Halloween: Frumpy or Sexy?

Simran: I saw a great post on Reddit today on the evolution of women & halloween.

Halloween is coming and we are shopping for costumes for our baby’s first halloween. It has to be CUTE! A tootsie roll, a puppy, a little monster, a cute bunny… AHHH! So much cuteness, I can’t take it! But there are hardly any good options for my wife to complement her cuteness. Majority of the things out there are short skirts and skin-tight dresses. We are looking to make our little one Snow White. Come on, let’s hear it… “awwww”. So my wife thought she would be the evil queen. Enter the evil queen costume hunt:

halloweenEvilQueenCostumes

 

I think the safest thing is the apple she’s holding.

Yeah there is stuff out there that is a little more conservative but enter psychological price manipulation:

halloweenCosutmePrices

Sexy is cheaper!

As our little girl gets older her options turn into shorter and tighter fitting costumes. They go from “aww what a cute little girl” to “dayummm girl”.

That’s it! My little girl is wearing knee high funky socks that don’t match and skirts that go up to these knees. I rather be weird and funky than an objectified.

SofiaVargaraAt theEmmys.

Shailee: When we got our daughter a Snow White costume, my first thought was that I’d be the Evil Queen from the movie. She is pretty cool with all that magic she can do down in her basement. So I googled “Snow White Evil Queen” to find outfits. My two options are something that is completely revealing or something that is huge and frumpy. We are planning on taking my kid around the neighborhood trick or treating. I honestly don’t want to wear something that makes me feel like I’m not even a woman anymore. We are also having super hot weather over here and wearing something that big would guarantee I come home as one big sweat stain. And I never wore costumes that sexy prior to having a baby so wearing them now isn’t even an option. Besides, I just don’t think it’s appropriate to go around the neighborhood where a bunch of kids are trick or treating wearing something that barely belongs in a club.

So I’ll turn to my third option: making the outfit myself. That’s the only way I can get something middle-of-the-road that I’d feel comfortable wearing. It’ll take some work but I’ll feel better in that than either of the options I can buy ready-made from a store. I’ve had to do this before as well. A few years ago, a few of my friends and I decided to be Batman villains and I chose Poison Ivy. I made a green dress, attached leaves to it, and had green leaves and vines drawn on my body where there was some skin showing. I was comfortable.

I’ve always appreciated the costumes that are innovative and unique more than something that just shows skin (of course, I’m not a guy so maybe I’m the wrong person to ask). One year, I saw a guy wearing the Quail Man costume. It’s still one of my favorite costumes that I have ever seen.

As long as I’ve known, Halloween has been an excuse for women to wear extremely sexy costumes (let’s be honest, most don’t buy the big, frumpy ones). Why is that? Why do we use it as an excuse to wear less than we would on a daily basis? Is it insecurity? Do we need to feel like we need to show skin in order to compete with the others dressed sexy when we go out partying for Halloween? Are the women in the sexy costumes the only people who get attention?

I want to set a good example for my daughter that you don’t have to wear a sexy Halloween costume to get attention. You can get the same attention by using your imagination and creativity.A couple of years ago, my husband made a Wall-E costume from scratch. Last year, he made us a coffee mug and donut costume. We received plenty of attention because both costumes were so unique. My hope is that she gets into Halloween every year and really has fun coming up with creative ideas. My hope is that she has enough confidence to know that she doesn’t need to show a ton of skin in order to feel good about herself.

When Will I Be Normal Again?

This post is hard one for me to write. Especially when I hear other moms talking about how wonderful their lives are and how being a mom is all they ever wanted. Let me make sure one thing is clear. I love my child and couldn’t imagine my life without her. I’ve been waiting for her for a long time and am truly happy she is here. But I know I can’t be alone in feeling this way so here goes.

It’s been about two months since I’ve had my baby and yet I still don’t feel like myself. I know it takes time to get into a new groove and to really find yourself again but it’s hard waiting for that time to come.

