Avon Beautiful's Blog

October 31, 2012

Age Appropriate

Do children understand age-appropriate dress?

I know it’s all the rage. I know it’s “cute” and  it’s “cool,” but riddle me this…is it right? “What?” you ask.  Letting children dress upwards of their age. Not to be a fuddy-duddy, but just because everybody is doing it, does not make it a good enough reason for your child, godchild, neice or little cousin to do it.

I was walking in the shoe department at Burlington and I tell you it almost broke my heart to see a pair of heels for a child that couldn’t be more than four years old. They just learned to walk and be balanced and now we are expecting them to manage a heel. I can hardly manage a heel and I’m in my forties. Their bones are still forming and shaping and we allow them to wear a heel because they want to, or it’s “cute” or because Suri Cruise’s parent’s don’t know how to say “no” to their child.

Stop the madness! (Picture from style.chariweb.com)

I blame the consumer for this continuing trend because the supply is only there because there is a demand. The fact that this is the second time I saw this trend in a Burlington Coat Factory and there have been a good amount of months in between the first time I saw the trend to my recent visit —this tells me that the demand has not weaned.

Okay, maybe you agree with me on the baby heels, but this might go down a little harder. Why are little girls walking around in costume jewelry that looks like they should be going to a night at the Met. Forever 21 is one of the stores that teens and preteens get their trough of spectacular bling. The store is called Forever 21, but you will note that ages 12, 13, 14, and 15 through 45 are in this store.

I’m sure that Forever 21 knows the ages of the people who come in and buy their jewelry.  It’s their business to know that sort of thing, but it is not their business to tell teens and pre-teens that the jewelry they are buying is not age appropriate. You might be able to gather that from the name of the store. After all, everyone knows that 21 is that age kids want to get to because they are legal for pretty much everything and yet they are still not old. Heck, some adults would go back and stay at 21 if they could. Not me . . .been there, done that and have plenty of pictures, so I don’t need the tee-shirt.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong for them to shop there, but I’m saying that some of the pieces are just too grown, and who are they modeling themselves to look like anyway? Behind every trend there is usually a celebrity or video girl who little girls are trying to emulate. How do I know? I was a teen and the Bible tells me “there is nothing new under the sun.” I wore Madonna’s virgin bracelets, a key earring to be like Janet Jackson,  had my hair styled in a bob to look like Whitney Houston in the video “How will I know.” These were my top three influences and if you think your child hasn’t admired Rihanna, Beyonce or even Miey Cyrus or Taylor Swift you are probably wrong.

Sasha and Malia have a great example of dress in First Lady Michelle Obama.

The first daughters, Sasha and Malia are pictured with their parents. Both are lovely and very age appropriate…like mother like daughters. (Picture from the Boston Globe)

As a woman, be a good example. for the girls in your life. Give them an example of style and class at an early age. Show them how to dress appropriately for their age and express to them that there are times that they can graduate to receiving cetain privileges. Heels may be 16 or maybe 17, depending on their maturity. Then, when they are able to wear the heel, let them know what type of heel they can wear. A low heel should come first. Then explain the different types of heels. Certain heels are classy, some are funky, and some look like the person wearing it  just got off from the evening shift working the corner. Let them know that they don’t want to look like that.

People do treat you according how you are dressed, and no you may not feel that it is right, but it’s reality. Why should you want to dress like something you are not anyway? If you walk like a duck, expect  to be treated like one. And no, I don’t believe that people have the right to touch you or yell rude and nasty language at you because of your clothes, but the fact is if you don’t dress that way you don’t have to worry about it.

I still remember wearing a very revealing blouse (as I usually did before Jesus became my Savior) and I was quite annoyed as one of my coworkers talked directly to my breast. Yes, that was a jerky thing to do and I addressed him about it, but in retrospect, I realize that the girls shouldn’t have been out there. People have freedom to look, even though men disrespect themselves  as a gentleman when gawking. I mentioned that I stopped wearing blouses like that when I got saved. That was not a decision anybody told me to make, it was the conviction of the Holy Spirit who guided me to see that it wasn’t how I wanted to represent myself or the Lord. He even showed me how it looked when I had to serve someone who came up to me with everything out there. As much as I didn’t want to look, I couldn’t help looking because it was in my face.

