Do you remember the days of paper dolls, dress up, or playing beauty salon with a pile of rollers and barrettes all in an attempt to be more than a plain jane? And of course there was Barbie – that B—- had everything! These are all popular dress up games from our childhood. As we get older our makeover games and activities are confined to one day out of the year, Halloween. Even on that one dress up day, the outfits are restricted to occupations that have simply had the adjective ‘sexy’ placed in front of them. Can’t you tell by the black leather mini skirt that she is a sexy Supreme Court Justice – duh!
The allure of Halloween is that it allows us to escape. The wimpy computer science engineer who can’t even pick up a Reese’s Pieces can be the Incredible Hulk for a day and a plain jane can be a dominatrix for an entire earth rotation – apologies, sexy dominatrix. The holiday allows us to indulge fantasies and test drive a different aspect of ourselves.
As women we all have the same fantasy almost daily that we never indulge. We have a phantom version of ourselves that we daydream about. This ghost self is smart, funny, not a hair out of place, and dressed so sharply that if she tripped and fell, she would could her leg off. And her shoes, her shoes are so beautiful that they make you want to cry. However just like when the theater house lights come back up after a movie, you are often brought back to reality and convince yourself that it could never be real. You look in the mirror and you become untroubled labeling yourself a plain jane.
As a child your time wasn’t your own. You had no resources and no money to make these makeover games stick. When you were done playing you had to put everything away and go wash your hands for dinner. As an adult, you have time or money or resources to make your now self and your phantom self come closer together until they intertwine like the hands of young lovers. Perhaps, you hold yourself back because you secretly believe that even your phantom self will not measure up and so you don’t even attempt to and thus you remain a plain jane.
Here are some steps to get your present self and your phantom self to begin to tango:
- Visualize who you want to be. Try to get as precise about it as possible. What does she look like? What does she talk like? How does she smell? What does she like to do for fun? What does she do on the weekends? This sounds very New Age but as the Cheshire Cat responds when Alice says she doesn’t care where she goes, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.” You need to know which way to go.
- Make a list that describes her
- Start crossing off items on the list. As you focus on an item, people, books, articles, and websites will begin to catch your attention to help you accomplish the item. Along the way, you will probably discover that you had some of these qualities all along just like a girl from Kansas with a dog named Toto.
- Plain jane or not, we can all benefit from attempting to better ourselves and it should be a life long endeavor. It widely reported that when Winston Churchill was at a commencement to give a speech, he approached the podium and then just said, “Never, never, never give up,” and then he just sat down again. In becoming the woman you want to be inside and out, you need to adopt this philosophy of Winston Churchill everyday, “Never, never, never give up.” Remember it everyday, 365 days a year. Maybe even dress up as Churchill for the next Halloween – apologies, sexy Winston Churchill.
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