse, I would say just that…that he/she is God-fearing.   Now I’m not all super religious like Mary Margaret from Awkward Black Girl…but, I do recognize that there is in fact a God and I try to live my life by His standards as He has appeared and intervened in my life…♥ Blessed ♥

Now that being said my spouse is by no means perfect and my hair is to short and dry to oil his feet…but, if there is anything I know about him, it’s that he loves and fears God. Now, I’m not saying that if you marry someone who is not God-fearing that you will be on the 18th level of hell or that there will be orgys (or is it orgi…what is the plural of orgy?)  when you’re at work…No, some people are born and submit to the innate God within and you can be at peace with them.  However, I have never met anyone like that….Most people I know react first, think later…

weddingWhy is being God-fearing so important in a marriage…really any relationship?  There are several reasons.  Fear of God and not wanting to displease Him helps a person already a little suspect stay on the up and up.  Yeah, you will be mad for a little bit and then you’ll forgive them.  God…well, He will forgive, but he keeps a cumulative tab and you don’t want to be one deed short of the Godly hook up in this day of judgement…God-fearing spouses pray for direction.  Making decisions are hard enough, but prayer helps us trust our decisions. Another reason the God-fearing piece is the most important trait is because your spouse is at peace.  This is the number one reason that’s so important and what prompted me to write this blog.

I went to school today…Yay!  I remembered! LOL!… So, when I came home from class  I walked into the house and my spouse was extremely upset.  Now when I say extremely upset I’m putting it mildly… dude was furious! He had a sort of tangible anger to him.  Almost like I could immediately feel the tension in the air. So, I mentioned praying to Allah so that he would feel better. He uttered the words “Yes, babe Allah is the Best Knower, I feel better already.”  He left for a few moments, but when he came back his disposition was entirely different.  He was at peace.  When you truly love someone, you pray for them.  One of my most fervent prayers  for my husband is that Allah send down His tranquility upon my spouse.  God’s peace is priceless.  It comes directly from God…it is unobtainable from any other source.

Just like that, he was at peace.  The mere mentioning of God…wow!  It was a faith builder, because I literally saw Allah bless my spouse with His tranquility. It was a reminder for me to remember God when I’m not at peace.

Life, Today and How I Forgot It Was the First Day of School…

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Bismillah!

ChallengeWinner_002I set a personal goal for myself to write. Because for me writing is therapeutic. It is an escape. It’s difficult, though, at times, to find the time.  I know it’s there but, sometimes I get overwhelmed by life and all its responsibilities that sometimes the responsibilities to myself get pushed aside.  So, as I sit here in this bed, head a spinning thinking how in the hell did I forget today was the first day of school …I am forcing myself to write.

Forcing myself to take care of myself in ways that only I know how.  Forcing myself to put my youngest child to sleep because he needs the rest and so do I.  Forcing myself to take care of me.  How crazy does that sound?  But, its true.  When I got married, I unfortunately got so consumed at being the perfect wife, I lost track of who the perfect me was.  When I got post assignments at the mosque I did the same thing.  I over did it.  As a mom, I am mom on steroids and forget to take care of me.  Then inevitably I have a nervous breakdown, start to get mentally drained and physically ill, until it dawns on me I need to slow down and re-prioritize.  I think I’m at one of those stages now…where I need to slow down and reorganize…an indicator of the need is that I forgot it was the first day of class.

busy mom 2Yep, I said, I forgot that today was the first day of class. Not only did I forget it was the first day…I forgot it was the first week.  I was thinking that classes didn’t start until after King’s birthday.  I haven’t the slightest idea how a person as crazy as I am keeps things organized…but I do…well, at least the important stuff. Now normally, I would have had a complete fit and drove myself crazy trying to figure out how I was going to make it to class.  But, instead, I called my child care provider and asked her if she could start tomorrow instead of the end of the month.  She answered in the affirmative.  May God bless her for many lifetimes!  LOL All Praise is due to Allah… I am grateful.  I am ready.