I want to teach my daughter to have confidence in herself and really learn how to carry herself in a way where she knows who she is. It’s a hard thing to teach when your own confidence is so low. This time period is one where we, as new moms, are still recovering physically, we are a mess emotionally, and we are sleep deprived. It’s no wonder that having confidence in yourself is a struggle.

I want to feel good about myself but am having a hard time doing so. My body is still returning back to normal and I’m still not cleared to exercise. I don’t recognize myself physically. And this results in me feeling unattractive and like I don’t even warrant a second look. We all want to feel validated on how we look even though rationally we know that we did just put our body through something major and it’ll take time to get back to what we remember.

A lot of validation for me also comes through in what I have accomplished. Lately, my accomplishments only come in the form of whether I got my baby to sleep through the night. It’s hard when you see others still going out and doing things that seems amazing or further their career and you don’t get the chance.

I know that these feelings are temporary and I am proud that I’m raising a child. I think about whether I want to go to work right now but I couldn’t even imagine being away from her for a minute.

I’m hoping that catching up on sleep and my life slowly returning to something I remotely recognize will help boost my confidence back to where it used to be. No one said being a new mom was easy but no one mentioned all of these changes that you feel as a woman.

i know this time period is dedicated to my child but, at the same time, I want to feel good about myself so I can show her what a strong woman looks like. It’s important to me to be able to show her the confidence I have in myself so she will know how to develop that same confidence one day.

What You Need To Survive Pregnancy (and much more)

All right. Let’s get down to it. I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to talk about this in much more honest terms than you hear out there. So here we go.

Pregnancy is tough. There is so much you go through that only another woman can understand. You could have the nicest, most understanding significant other in the world (and I did) but there are times when he won’t understand what you completely feel. Things hurt, everything changes. I had morning sickness for the first 3 months. My legs ached literally from the beginning to the end. And that second trimester that everyone says is easier than the other 2, well, I spent that one worrying about all of the scans where the ultrasound specialists told me that various things could potentially be wrong.

The worrying kills you. Like I’ve mentioned before, you become a parent the second your pregnancy test turns positive. From then on, you watch what you eat, what you drink, what you do, all in the name of not hurting your unborn child. I stopped eating sushi, burgers, soft cheeses, and other various items. I googled every food I was unsure of.

Every doctor’s appointment I went to, I held my breath when I went in for the ultrasound. And I’d relax as soon as they found a heartbeat and took a look and said everything looked good. That would last for literally half a day and I’d start worrying about something else. I had a new pain or something felt different. I was definitely not one of those people who relaxed into pregnancy. I couldn’t even look at baby stuff and feel excited until I had hit somewhere over 30 weeks where I knew if needed, the baby could survive outside of me.

And then there was all the help from the ultrasound specialists. They are programmed to tell you the absolute worse case scenario (I’m assuming in order to avoid a lawsuit). I spent so much of my second trimester worrying about things that might be wrong like the placenta wasn’t doing its job or my baby wasn’t growing according to schedule. I learned a valuable lesson in how to think positively in this time frame because guess what. There’s nothing you can do at that point. You just have to think positive and move forward.

One of the biggest helps I have had is other women friends who have been pregnant. Every time I had a question or felt something new, I would text them and find out what they had been through. It helped me remain calm because I knew I wasn’t alone. There are no rights or wrongs when it comes to pregnancy. We all are just trying to survive it so that, at the end, we can hold our beautiful baby in our arms. I still text them with baby questions. And luckily, I’m surrounded by a bunch of great women who don’t judge or think there is one way to do everything. So I definitely get the best advice possible.

Let’s face it. Pregnancy is tough. The best thing you can do for yourself is to make sure you have a great support system. An amazing husband goes a long way but you will also definitely need friends who have gone through it so that they understand what you’re feeling and can truly empathize with you. It’s a long 40 weeks. Do what you can to make those weeks as good as possible.

