Letters to Little One

The Look

Dear Little One,

There’s a park right near my work that has it all: picnic tables, a fitness apparatus, a gym, a pool. People are out and about all day, smiling and congregating around a mysterious yellow machine that no one knows how to work. In the mornings, I’m often stopped by pedestrians running across the street to get to their yoga or water aerobics classes. This afternoon I drove by the park on my way back from an errand and I saw a group of men sitting at a picnic table eating and playing cards. There were 6 of them and 4 of them were wearing cowboy hats. It wasn’t any sort of costume or mockery, it was just what they wore, what they felt comfortable in, you could feel it.

A little while later, I was back on the road and I started thinking about all the other people I’d seen today. I saw a boy who dressed in mostly black, despite the heat. His hair was greased back and his jeans were ripped. I saw a woman carrying an umbrella, wearing a sun dress and leather sandals adorned with pink flowers. I saw an elderly couple holding hands as they crossed the street, both dressed in khakis, the man wearing a button up and the woman wearing a shawl of sorts. All of these people got up today and put on the clothes that they were comfortable in, and that they thought suited them. They could have easily put on completely different clothes and I would have seen them all the same, not knowing the difference. Do you see what I mean?

We spend so much time worrying about how other people will perceive our styles or appearances, but to the outside party, you are how you present yourself. The picture I was given of these people in the passerby were the ones they crafted themselves and just look at the diversity in the images. If I can see all these people create all these looks that are so different, then how can any of us think that there is a “right” way to look? How can magazines and television shows tell you what looks good or bad when you are the one inside your own body, and that body knows what it likes and doesn’t like? All I’m saying is that we should waste less time worrying about how our look will come off to others, because they’re not the ones wearing it.

We create the picture that we show the world, so we might as well make one that we’d like to look at.

See you soon.


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