Once upon a time, I had an identity other than mother. And it showed. Once upon a time, you could tell by looking at me, that I had opinions, that I was not “mainstream.” Once upon a time, I was funky, cool, interesting. And it showed.*
And now? I have a politically liberal bumpersticker on my suburban-mom-mobile. But otherwise? I look like a mom. Which is not to say that I’m not hugely tremendously earth shatteringly thrilled to be a mom. But. I am more than a mom.
I am working in a new neighborhood bakery/cafe. I am sitting near a guy wearing a political shirt, with a folder covered in stickers, and more on his computer. And I show no outward signs that I agree, that my politics align, that I am more like him than he probably suspects.
When I used to mentor the undergraduate feminist group at the university, they made T-shirts that said “THIS is what a feminist looks like” - and some of them wore them skin tight, cropped, over snug fitting low rise jeans. Broadcasting. Challenging.
I don’t know if what I’m wishing is to change how I look - I feel dowdy, and old, and while I love being a mom, I think maybe I wish I didn’t look like one all the time, even when I’m sitting in a coffeeshop working. I suppose I should instead think about how to challenge the notion that how people look has any bearing on who they are or how they think. That would be the noble thing, right?
But still. I think I need a funky makeover. I want to broadcast that I am a mom, and I am a feminist, and I am still funky inside.
How about you? Do you think your outisde reflects your inside? Am I being totally trivial? Is it lame that I’m asking questions here? Fess up.
* Okay, no, having red or purple hair or an eyebrow piercing does not inherently mean anything about one’s personality or politics. But still.