Instead of stressing the day away because my little made up vacation is ending two weeks earlier, I went grocery shopping, made dinner for the next three/four days, ironed everyones clothes and am ready to begin.  Because I am on a mission.  I have been in pursuit of the elusive Bachelors Degree since the early 1990’s.  I stopped going to school back then because I started making really, really good money.  (I was in law enforcement at the time) When I moved to Pittsburgh, I put off school because I got pregnant…finally when my oldest was about three I went back to school…had another baby and stopped going to school again.  This would be the last time I would stop going to school because of a pregnancy.

frida3When I was pregnant with my last son, I enrolled into community college and graduated with my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts.   Five  months after he was born, I enrolled in a four year University and am glad that I did.  I take this lil’ dude erwhere with me with in reason.  He is my buddy and I believe he will graduate around the same time as me…cuz he’s been to just that many classes with me.  I made a promise to myself that I would never put off a goal I set for myself…within reason…so, yeah that means I won’t be seeing Frida’s closet next week…*sigh* Next year…well that’s another story…

Even though we share our lives with our spouses, our children, our extended families, the various communities that we are a part of…we still remain who we define ourselves to be.  I think under all the titles that are worn (mom, sister, wife, student, etc.)  we are still just us.  We are stil in need of the things that make us smile and laugh from the bottom of our hearts… at things that we only think are funny.  Sometimes we need to abandon all the self assigned constraints that are no longer applicable and just live.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes you have to just…accept your own and be yourself.  Remember who you are and what makes you you…even though it might be inappropriate at times…I have matured tremendously, but the movie Clerks still cracks me up. My best friend and I have been cool for over thirty years and she still cracks me up….even though she sends inappropriate text messages that I have to get to before my children see them…LOL

clerksI have absolutely no idea how that works in its entirety because as much as I want to, I won’t allow myself to post “try not to suck any dicks on the way to the parking lot” on my Facebook wall…but, as soon as I figure it out completely…I’ll write a blog on it (;

My Love/Hate Relationship with Olivia Pope…

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Bismillah!

olivia-pope-scandal-kerry-washingtonI have never been so ambivalent about a television character…never. I love the way she dresses.  I love her hair. I love the fact the she is the most intelligent character on television.  I love that she is successfully self employed after having left her good gov’ment job…(afta my own heart with that one…) I love that she tries to help people. I love that she is a complicated character who is strong, yet vulnerable.  I love the standard of achievement she sets Black women…even though she’s a fictional character…she’s a Black woman doing the dayum thing!  Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope is a breath of fresh air. Not to mention Kerry Washington as an actual person…

But just as much as I love Olivia Pope…if I knew her in real life…I would hate her.  I would be so pissed off that this successful, beautiful Black woman who has all this going for her gotta be chasing after someone else’s man.  I get it, I get it…she and the President are in love…it’s epic…blah, blah, blah.  But, truth be told, she should never have fallen in love with him….dude was married from the get go.  She is a much more attractive, better paid, much more intelligent, glamorized Monica Lewinsky.

I can not stand Bellamy Young’s character Mellie Grant…there are plenty o’ times I just wanted to slap her…and damn near cheer er time the President checks her…especially when he called her ornamental…Part of me wants to say that’s what she gets…but, then theres the part of me that says how can a marriage work with Olivia Pope’s lurking around.  Marriage is hard enough without outside influences.  Especially outside influences like Olivia Pope.

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(To be fair this second picture is from I Think I Love My Wife, in which Kerry Washington plays another man stealing waynch…lol…but, she does.)

I also get pissed off with Olivia Pope because as awesome and fabulous as she is… she thirsty for this dude who is NEVER, ever, ever, ever (using my Smokey voice) gone leave his wife…NEVER…why she gotta be somebodies undercover, against the tree, in the Oval office, on the campaign trail lover…I’m just saying… The Olivia Pope character would be just as intriguing if she was all loopy for Senator Edison Davis’ character… ♥

