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I'm writing this from my mom's house where I've been spending a good deal of time. She's doing fantastically and cannot wait for next week when her drain will be removed. Once removed, she will be allowed to drive and have more personal freedom (and anyone who has had a drain knows removal is FREEEEEEDOMMMMM). Pathology reports came back and it looks like the cancer hasn't spread so no radiation or chemo needed. Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, vibes, and good energy!
As for me… I'm not a terribly exciting person as of late. I go to the gym, I take the kid to school, I visit my mom, I write things for the blog, I veg out watching random things on TV to decompress. I'm pretty exhausted but I plan to take off between Christmas and new Year's. I'll have content scheduled and ready to go (a few guest posts from people I know and love) and while I may share a few Stories on Instagram I'm going to otherwise unplug so I can get rested and refreshed for 2019. And I think 2019 is going to be awesome. I have some ideas for Wardrobe Oxygen and can't wait to share them with you!
Women make less than men in all sorts of professions, not just Corporate America. It happens even in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. (Washington Post)
Ava James NYC makes luxe cocktail dresses in just sizes 8-18; they sent me one recently and I shared it on the blog. They have created a “As Seen On” page on their site and it's brilliant not only to see the dresses on different bodies, but to see the shape and size of different bodies that wear the same clothing size. I look forward to seeing more gorgeous women on this page!
As a mother of a 9-year-old, I know to treasure this time when she still thinks I'm super cool and her BFF. This piece from the New York Times about a mom reconnecting with her 15-year-old through her Instagram account was bittersweet and shows that social media isn't all bad.
“I decided to have gastric bypass and I don't give a damn who doesn't like it; here's why.” The plus size community is incredibly supportive, but it can be hard when you are no longer part of it. Maui shares on her blog why she is having this procedure and the supportive comments just make my heart swell.
As someone who colors her hair not because I am ashamed of the gray or ashamed of my age but because I freaking like the look of it, I LOVED this piece from considerable.
And I LOVED how these two women are working to pay off the medical debt of strangers. As someone who even with insurance paid over $20K out of pocket for a broken arm, I know how devastating medical debt can be. (New York Times)
“It is incredibly difficult not to be an apologetic, body-obsessed woman in America, and it’s made harder when other people continue to exalt these values.” Oooh girl, I can totally relate to this piece (Self)
For those in the DC area, if you're still looking to find great gifts, DCist asked a variety of local celebs and personalities to share their suggestions.
Have you heard of the New York Times' Neediest Cases Fund? It's pretty fantastic, and it's helping this woman who put her life on hold to care for five of her grandchildren finally achieve her dream of graduating from college.
To gather these Weekend Reads, all week long I email myself links. Then when I pull the post together, I gather all the emails to myself and open the links in new tabs, review to see if I still think they're worthy of a share, haven't been shared 500 times already by every blogger, and write the copy. I sent myself this link; it's not an article but it's a bunch of pretty darn awesome magnets. No idea where the link came from, but totally worthy of a share. I kind of want to cover my refrigerator with all of them.
This Week's Reader Question
“I found your blog because of your article on how to style Spanx leather leggings. I loved your ideas but it's now winter and I don't know what shoes to wear. Do I wear boots and if I do what color and texture? Do they go over or under the leggings? Help I want to wear these for New Year's Eve with a sequin sweater. Thank you!”
You are not the only person to ask this question; I had three emails this month on this subject and we also discussed it in the Wardrobe Oxygen community. Faux leather leggings are easy to style with sneakers, flats, and pumps in the fall but come winter we need to prevent ankle frostbite! My favorite way to style faux leather leggings is with a slim-fitting ankle boot, and slide the boot under the hem of the legging. If it's a smooth leather, it will create a continuous line that won't look weird and in fact will elongate your leg. Choose a heel height that is comfortable for you, but look for a sleek silhouette of boot; a Chelsea, Engineer, Docs, or anything with a bulbous toe or lug sole may look more Aeon Flux cosplay than New Year's Eve. I wear my Clarks booties with my faux leather leggings and like the effect. Below I have some suggestions of boots that will keep your ankles protected and look great with Spanx faux leather leggings. The selection has a variety of pricepoints, heel heights, widths, formality, and many are comfort brands!
For Your Entertainment
I'm writing this post from my mom's house and just told her about all the fangirl love I have for Janelle Monáe. She's so incredibly talented and creative. For those who don't know her music (though you likely have heard this one in a commercial), you may recognize her from her part in the movie Hidden Figures. This song is a great anthem for life and would be a great addition to your New Year's Eve music playlist. And knowing me, I also picked this video because the fashion is FAN-TAS-TIC (but honestly, Monáe never disappoints and always pushes the envelope when it comes to her personal style).
I’m glad to read your mom is doing well.
You know, if it really was culturally OK for women to look any which way and be any which age, then it would make sense to think of hair dye as “just a choice”, just a preference. But it isn’t. Because our society DOES stigmatize age, does stigmatize older women in particular. Less likely to be hired or paid fairly, more likely to be ignored, talked over, on and on and on.
Dying our hair to cover greys IS about looking younger, and that IS about pushing away the aging process. It’s crazy to me that women on the one hand say “Hell YES I’m going to dye my hair into my 980’s” and at the same time say “It’s not about fearing getting older.” Yes it IS about that. It’s up to each of us to decide how we come to terms with the changes that age brings to us, but pretending that our hair dye has nothing to do with cultural scorn? Nope. Not buying it.
Those of us who do not dye our gray, graying or silver hair need to celebrate it every chance we get because society does NOT. It isn’t about shaming those who dye– it’s about speaking louder than the voices of shame and self-doubt we are trying to overcome, just by the act of walking out the door with unaltered hair. It’s a brave thing, still, and I’m actually kind of tired of being told I’m “shaming other women” by celebrating the barest tiny beginnings of a movement that says it really IS ok to do what you want with your hair, because we don’t associate a woman’s gray hair with loss of worth and loss of power. The day may come when that’s a true statement, but that day is not yet here.
Love the Janelle Monae video. I feel the same way about grey hair, however since I’ve developed a horrible allergy to the chemicals in the dye i’ve had to stop! It’s been a challenge trying to figure out how to embrace it.
Alison Gary says
It is a major change and transition do keep me posted on how it goes!
Love Janelle Monae. We took our stroke-surviving 10 year old to see her at the Anthem in DC. Monae gave a shout out to the disability community and brought up a deaf woman and her translator on stage to dance. This representation *matters* (Also, a shoutout to Anthem, with whom I have no relationship other than to be a mom celebrating her kid’s one year anniversary of surviving something terrible. They have ADA seating and were so, so great about it; no hassle, no intrusive questions.)
Alison Gary says
That is fantastic! I am so glad to hear that about both Monae and The Anthem!
Ooh, love the Mincing Mockingbird. I have several of his prints and have supported a few of his art books on Kickstarter. My favorite magnet is “you’re a whore and that makes me sad.” I just laugh every time I read it passing the fridge.
So glad to hear your mom is doing well. I hope she continues her recovery with ease.
Alison Gary says
That magnet would make me laugh too! And thank you!
Glad to hear your mother’s good news! Wishing her all the best.
Alison Gary says
That post on coloring your hair could’ve been written by me! I also started in my 20s and come from a long line of premature gray women. My hair has always been my trademark. The formula for my color is saved in my phone. I’ve left explicit instructions to do my roots if I meet an untimely demise.
Hope you and your family get some much needed rest and enjoy the holidays. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2019.
Alison Gary says
Thank you Krista!