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09 May 2011


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I'm horribly prejudiced and uncomfortable around beautiful women. Sounds awful doesn't it? But beautiful girls, the ones who made looking good a priority, made my life pretty hellish from elementary school through junior high. I tend to assume that anyone who puts time and effort into their looks is judging me.


I've been fortunate to know a number of attractive and reasonably well put together women who have 5+ children here at our new-ish parish. In our old church, there was one family who had more than three kids, and she (and the rest of her family, come to think of it) unfortunately were poster children for all the negative stereotypes people often have about large families. I wish there had been some attractive women with at least reasonably well behaved children at that parish - their liberal smugness could really have used some challenging, especially in that direction! I sometimes wonder how many couples in that parish felt justified in their practice of birth control simply by watching that one family come to Mass week after week... and I have to admit that I was thankful to find out that at least they weren't homeschoolers as well... but I suppose that's my own vanity talking now, isn't it!


I live in a town that is predominantly Irish Catholic and Waspy and therefore, the attitude is that you don't dress to call attention to yourself and that if you look too good, you are vain, proud and a prime candidate for the put down: "Just who do you think YOU Are looking so nice?". My sister and I laugh about it, we call it pretty discrimination. You get the once over, you get the look from the makeup free, pony tail khaki pant wearing crowd. Whenever we go home to our mother's parish in a town that has a more Italian and Jewish population (think Real Housewives of NJ), most of the mothers look well groomed and fashionable. There is nary a khaki pants/tee shirt ensemble in sight. I think I just live in the wrong town when it comes to clothes and fashion.


Apropo this comment that MrsDarwin highlighted on her blog:

"... being well-groomed and healthy-looking is one of the most important signs that one is healthy and taking care of oneself. Among humans, it shows a maintenance of civilization. "

Sounds like from there you might get the answer to the "who do you think YOU are?" question....


As a mom of six, I am very happy to read this. I have written before about feeling like I have a responsibility to make motherhood of many look appealing, or at least manageable. Not to say it is my job to convince women to have loads of children or to use my role as an excuse to indulge in vanity. Just that I do think I should try to make the effort to look groomed and appealing, to my family first, and the larger community second. So thanks for writing this!

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