Olivia Pope isn’t on some I’m getting with this dude girl power type stuff…her character can’t stand what she is doing…or has done at this point in the season…but, she doesn’t stop and is continuously hurt by her actions.  This aspect of her character is not empowering.  I loath this aspect of the character…it is certainly not a trait worth emulating.  How many young girls, women… find themselves in dead end relationships and are just strung along by someone who is never going to change himself or a situation that prevents them from being together.  The President cheats on her er time he’s with Millie’s lame arse. Not saying that her character won’t evolve to that…but right now…I don’t see it happening. She’s at the hospital reminiscing about flag pins and what not while Huck’s getting arrested…cuz this dude she pine-ing for was out celebrating his birthday with his wife he’s never ever ever ever gone leave…

That being said…my DVR is set for January 10th…

Fallen Angels

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Bismillah!

fallen08I always try to write about things I have encountered or have been.  Fallen angels is one of those subjects. Fallen angels is a term I use to describe people that have fallen from grace in our judgmental eyes.  So, in the broader sense, it could be someone like Peter.  He’s all ride or die for Jesus, until the cock crowed three times.  At that moment in time, Peter is a fallen angel. Someone rolling with Jesus could have looked up to Peter, because that was Jesus’ boy.  So, when Peter denies Jesus…well the person looking up to Peter could be spiritually shook. But, what Peter did doesn’t have a thing to do with them.  Beyond what the trial might present for them.

When I was younger, I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.  The hierarchy in the local Kingdom Hall culminates with the elder.  Now, as a teenager, I would look at these brothers like they were straight up saints.  I simply could not fathom that one could sin, let alone do something out of line with God’s instructions….That is until I saw one get disfellowshipped…followed by another…and yet another…My child brain could not wrap around the fact that people who yielded authority over God’s flock could sin.  One elder went to prison for embezzling money from a widow. One elder a child molester. One elder cheated on his wife.  Watching brother after brother, some who had even sat on tribunals regarding me, get disfellowshipped messed me up.  I was spiritually disillusioned.

Sadly, this was not the only time I would become spiritually disillusioned…as I continue down my spiritual road, I frequently become and pass by fallen angels.  I would surprise even myself sometimes and have to realize that yep, girl you’ve fallen get your stuff together.  I served for approximately a year as the Sister Captain. I was properly relieved for medical reasons.  After I was properly relieved, I didn’t want no parts of responsibility and I acted accordingly.  The sister who served as the lieutenant under my charge felt the entire weight of the post upon my departure and I let her. (I have since apologized to this sister and pray for her forgiveness.) I didn’t want the responsibility of covering up properly, so I didn’t.  It was all about sundresses and no scarves.  I had fallen.  It wasn’t the first, nor last time I would fall. I don’t know if my fall affected anyone (in regard to spiritual disillusion), and pray for forgiveness if it did, but once I realized I had fallen, it certainly effected me and the way I think and interact with people.

You see this is the thing, none of us has reached that perfection that we would love to have.  No, not one. The only perfection we have reached is that of judging one another.  LOL The reasons why we join religions, churches, mosques or whatever we do are all our own.  Some join because of the feelings that a particular lecture might inspire, some may join because it give them purpose, others because they feel a sense of belonging and family. Some see how the brothers treat the sisters or vice versa. Some are born into the religion. While others believe the truth of what is being taught and decided to dedicate their lives to what they believe.

However, while in the ranks of the spiritual family, we may start to look at the people in front of us as infallible.  We may even venture into polytheism.  This is where the problem lies and when people become fallen angels.  We begin looking at people as though they are, well, angels, but in a spooky sense.  We take what they say as Divine revelation…and it probably is.  We think they are an example worthy of emulation…and they probably are.  But, what we fail to remember is that what we are seeing is the God in them…they are not The God and neither are we. They are not worthy of worship and neither are we. More than likely they aren’t even aware that you viewed them in this manner.

What’s sad is that whatever they have done that we consider a sin does not take away from the good that they have accomplished. Dr. King’s infidelities do not make him a horrible man who didn’t do a damn thing…no, it merely makes him a flawed, yet great man.  Yeah, it was wack, but it is undeniable the work that he accomplished.  Not to mention that we have no idea why God sometimes allows things to happen.  In Surah 18 of the Quran, we read of Moses traveling with a wise man.  Moses was so busy judging dude that he missed out on many opportunities to expand his knowledge.  Minister Farrakhan says it’s unwise to judge someone in transition.  I know it’s cliche, but everything in my life has happened for a reason.  Every painful experience had something for me to learn from it.  I just pray I learned so I won’t have to repeat them.