Independent Career Woman vs. Stay At Home Mom

This is a topic that I never thought I would have to consider since I grew up believing I’d always be working. I grew up in a household where both of my parents worked and I spent a lot of time in day care. I actually believe a lot of my independence came from this so I had no problems believing that I would go a similar route and be a full-time working mom when I came to that point in my life.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you imagine it to. Because I was already pregnant when I left my job and that job was over 45 miles away in LA traffic, it seemed to be the best decision not to look for another job through the pregnancy. And, obviously, I’d stay home with the baby for a while since we didn’t have a need for me to go back to work right away.

And while this was the best decision for me and my family, it was a hard one for me. I have always been the type of person who did multiple things at once. I worked at my day job while being involved in a lot of activities. All of a sudden, I was limited by my own body during the pregnancy. I couldn’t maintain my level of physical activity. Even when we went out socially, I’d get tired a lot. I would have to be careful with what I was doing and where I was going.

Now, let me get one thing straight. Everything I had to do or not do in order to get my beautiful baby, I do not regret. She will always be totally worth it. But this is an emotional time with a lot of change for anyone and I wanted to share what I was feeling (and still sometimes feel).

I’m still going through figuring out who I am now. I’m not the same independent woman I was 3 years ago. I’m now a mom whose primary job is to take care of my child. Until I decide to go back to work (if I choose to do so), my life is about raising my baby. I have to figure out how to reconcile the person I was to the person I am now. It’s difficult. How do you go from being someone who participates in all of these activities to someone who only possibly might be able to do it again some day but not at the moment? You can never go back to being the person you were.

Somehow, a new person has to emerge that combines both the independent woman with the stay at the home mom. And, somehow, I have to learn to become that person.

Things Change

I haven’t written a blog post in over 10 months. There was a reason for that. In that time, I had my first child. Pregnancy is such an interesting time period in a woman’s life. There are those for whom it’s the most amazing time in their lives and there are those where it is the hardest 40 weeks they will go to. And then, there’s the stuff that no one ever tells you. I get it. In the end, you have this really cute baby that is a part of you and your significant other. You have now created a family. There’s so much you go through to get there and no one can fully prepare you for everything. I’d like to try to talk about it honestly. The good, the bad, and the ugly. My entries won’t just be about pregnancy but also the changes as a result and it will always continue to be about things in the world that I have opinions about. So I hope you enjoy the return of Who We Are Today.

One of the biggest things no one ever talks about is that you become a parent the second that positive sign comes up on a pregnancy test. Every little thing you do, you double check to see if it will affect the baby. I can’t tell you how many times I googled different types of food and drinks to make sure that it wouldn’t be bad for the baby. It’s crazy how many things you can’t eat or drink. It makes you wonder what our parents did without internet over 30 plus years ago. I also wonder if everyone is as paranoid as I was with what was happening as my baby developed or if I was just crazy. I sometimes forget the age of my baby based on when she was born. I consider her age to be that of when I found out I was pregnant. Once you become a parent, that’s it. There’s no going back.

Another thing no one ever tells you is 40 weeks is a long, long time. If you count that there are 4 weeks in a month, it’s actually 10 months. If you count there are more than 4 weeks in a month, it’s actually somewhere between 9 and 10 months. Trust me, when you’re throwing up every day or your legs hurt or you’re just craving sushi, it’s a long time. You just have to get through it.

I had to keep reminding myself that a lot of women go through all of this every day. It doesn’t feel like that though. It feels like you’re the only one in the world and no one can understand it.

Pregnancy is definitely an interesting phase of life. The one thing you always hear women say, though, is no matter how tough it was, it was definitely worth it.

Mama’s Boys

Yes, you know you know them. Yes, you know you might be one of them. 

Let’s get something straight right off the bat. When I say mama’s boy, I don’t mean someone who cares for his parents. I don’t mean someone who wants to spend time with his parents. I’m not even talking about someone who really goes out of his way to make sure that his parents are taken care of. My family has a pretty tight bond and knowing that these are the people who will always be there for you is a great feeling. 

