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Madonna barbie, crafted after the bridal look ...

Madonna barbie, crafted after the bridal look of The Virgin Tour and the 1984 MTV Video Music Award performance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like to think I have my own dress style, which is conservative yet elegant and highlights my assets but not to the extreme that I look like a ‘porn’ star,(I have exceptionally huge breasts.) However, what we wear definitely dictates our confidence or does it?

My son discovered primary colours at the tender young age of two or three and as (what I thought was progressive parenting,) from that young age, I allowed him to choose his nursery school outfits. I was hoping to encourage his creativity but now, he has thankfully outgrown the ‘Batman‘ outfit but is still sadly wearing primary colours, and his favourite colour is red. I was horrified to discover a photo of him wearing red shorts and a red hoodie on a school trip. I naturally appealed to his girlfriend to help him move beyond primary colours and because I was lucky enough to teach his friends, I appealed to them as well. Even his sister has been mortified by his use of primary colours. And whilst we have all experienced despair at his inability to dress in a suave sophisticated manner and he has endured our mocking, he continues to wear his threadbare worn-out red hoodie and his red shorts. It has not dented his ego in the slightest.

As for my daughter, I continually argue with her over her dress habits. She is in the experimental stage of her wardrobe and is continually wearing inappropriate clothing or alternatively, she can land up looking like a British‘chav’. There are the very rare occassions now where we agree on her outfits and I feel that she is looking classically beautiful. Obviously biased, but true, she is exceptionally beautiful so naturally I am concerned that what she wears will send the wrong message out to men, especially since her last pair of shoes from her grandmother was a pair of dominatrix ankle boots. I was horrified!

However, what we wear can make us feel so safe, secure and especially confident. And that is when it can all go wrong!

This time the tears are not with either of my kids but with me.

Imagine the scenario: Your son is graduating, you need to be on stage with your son and your ex-husband will be in audience watching the ceremony. On the rational level you know it is a day for your son but you are in work mode as well as parent mode, and emotionally you have a personal agenda. You have to look hot, classic, elegant, chic and graceful. Is this asking too much? If I had the perfect Barbie doll figure, not at all! But when you don’t…

It all comes tumbling down and every vulnerability is exposed. Your ex symbolises all those age old fears and insecurities that you have worked so hard to remove. You know he is can expose you so you need to feel secure and especially confident.

But when you can’t find the perfect dress because you don’t have the perfect figure, it feels like it is the end of the world, even though you can rationally identify the irrationality in the logic, somehow the emotions take control and make you feel naked alongside another 500 hundred people. So what does one do to conquer and control the irrational, when you can’t find the perfect dress to provide you with the armour you require to survive an encounter with an ex, that once you loved and once he loved you but when love turns to hate, anger and resentment? Even when you have discovered forgiveness, you know the ex is the only one who can strip away the protective armour and has the potential to destroy everything you have built up!

Rationally, one knows it is highly unlikely for him to act in an undignified manner but    if one is not feeling confident, the imaginary fears seep in and what can be a potentially wonderful and fantastic event can be destroyed, all because one requires the perfect dress for the occasion! Where is the rationality in that?