Let me begin by saying that I am NOT mom-of-the-year. I do a lot of things wrong. We don’t play enough games together. We make messes and don’t immediately clean them up. We don’t take the kids on individual dates. Though I am improving, my house doesn’t stay clean. We don’t invite friends over as often as we should, but when it comes to being a mom, I try. I really, really try.
I’m really not much of a girly-girl. I’m most comfortable in jeans and chacos or my running clothes. My hair is rarely seen down, and the only makeup I wear is mascara and a bit of eyeliner so that my eyes don’t completely blend in with the rest of my face. I have two daughters who are a lot like me. The oldest is an athlete. She doesn’t wear makeup and thinks that dressing up is wearing a pair of jeans with one of the cross country shirts she has won instead of Nike shorts. The younger does like to experiment with clothes, but by experiment, I mean see how many days in a row you can wear the same clothing a without getting in trouble!
Here’s the thing though…we are still girls and girls occasionally like to play dress up.
They each invited a friend over to spend the night last night, so I came up with an idea. I would pull out my old formals, buy some cheap makeup and temporary hair color, and we would have a contest. The girls would each, with my assistance (if they wanted it), do their hair, makeup, and clothing to see which one could best replicate Lady Gaga’s style. Whether you love her or hate her, you have to admit that Lady Gaga has a style of her own. My favorite of her quotes is, “You laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at you because you’re all the same.” I don’t want my children running around in dresses made of raw meats or outfits made entirely of caution tape, but I do want them to feel comfortable in being who they are.
There is so much pressure these days to be like everyone else. Though this has always been true, in the past it took a lot more work to find out what “everyone else” was doing. You had to sift through Teen magazines and watch countless videos on Mtv, and spend hours studying every episode of Full House to figure out what “they” looked like. Today, most kids have access to all these things in their hands or pockets at all times. With more knowledge of what the celebrities are doing comes more pressure to conform. You might say that I’m promoting that with this contest, and you might be right. I hope not, though. I hope that what I did was show them that 1. It’s okay to be yourself, 2. It’s okay once in a while to dress up and put on crazy makeup and clothes, and 3. When you want to do these things, you can invite me to go along for the ride.
Once they were all at the house, I went over the rules. They would each choose a dress, grab some makeup, and head to separate rooms. I would come around to the rooms as they prepared and offer assistance. Once the makeup and clothing was complete, they would each come to the “hair room” where we would discuss options and I would help each girl style her hair however she wanted. Once each was done, we would have the big reveal. The girls looked over all the glittery makeup options, chose a couple of favorites, grabbed a dress, and off they went.
They each did their own makeup aside from a little help with fake eyelashes and eyeliner. I expected them to need more help with this, so with the extra time on my hands… I decided to join in on the fun. I worked on my own makeup and hair while going from room to room checking their progress. Once each of them finished, they came to me and we worked on hair.
Finally, a contest isn’t a contest without voting, so I posted pictures on Instagram and Facebook and asked friends to vote. The votes are still coming in today, and I’d love for you to weigh in… take a look at what we came up with and tell me in the comments which one you think is the most Gaga-ish!
And….I’m not part of the contest, but here is what I came up with!
As I sit here the morning after and reflect on last night, I am reminded of a few things. I’m reminded of why I don’t wear much makeup. I’m reminded of why I don’t curl my hair, tease it sky-high, and hold it in place with Rave hairspray. I’m reminded of why I don’t wear fake yellow and purple hair color and fake eyelashes. I’m reminded of why I rarely dress up in fancy dresses. But I’m also reminded of how much fun it can be when I do. Your kids are only young once, so while you have the chance, make memories with them. Don’t be afraid to make a mess or make a fool of yourself along with them. And always, always be yourself – unless you can be Lady Gaga for a night. 😉