Dave Chappelle had a hilarious reoccurring skit on his comedy show called “When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong”. The skits were hysterical examples of the bad things that can sometimes happen when you “keep it real”.
While I have never claimed to be a fashionista and have never been one to obsess over fashion trends, I can’t deny that things have definitely gone down hill lately in the fashion department. I’ve got these old, tattered jeans with holes in them that I wear way too often. A typical outfit for me lately has been an oversized t-shirt, those old jeans and pair of athletic shoes. In my defense, the hole in my jeans started off small and I had no idea it would turn into this behemoth gash in my pants. I try to play it off like they are meant to be that way but I doubt I’m fooling anyone.
Anyway, my clothes don’t define me, right? Who am I trying to impress? I have a two-year-old! What does it matter what I wear to Mommy and Me class or the local park? It’s going to get dirty by noon. I should be comfortable and as long as my clothes aren’t inappropriate, what’s the harm in not being the most fashionable mom at the park that day? I’m keeping it real!
These are all of the things that I tell myself.
It’s not as if I don’t appreciate beautiful clothes. I used to subscribe to tons of fashion magazines and one of my favorite things to do used to be curling up with them on the couch. I would read them cover-to-cover and marvel at the gorgeous clothing inside. I firmly believe that fashion is a form of art and there is something so special about a beautifully constructed and well-made garment.
And let’s not even talk about Baby Bear’s clothes. My sister-in-law and aunt, both with young girls, have been incredibly kind and generous and have passed down their daughters’ outgrown clothes to Baby Bear. I have numerous bags and bins full of beautiful and well-maintained toddler clothes. I am so fortunate – it’s indescribable. I love picking out outfits for Baby Bear. I carefully go through her closet and drawers to pick out each day’s ensemble and I iron or steam anything that’s even remotely wrinkled.
You’d think that I’d apply that same thoughtfulness and care to my clothing but I don’t. I’d be lying if I blamed it all on busyness or fatigue. I think it’s just a shift in focus, really. My main concern is Baby Bear. I want to make sure she’s dressed appropriately for the weather, her outfit is cute and she’s comfortable. Anything she thinks is beautiful she says, “looks like a Ballerina!” so I try to make sure she feels like that everyday. I’m not claiming to be some fashion martyr. I’m just a mom. It’s not about me anymore.
And let’s be honest. My body is different now. I am blessed to not have issues with weight but after having a daughter, my body is shaped differently. Things aren’t where they used to be and it’s been an adjustment to say the least.
So I’m trying to decide if those jeans with the holes in them are me “keeping it real” or just me giving up. I’m leaning towards the latter. Even if I could argue that wearing those jeans were just a mom with a toddler “keeping it real”, it would definitely be a prime example of when keeping it real goes wrong.