Wed. Jul 6th, 2022

What It Takes To Be a Woman Who Is Different

I was standing in front of a mirror one morning trying to decide what I wanted to wear that day. I had a sense I might be meeting up with an old friend and as we met up virtually once or twice a year, it would be best to get myself dressed tastefully but still casually. Which led me to a dilemma. I have been blessed with long legs and a tiny waist, so finding clothes that fit was not difficult. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been such a problem at all as I would have chosen simple flowing clothes in which I felt comfortable. But this friend’s style of dressing was what I call “all body” and as such, it was very difficult to find clothes that would satisfy my vanity. After looking at my reflection and wondering why I couldn’t be more like her, I realized that the problem was not in what she was wearing but in how she was wearing it.

be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor
be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor

Commitment to Being Different

It dawned on me then, that I was making a commitment to be different . It did not come easy. I am the mother of five children and all of them are the center of my universe. There is little time for me to pamper myself, let alone care about clothing. This commitment to being different also became a commitment to not be what everyone else is wearing. I know it may sound strange but I really don’t care what everyone else is wearing. There are different styles, mediums and colors in clothes and there are very few styles and mediums that appeal to everyone. So my decision to be different had been made in order to accommodate those who do not conform to the norm of dressing or the norms of society at large.
I am also now a wife of twenty-one years. I have been disabled by polio for the last ten years. Because I can’t walk, dress myself and get in and out of the car easily, dressing and undressing around others has posed a challenge. So my decision to be different had been made so that my husband could easily pick me up or put me in or take me out of our house on his own, without the help of others.
Then I realized that it is not only me but others as well who need to be supported and comfortable. Like me, they have special needs. When we start dressing alike, we are no longer supportive of our differences in society and the world. I am an artist and for a few years there was little room for my clothing because of the amount of art supplies that were in the way. I realized that I needed to be one of a kind. That’s when I started to find clothing that was individual.

be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor
be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor

Being Brave as You Challenge What Society Says About Women

After I had made my decision to be different, I also realized that this decision came with responsibility. It must have been easier when we were younger and did not have the responsibilities weighing us down. Yet being different means taking a stand for who we are and being brave as we challenge what society says about women. This does not mean that I will always be fashionable or that I will never change my mind. If I decided to buy a pair of blue jeans today, but later decided blue jeans were not for me, I can still see myself in them because even though they are not the perfect choice, it is important for me to know that.
One of the ways we can be different is to stop thinking, “This is how my mother thinks,” and start thinking, “This is how I think.” Regardless of how society views women trying to break through, we really do not have many limitations. We can move forward, but as our lives go through stages there will be some times when we are not sure which way to turn. I think that if we just follow our hearts and trust in God, we will be able to make the right choices.

be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor
be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor

Challenge what society says about women at work

If I were to challenge what society says about women at work, it would be by dressing differently and not conforming to the “uniform” of our office. I dress differently not because I hate clothes or because I want to be different, but because when we don’t conform to the norm in our profession, we are setting a precedent and challenging the norm. We are bringing attention to our professional outfits with a side-eye at what they say about us as women in our office. This is what I would want to do if I were one of the women in our office, because I am so terrified of being viewed as someone who does not conform. If we are willing to be different for ourselves, it is easier for everyone to accept us as individuals.
This is not about our physical appearance. It is about how we are perceived by the society in which we live, that counts. When I dress differently, people seem to understand my professional attire stands for something other than an office-appropriate outfit, and I feel validated as a woman because of it.
Some of my friends are afraid to dress differently for fear of being called names, but in all honesty, I do not care what people say about me or my clothing. That is what this article is about: being able to be who we are and not letting the expectations of the society in which we live affect the way we dress.
When I walk into the office, I begin by greeting everyone with a smile and a “Good morning!” Then I will add that it seems like everyone is already busy. If everyone is busy, I may suggest that he or she take some time to talk to me later and ask if I can help someone else. This can mean offering my assistance in any way I can and catching the attention of another person so they are able to finish their work.

be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor
be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor