Your Challenge This Week

Your challenge – until Memorial Day (we’re talking only 12 days, 10 if you exclude today and the 26th) be good to yourself and your fellow woman. What do I mean?

1. Accept that you are a woman, not a moving mannequin. Of COURSE you will have some softness, bumps and lumps in various places. Moaning over them, cursing them and tugging at them doesn’t make them disappear and just ruins your mood, which affect your appearance. Every time you are ready to scowl at your reflection, stop in your tracks and find something you are happy about. Fabulous pedicure? Feminine ankles? Stop-in-your-tracks lashes? Maybe you are starting to see results from your new gym membership, or are always told you have the most infectious smile. Those who have high self esteem are seen as being more attractive to others – for a week allow yourself to accept and heck… even LOVE yourself and see how reactions will change!

2. Go a week without the rags. Can you do it, a week without TMZ, Perez, InTouch and OK!? A week without guessing who’s cellulite is being pictured on the front of the Inquirer, and what It Girl was caught sans makeup (or panties) the day before. Why do we find such entertainment in finding fellow women not look their best? It doesn’t help our appearance, or our soul. You may find a week without the gossip sites and rags may actually make you feel better about yourself.

3. Before you judge, try to place yourself in her shoes. “Omigod, did you see what SHE WAS WEARING?” “That woman should NOT be wearing that with HER figure.” “What a fat-ass, her skin is disgusting, wow she looks so old for her age!” How many times have you caught yourself whispering something similar to your friend (or whispering it to yourself)? Often times, those we judge we judge unfairly. Possibly that woman has a medical condition, is pregnant, just gave birth, is going through a nasty divorce, is cramming for The Bar, had a death in the family, had her house burn down and is wearing donated clothes… gosh the reasons could be endless and extreme. Thing is, we are so harsh on our fellow woman without stopping to wonder WHY, or to offer assistance. Have an acquaintance who can’t style her way out of a paper bag? Instead of gossiping about her tapered chinos over mojitos with your friends, offer a makeover day with a shopping trip (or a shop in her closet day). See a stranger at the fitting room admiring her reflection while you know that dress does nothing for her hips? Instead of sneering or giggling, why not gently offer her your opinion and an alternative choice?

No woman WANTS to look unflattering, she usually doesn’t have a clue how to change her style or get out from under her personal woes. Try to get into her shoes and think, if you were she, what would you like to hear or what would you need at that moment? You never know when karma will come back and assist you during a time of need.

One week of being considerate and compassionate to your fellow woman, and to your self. Amazing how one week can totally change your outlook on life and alter your priorities. Start the summer off great by detoxing your mindset. I challenge all of you to try this and come back and let me know how it went!

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11 Comments

  1. May 25, 2008 / 4:51 am

    Thank you so much for this post Allie! These suggestions are really amazing. Taking the challenge for a week could become a great catalyst for changing some really self defeating behaviors.

    I believe very strongly that all women are beautiful. We need to support and have compassion for each other. Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make your flame shine any brighter.

    Here is to positive change!

  2. May 19, 2008 / 4:42 pm

    @Anonymous #1: Your story really touched me. Thank you for telling it. And thank you, Allie, for a lovely post.

  3. May 19, 2008 / 12:56 pm

    I’m guilty of a lot of this. I would never, ever vocalize my criticism of anyone’s appearance, but I do feel guilty that I think unkind thoughts sometimes.

  4. Anonymous
    May 17, 2008 / 2:53 pm

    that was beautiful. thanks, allie.

  5. May 16, 2008 / 7:39 pm

    Allie, although I liked you from the minute I knew you were from the D.C. area, now I am even a greater admirer. Wonderful, compassionate post.

  6. Anonymous
    May 16, 2008 / 6:38 pm

    Great post and something that really needs to be said. I’ll never forget the month after I lost everything in a house fire and was having to get by with donated and cheaply acquired clothing. I was very low income at the time and didn’t have credit cards, so it just wasn’t possible for me to buy a new wardrobe, no matter how streamlined and small.

    The snipey and cruel comments that I overheard (for they were made loudly enough that it was obvious the speakers intended me to hear) were terrible. I felt bad enough in badly fitting clothing that was not to my taste, but to be called “fatass” and “slob” on top of having lost everything … well, you can imagine.

    We just never know why someone may be dressed the way they are.

  7. Katrina
    May 16, 2008 / 5:32 pm

    I love this, especially number 1. I am my harshest critic. And did someone say mojitos?

  8. May 16, 2008 / 3:08 pm

    Thanks, girl. I needed to read this. mwah mwah!

  9. May 15, 2008 / 11:05 pm

    fabulous post allie!

  10. Clare
    May 15, 2008 / 5:03 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I confess to being guilty of #3 quite often. While I would NEVER think poorly of a woman for her weight or other natural appearances, I have been extremely critical of the styles of women I have seen… their apparent lack of taste, like of put-togetherness, their altogether lackadaisical appearance.

    And I should know better! I’m not a fashionable dresser, as I have decidedly vintage taste and sew myself outfits from 40’s and 50’s patterns. I like to think that I’m stylish, but fashionable… nope! And I know some people have sniggered at me for my retro tastes.

    I’m going to attempt to be more charitable from now on. While I’d never wear some of the outfits I see myself, I won’t assume that the other woman is wearing it from a lack of taste… goodness knows, I’ve had times in the past where clothes are the last thing on my mind, when hospitals and surgeries are always looming around me.

    Thanks for the timely reminder.

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