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how much do you associate appearance with feelings/identity/relating to others?

(4 Posts)
TMIandEmbarrassed Wed 20-Jan-16 05:37:31

Do you always feel fabulous when well-dressed, or only when someone else notices?
Do you dress up "for" someone - yourself, your DH, everyone who has to lay eyes on you, your Mum - whoever?
If you dress differently from normal does it feel wrong or as though you're letting yourself/ someone else down?

This is kind of in appreciation of the thread written by the person dressing up for her Dad's funeral, which is very nice and very sad.

I grew up as the ugly black sheep in a fairly dysfunctional household where my mother and sister have their identities very much tied up in appearance and in what others think of their appearance. I feel all wrong, fat, ugly, wonky, in anything other than jeans, fleece, a tshirt and trainers - I feel like I'm wasting money if I buy good clothes or makeup - and those that i own, I never wear. If someone says anything about my appearance i am immediately defensive. I think it has a lot to do with listening to my mother and sister pick other people's appearances to shreds, all my life. They're both beautiful, very well-dressed, and very insecure. I think they would feel exposed and wrong in jeans and a fleece. I know my mother would dearly love to relate to me over nice clothes and tidy appearance, but I can't bring myself to do it. So I go on being the slob that disappoints her sad

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 20-Jan-16 06:10:09

I really do dress for myself. I feel better when I have make up on and hair done and I really enjoy fashion.

A few of my friends are into clothes/bags as much as I am but the majority aren't.

I don't ever criticise what others wear but do compliment when people look nice.

I am sorry you had that experience growing up. If you're happy with what you wear then that's fine but do I get the feeling you'd like to wear something different?

Believeitornot Wed 20-Jan-16 06:24:45

I dress for myself. As I've got older I've become more accepting of my flaws and positives and have found a style which suits me.
Sometimes I slob out, sometimes I am smarter. But I stick to what works for me!

TMIandEmbarrassed Wed 20-Jan-16 07:13:07

I'm kind of a mix - I am happy with my appearance in contexts where jeans/fleece/trainers are appropriate. I don't really have a sense of dressing for myself, more dressing to be invisible. I like being invisible.

But in contexts where more is expected I always feel wrong and self-conscious. I also feel really guilty that I don't give in to my mother's unsuccessful bids for affection by dressing fabulously, being very well groomed, and having it all as a hobby that i can discuss with her. She's human, she in some sense deserves affection from me - i just find it so hard to give it to her. As I slob around in my jeans i often mix with people who dress fabulously and carefully every day of the week - I could do a lot more, but it all feels wrong and awful when I do it, and i guess i am using my appearance as a way of keeping my mother at arm's length.

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