Saturday, November 03, 2007

Today, we're all beautiful

Seeing as there are 30 days in November and only 26 letters in the alphabet, at least four* of my NaBloPoMo posts will have to be non-alphabet-related. This is one of them.

The other day, Lara** wrote about the pink overalls she was wearing the day she, um, became a woman, and it reminded me that pink overalls were my favorite pants around that time as well.

Mine weren't exactly overalls, I suppose, as they didn't go "over ALL," as bibs traditionally do. Mine were pale pink tapered-leg pants with a pleated front, and they had a set of metal buttons on the waistband that fastened to a set of matching pale pink suspenders.

I wish I had a picture of these pants, because I'm sure they were just as awful as I remember. At the time, however, I loved them.

I loved them not just because of how very fashionable and awesome they were, but because of the positive affirmation they offered every day I wore them. No, it wasn't because I got loads of compliments whenever I went to school in those pants (though I'm sure I did, because hello, they were fabulous). It was because sewn inside the waist, to the right of the snap above the fly, was a narrow white tag with script embroidery that read, "Today you are beautiful."

At the time, I was decidedly not beautiful, this being the midst of those unfortunate awkward years so many of us went through. I had gangly legs and terrible hair, not to mention a mouth full of braces and a face I was convinced no boy would ever want to touch. I did not feel beautiful--"today" or any day. But when I glanced down at the waistband while pulling on those pants or when sitting down to pee, I wanted to believe that damn tag knew something I didn't.

I've thought about those pants lots of times in the nearly 20 years since I likely tossed them in a pile for Goodwill. I've wondered what brand they were, and whether their designer put messages like that in all the clothes they made. I've thought about what a brilliant idea it actually was, particularly in an item likely targeted specifically at teen and pre-teen girls. We should be told we're beautiful daily, even if it's a pair of pants telling us so.

I've also thought about what other messages might be appropriate in waistbands...

Trust yourself

A size is just a number

You'll laugh about this someday

Do NOT call him

Yes, you turned the iron off

You WILL be loved

Breathe. Just breathe.

I actually sort of love this idea. Maybe I should talk to the Patent Office about this.

* There I go with those killer math skills again. Wouldn't that pre-kindergarten test lady be impressed?

** Lara, it feels so wrong to "real name" you publicly rather than calling you Guinness Girl as per usual, but since you've ditched the alias on your own blog, I suspect you're cool with doing so here, too, right?


Whiskeymarie said...

I think you should sell those tags- you could make a few bucks.
I would like to look down some days and realize I DON'T need to drive home and check the iron.
Yes, I would like that very much.

melissa said...

Do you ever wonder if maybe your mom sewed that tag in?? Just kidding. That's pretty cool. Call the Patent Office NOW :) My fav is "You must be the change you wish to see." I try to think that and act that every day. Not going to say that I succeed....

Stinkypaw said...

Now those tags are a great idea! Go for it!

Poppy Cede said...

I totally just had a flash of you being the head of an entire company that designs pants with nice labels in them. You should do it.

steve said...

I'd like to see a tag that said "What would you do if you knew you could not fail?"

nancypearlwannabe said...

I love this idea so much. Maybe you can just make some with your mad art skills and send them out? :)

Jess said...

This is so interesting and such a nicer idea than the one that I heard that health officials were discussing awhile back--that large sizes of clothing contain warning labels about how being overweight negatively affects your health. I was just imagining how much it would suck to already have to buy special plus size clothing and then have a nasty label in it basically telling you that you're too fat and you're going to die young. I don't think that idea ever got off the ground, but I hope yours does.

sognatrice said...

You gals and your incredible memories from clothes of days gone by never ceases to amaze me. I remember *so* little of any of that I feel quite inferior. Or lucky.

Love the tag idea!

Stefanie said...

Jess--Seriously?? I had not heard of that. What a terrible idea; I agree.

And Melissa--No, my mom did not just sew the tag in, ;-) but it would be pretty funny in retrospect if she had.

-R- said...

But what if I DIDN'T turn the iron off?

VermontRockies said...

There's a little Vermont company that does the same thing! I have a hemp shirt with a tag that says "The cow wouldn't have known she could clear the moon if she hadn't tried."

I like yours better, though. More like advice from Grandma than a fortune cookie in your pants.


Hey, is that a fortune cookie in your pants, or.....

lizgwiz said...

I've never had clothing that cared so actively about my self-esteem.

I did have a rockin' pair of off-white painter's overalls back in the day, though. ;)

L Sass said...

Oh man... back in the day I had a pair of royal blue colored jeans with a matching silk shirt. They were gorgeous. We should have been in a photo together with our lovely pants.

I would like my waistband to say "You are correct! Everyone 'out there' is dumber than you are." Now that is affirmation I can use.

Lara said...

I really love this post - and I most definitely think you are on to something with this idea. And of course you can call me Lara!

Maliavale said...

OMG. That is effing fabulous. I love the idea of affirmation in pants, both your former pink ones (R.I.P. [not "rip"]) and in new ones. "Do NOT call him" is utterly perfect.