Every girl has her role models: her mom, her grandma, maybe even her favorite singer (I’m looking at you, Ms. T-Swift). In addition to all of these, I’m including Stacy London on that list. Sassy, grey-streaked, skyscraper high heel-wearing Stacy.
Why? Besides the fact that What Not to Wear is one of my favorite shows despite being off the air, she is a genuinely sweet human being. You can’t really say that about people in the fashion industry. Confession time: I love high fashion. I love new shoes and tops and I am proudly known as the person who will constantly overdress for any occasion. In my opinion, I would rather be overdressed than underdressed. Just wait until I show up to my Science and Faith Seminar in over-the-knee black suede boots with four-inch heels. (Oh yeah, it just might happen…)
I would like to say that my taste in shoes originated from drooling over the pair on Ms. London’s feet. And she was the inspiration for my learning the ability to walk in heels no matter how tall. One of the things on my bucket list is to look as good as she does in as sheath dress. No matter what she looks like though, her personality is what gets me. Every. Single. Time.
Stacy (yes, we are on a first name basis now) can see so intuitively into another person that she knows exactly what to say in order to motivate them. I can barely get my brother in his pjs, but she can have a 42-year-old mother who is self-conscious about her pudgy tummy and wiggly arms try on a sleeveless red dress with two sentences. That kind of awareness is amazing — especially to a INTJ like myself who can have a hard time being sympathetic. As if that wasn’t enough, she knows how to comfort someone and encourage them at just the right moment. I could be turning my face away from my reflection while restraining tears and, although she would ask what was wrong, Ms. London would probably already know; she just wants to hear you say it for yourself. Her studded black booties and leather jackets wouldn’t even suggest a comforting person, but she knows how to put the smile back on your face again. She has this way of being so selfless that I wish I would be like her one day. I don’t want to be her; rather I want to be like her.
I still want to be myself when I’m a fashionably-dressed, forty-something. As I’ve gone through life, traveled through the eyes of others, receiving colorful stamps on my passport because I suffer from wanderlust, I want to pick the best parts of everyone that I meet and try and infuse them in my own personality. No matter how many candles you blow out on your birthday cake, you can always keep improving and learning to adapt to change. Change is healthy, though it’s taken many of life’s curve balls for me to admit it. Change is good and a shift in perspective is all it takes to embrace the passion of embracing who you truly are. Gosh dang it, I love the way I feel wearing those black suede heeled boots and you bet I’m going to wear them because I want to and no one else’s opinion matters. When I wear them out, you bet I’m going to be enjoying who I am and what I like — in fact, I’ll probably even check out the girl in the reflection and think that she has great style 😉
I’m going to veer away from the talk of “change” for a second because I still think it’s really important to value the stages of your life. I am a sophomore in college, I’m in a new city that I’m still assimilating to, I have no friends and opportunities are simply waiting to be taken advantage of, I’m recently and rather unexpectedly single and I’m finally waving good-bye to the chapter of high school. I’m learning to become an adult and circumstances have forced me to come to grips with my priorities. It’s a time in my life when I learn what I value and I can fulfill my own expectations for myself rather than anyone else’s. My life will become what I make of it and I’m excitingly terrified for the authority that I now wield. Since my relationship crises (i.e. being single and having no friends in a city that I don’t know), I feel more alone than I have in a very long time. On the other hand, I am learning what I value in a future husband and the characteristics that I prefer my friends to have. I know exactly where I want to be when this journey is completed (with a few exceptions) but I have no idea of the paths that I will take to get there. They will be filled with learning experiences but I hope that I will able to take them in stride just like the other strong women that I idolize.
While I want to channel the work ethic of my mother, the contagious smile and humor of my grandma, the naive sweetness of my favorite singer, I really would like to be inspired by Stacy London’s sassy spirit. And I’ll end with a quote from this forever-fabulous woman:
“Don’t let fear or insecurity stop you from trying new things. Believe in yourself. Do what you love. And most importantly, be kind to others, even if you don’t like them.” ~ Stacy London