I can tell the crazy weeks of planning and meetings are over because just as soon as I stepped out of the office of a certain Middle Eastern/North Africa delegation, out went thoughts of human rights and international law. What came rushing in were thoughts of Spring: cotton/linen dresses from Ace & Jig; bright sandals that have been hiding in my closet; and this collection from Sezane, a French label that I have yet to try out.
Growing up in southern California, I, like many others, was taught to appreciate certain material possessions. At the same time, I remember gleaning the message that serious, substantial women do not patently relish makeup and beautiful clothes.
This messaging--that smart women do not spend time gushing over beautiful clothing--has somehow continued in my current line of work. What I find refreshing is that I meet more and more amazing women who dispel this notion all together. That struck me this week, as I was surrounded by international human rights lawyers, many wearing gorgeous frocks and bright lips. It made my heart sing.
In my previous life in Portland in corporate law, I remember meeting a woman who harkened back to her early years as a lawyer. Then, she recalled, she had to play down her femininity, opting for masculine wear that demonstrated that she was "one of the boys." She commented quizzically on how the times had changed, how young female lawyers were now so "free" to look "so feminine."
I could go on and on, as this messaging really peeves me, though I ought to be getting ready for work. These days, I am thinking more about femininity and what values I will pass on to my daughter. I'll save that for another post.