Please don’t think I’m giving the “fallen” a pass…nah, I just think vengeance is the Lord’s.  I don’t know why it hurts so much when we see people we thought were spiritual giants fall. People sin.  In fact the bible says in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  So, we really should not be surprised when it happens. Maybe its because we attach their seeming perfection to our thoughts of our own ability and when they don’t succeed we don’t think we can either.  I don’t know.

But,  I do  know why we have to fall. One is that there is something the fallen must learn and the other is that God is a jealous God and He doesn’t want our motivation for worship to be shared with anyone.  Our personal relationship with God is what needs to be our primary focus.  So, when people fall, I think it’s a test for us who say we love God, to see where our heads at…where our allegiance lies.  Will we let this fall affect our relationship with God? Sometimes we even use their “fall” as a reason why we don’t go out or don’t join a particular community. Bottom line is that at the end of the day, we are responsible to God, as we see Him.  Our relationship with God is what we must nurture and protect, not some illusion of perfection in someone who has the same ability to connect to God as we do.  There is nothing wrong with admiring people, but all that we see in someone else we can easily find in ourselves if we would but submit.

Jr. Haute

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Gloria-VanderbiltWhen I was a little girl my mother would not let me wear Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.  Even though my favorite Grandmother had brought both my older sister and I a pair…in different colors too…so we could both look like we had two pairs each… My mother had to mess it all up and not allow me to wear them…well actually neither one of us…but, this story is about me.  LOL..

So, anyway mine were burgundy velvet and my sisters were teal.  They had the signature right across the butt pocket in gold so everyone would know. Oh yes these were Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans! I was so excited!  I planned out my little outfit and was about to stunt on ’em…till she said no.  I swear I mighta cussed my momma out about 70 different ways (in my mind…) How could she do that to me?????

So, what did I do in all my grade school cleverness?  I wore a  ginormous pair of whatever off brand jeans my parents had brought me from Sears Warehouse over my Gloria Vanderbilt’s and headed out the door feeling myself. Got on the back of that bus and took them big ole pants off. They wasn’t ready!  I wanna say that same day, I stole a tube of her lipstick to wear too…thus starting my love affair with red lips…which is another blog in itself…My mother found those jeans a lil to sexy for her young daughters…which, now as I look at them, I could see why.  But all that child’s mind saw all those years ago was that my mother was a hater…Did we say hater back then…was it wack or weak???? I can’t remember…

I don’t know if my mother ever found out to this day about that…but, it is one of those memories and life lessons that kind of stuck with me.  I think about that day more and more now that I have a daughter of my own.  Our daughter is seven right now and beginning to feel her self and her femininity.  IMG_1761Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing…but, I’m trying to encourage her towards modesty.  I want her to know know so much, but for the sake of this post suffice it to say that she should love her God, herself, and the God in herself. I want her to know that her body is sacred.  I want her to stay Jr. Haute forever.

I pray that she stays true to who she is and isn’t negatively effected by the bombardment of media images that tell her she’s not pretty enough or that her hair isn’t straight/long enough or that being a mother isn’t enough… if that is what she should choose to be.

So, I try to provide her with ways to express herself and her own personal style so that she will never, ever ever ever change her clothes on the back of the school bus.  Or play strip poker with Cherwanna T., Craig R., Craig B., Jennifer C. and Courtney M. on the back of that same school bus…oh wait, that was me… The picture you see right here is from a photo shoot we did.  I made her key pieces but she helped pick fabrics, decals, images and colors.  She is a natural.  She is my model and my muse. When I look at her expression in this picture, its the same expression I had when I walked in the school with my Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans on.  It is the expression of an individual that knows her worth! She is s child of God.  She is in the process of learning herself and has the right to claim who she is.  All we can do as parents is give children the tools, monitor and pray they are equipped when the time comes.  But, at the end of the day she is herself.  She is responsible for her actions.  Yes, even at seven. Like Jada said of Willow, “It’s…a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes, and desires.”