I’m talking about that guy who really can’t function without his mother. And no, I don’t mean when he is 2 years old. I mean when he is 32 years old. I’m talking about the guy who can’t make a decision about his own life without consulting his parents. It’s one thing to have their blessing or advice. It’s another thing to ask your mom for everything you need on a daily basis. 

And this seems so much more prevalent (well, maybe, at least to me) in the Indian community. You get that guy that wants to date you. Well, until he finds out that his parents are never going to like you because of a multitude of reasons: different caste, family background, different religion, age difference, not pretty enough, not thin enough, etc, etc, etc. Then, what? Will he fight for you or will he let you go? Will he have the strength to really stand up to his parents if he knows they are wrong in their decision or will he let them make the last call? 

Again, this is based on the idea that the girl chosen is someone good. It’s based on the fact that there is real love between the couple. I know this is another discussion but just to assert my thoughts on this, I think honesty will come from your friends and siblings. If they like who you are with and will stand by you, then maybe it’s time to stand up to your parents. 

Anyways, back to the idea of the mama’s boy. This is the guy who will still run to his mother if he needs something instead of his wife, even though his wife can probably take care of whatever it is. 

My mom has a theory about these guys. As the women in our culture get more and more educated, they are opting not to marry guys that aren’t independent minded. The problem is that they haven’t had a need to change. If someone took care of me all the time, why would I want to grow up? The women, though, have decided that instead of depending on someone to take care of them, they will go out and make a career for themselves and give themselves options. And they won’t settle for someone just to be married. So where does that leave these guys? 

I’d like to believe it’s changing. I see more and more guys who really have started becoming more independent in their thoughts and actions. There are always going to be those that will marry someone just to fill a void. I know guys who have done that. But, I believe there are now guys who have started really understanding what a relationship is. The relationship isn’t just a duty but something that both partners have to work on. 

I have hope for the mama’s boys. I hope that they will learn that the world is changing and what used to work for centuries won’t work as much anymore. And, in the meantime, to those women who have children, please remember to raise them as the man you have or would have liked to have married. 

Culture and Women

I had to deal with someone a few days ago that ended up sending me a very demeaning email. I’m not sure what this person’s perspective was for writing it other than his ego was hurt. After talking to a few people about it, the general consensus was that he had a hard time with women who were in a position of authority over him. Now, this person wasn’t the same culture as I am but he was from another culture with a similar background. 

I wanted to touch on this for a second because I still see this. I can see where the women are treated as an accessory and not as a partner. 

I went to an engagement party quite a few months ago. It was interesting because all the men that I saw left their wives by themselves and hung out with their friends and you didn’t really see them talk more than the required amount of social interaction. I remember specifically that one of the wives was talking to me and said “I lose my husband to his boys at these events”. And then she watched my husband come over and check on me and be with me whenever he wasn’t required somewhere else. I felt bad for her. It must suck to feel like you’re not important enough for your husband to pay attention to you at all when you’re at a public event. I understand that some couples have their understanding and that’s how they are but I saw the look on this girl’s face (a really nice girl, by the way, since she really did make me feel welcome as an outsider) when my husband didn’t abandon me. 

One time, my sisters and I had an Indian astrologer tell us if we had been men, we would have ruled the world. I don’t know what he was thinking but I wasn’t planning on my gender dictate what I did with my life. 

So what is this about? Why aren’t women considered equals? The guy from my first example called me stupid in the email. On one hand, he said that I was trying to control everything and, on the other hand, I wasn’t smart enough. 

I’m not going to lie. It’s nice to be taken care of. But it’s also nice to know that you don’t have to ask anyone for permission to do something, to spend something. The women I am lucky to be friends with are strong and independent and really know how to handle the world. They haven’t taken their gender into consideration for anything they have wanted to do. 

My personal opinion is that the weakest guys are the ones who need to keep women weaker than them. If a man is strong, he isn’t intimidated by a strong woman. Instead, he finds that this person matches him in everything and really knows how to use this to progress in life. 

To all my strong, independent women out there. Don’t ever let someone else tell you who you are.