Some Are Fancy On The Inside…

The other day, my 5yo told me “Momma, you are soooo fancy!!” as she sat on my bed, grabbing a couple of my bras and started trying them on. 
I have never thought of myself as a “fancy” person. Although I love jewelry, occasionally wear a flower in my hair and embrace a bit of sparkle when I can… I’m a jeans-and-tee-shirt, rock-music-loving, take-me-to-the-brewery-instead-of-a-fancy-restaurant kind of gal.

Fancy? Me? 
Typical “fancy” Kelli outfit… pictured at GRBC

As I pondered over how to respond to my precocious daughter, the Mister Rogers Song Fancy popped into my head. And then… my childhood raced through my head as I recalled [what I remembered of] the song on an endless loop…

Here’s a peek into my brain-process on this matter. Warning — it’s a roller-coaster of a ride. Please buckle up and keep hands & objects inside the vehicle at all times…

I put myself into my daughter’s shoes recalling my own Mother’s bras. It’s not as weird or sick as it sounds. I grew up in a small house; we never closed doors. 

My mother, the woman who went to a convent in high school and wore a long-sleeved-turtle-neck wedding gown didn’t spend much on, well anything, let alone undergarments. And hers were basic & ill-fitting. It’s possible she still owns these bras. The women never throws anything away. 
My mind then raced on to my first bras… that my mother purchased for me. My ill-fitting, boring white bras were so basic, they didn’t even have a little bow in the middle. These bras didn’t make me feel fancy at all. Just uncomfortable… and since my boobs didn’t truly exist until my senior year of high school… okay, so maybe more like age 19. I did not understand the point of a bra, until I had a snapping-strap issue and had to buy one on my own. 
Now, I highly doubt I’m alone here, but my boobs have varied in size 34B-42F over the years (yes, you read that correctly, that is an F — that’s how F’d my breasts are.)

My bra-search has always been the same:

  • I go to the store in a panic, usually because I’m down to less than one bra that fits properly. 
  • I clear out every bra in what I think my size is, and the size above & below, then go into a fitting room with my arm-full of bras. 
  • Try the one I actually like the most first… it never fits.
  • Try the one I think might be the most supportive… one boob spills out.
  • Try the one that has the cutest print… nope.
  • Rinse, repeat until all bras have been thrown across the fitting room hung back on their hanger. 
  • If I’m lucky, I’ll find 1-2 bras that fit my girls properly. 

By the end of this exhaustive process, I’m a sweaty mess, usually in tears, and I don’t care what the price, style or color is… a well-fitting bra for my real and spectacular breasts = priceless. 

At 16 years old, my first solitary bra-shopping experience was nothing compared to bra-shopping 10 years from then, but… at that point in time, it was the worst day E-V-E-R! Teenage angst and all. I found one bra on that shopping trip that fit comfortably. I clearly remember how that particular bra was red, and GOD FORBID I purchase a red bra. I was barely 16, I wasn’t sexually active, but of course, as soon as I walked into the house, my mother saw it through the plastic bag, and I was immediately called a slutty idiot scolded & told I had to return it. Because, according to my mother, if her daughter buys a red bra… I was OBVIOUSLY a slut. And let’s face it, after my first bra-shopping experience, at age 16, what I really needed was that kind of feedback.

And people wonder why my natural inclination is to rebel against authority & mainstream society. 
All of the above memories raced through my brain over the course of a sweet Mister Rogers song about embracing who we are…

Meanwhile, back in the present… 

As I looked over the handful of bras Sedona tossed over her shoulders & clutched lovingly… adoring the sparkles on one, lace on another, the softness of the boring plain-jane white one; I realized that it’s ok for my daughter to look forward to wearing “fancy” bras some day.

Being a woman should be embraced! 

We shouldn’t be afraid to wear something just because “someone may think you’re a slut” If a bra, shirt, dress, whatever makes you feel good… confidence is one thing that makes everyone beautiful & never goes out of style.

Why do we worry so much about what others will think?!
And why do we allow other people to define what makes us happy??

I’ve learned, and am still learning, that it’s ok to march to the beat of my own unique style, voice… LIFE! To ignore the negative voices telling me that if I wear a red bra, I’m automatically a slut. To ignore the dirty looks I get when I order a beer when I’m out to dinner with my kids, because I’m automatically a raging alcoholic. To ignore the negative comments I get when I’m so frustrated my kids are whining & hanging on my leg for the 5 gajillionth time that day, and I run and lock myself in the bedroom… because that automatically makes me a crappy mother. 
These voices… well, these judgy-negative-nancy voices can suck it.

Why do we feel this overwhelming need to prove we’re this or that or another thing? Nobody’s perfect. Why can’t we simply be free to be who we are? 

Maybe I am a little fancy on the inside… or… rather, underneath that beer or concert tee-shirt I’m wearing, a little black & red lace bra could be the little pick-me-up I personally need to get through the day. Maybe just wearing a plain-jane-white bra I can throw on & forget about helps my confidence & attitude. My point, and I do have one… is that it really doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that my reaction to my daughters’ comments and choices will very likely reflect their own level of confidence down the road.

I don’t hide my “fancy” bras, just like I don’t hide my love of beer with my kids. I don’t want to hide these things… because I don’t want to hide who I am, and I don’t want them to feel they ever have to hide who they are. I have my own style, and I am proud of who I am and what I do, and I hope my girls will grow into confident women, proud to be who they are: fancy or not.

So now you’re probably dying to know what I told my daughter about my being “fancy“, yes?! After she played with my bras for awhile and my roller-coaster-ride of a thought-process ended, I finally said “Being fancy can be fun! Some day you’ll grow up and get to wear your own bras and clothes, in any style that suits who you are: fancy, simple or anything in between. But they are just clothes, and what matters even more is what’s beneath those clothes, in your heart. Whatever makes you happy & comfortable is all that matters.”

And then… like the big dork I am, I sang the final verse of Fancy to Sedona:
I think you’re a special person.
And I like your ins and outsides.
Everybody’s fancy. 
Everybody’s fine.
Your body’s fancy, and so is mine. 

And Sedona promptly rolled her eyes, sighed & walked away. 

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