Clothes come with attitudes. You walk a little different in certain shoes or when your bust is exposed. You feel a little sexier when your jeans are tighter. But my question is what is a  teen/pre-teen doing feeling sexy anyway? It’s not their time for all of that.  They should feel cute or pretty, but sexy is not for kids.

Again, women—be their example. Let them desire to emulate you. Let their friends say “Your mother/aunt/ cousin/godmother sure does dress well.” They’ll see a respect that can’t be gained with “cheap” and “half-naked.” Besides those things are a dime a dozen these days. Style and grace, however, will always turn heads. Add humility and the beauty that only God can give and you are untouchable at any age.

November 9, 2011

I love New York…Fashion!

Filed under: fashion,Shoes — avonbeautiful @ 3:48 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The City that never sleeps on fashion. Photo taken by Monica Johnson

I had the opportunity to spend my birthday weekend in New York. I’m originally from New York but moved in my teens, so coming back is always a homecoming experience for me. While bustling around the streets and riding on the subway, I was inspired.

I was inspired by so many things but two of the main reasons I was inspired was because I saw people who genuinely just followed their own sense of style. I’m talking about having a confidence to wear boots of feathers or natural manes or cultural garb. It was great to be at fashion’s center. I love New York fashion.

The second reason I was inspired was because of culture. Culture reigns supreme in New York, and after living in places where it’s just Neapolitan. New York  definitely has all 31 flavors. It’s every spectrum of the world represented and they are representing themselves in their own culture yet blending into the melting pot that is New York.

December 21, 2010

The Best Looking You on a Budget

Believe it...You can look your best on a budget!

In these times of economic challenges, there is still no excuse for not being the “best looking you” you can be. This is a message to me as much as it is a message for you because there are times when I reason and make excuses for not doing what I need to do to keep my appearance up. Now I don’t let it go to the extreme because as a woman, I can’t get too far out there…the girly girl kicks in really fast. However, I say this as an encouragement to those who have found themselves in the position of looking at their wardrobe and feeling  “the blahs!” Even if funds are not abundant, that’s not a reason for you not to put your best foot forward in your appearance. A very wise woman knows that even if she only has two blouses and two pants she should first thank the Lord for having what she has and then keep the two blouses and pants washed and neat.  Also in acknowledging Christ in all of your ways, God can show you how to accessorize and mix up your wardrobe.

It’s like those mothers who turned canned meat and instant potatoes into a meal fit for a king. You do the most with what you have. The Bible even tells us to be faithful in a few things and then God would make us ruler over many(Matthew 25:21) . It also tells us to humble ourselves before the Lord and He will exalt us (Luke 14:11). No you may not be able to get the designer names, but with a little work you could look just as good. And guess what? I have a friend who gets whatever designer names he wants at the thrift stores. He has staked them out and gets top-quality clothes with very little coinage.

There are lots of chic finds at affordable prices to be found at consignment shops, vintage stores and thrift stores.

So we have established that it takes work. You can’t just wish for it. Check out your local thrift stores, consignment shop, vintage shop or outlet store. True outlet stores have deep discounts, so investigate and find out where some of your thrifty friends do their shopping. You may find out that those fancy duds don’t cost as much as you think they do.

Check out your major department stores because clearance prices can be extreme.  Nordrstrom  Rack and Macy’s are fantastic with their clearance racks. You also should look at your Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Burlington and Ross stores as well.  I saw a woman the other day who looked so great I had to ask her where she got her whole outfit.  The boots she was wearing may have been $150 to $200 and she got them for around $35 dollars at Marshalls. Her whole outfit was from Marshalls and it was beautiful.  And look, let’s get out of this prima donna /diva status where we can’t rifle through the racks.  Yes, it can be a little frustrating if you really like to have things orderly, but treat it like a treasure hunt where the ends justify the means.

After Christmas is the perfect time to see the deep discounts. Remember that retail is always a season ahead, so if you buy off-season (as in a season behind), you will be able to stock up for the next year. Don’t be stuck on buying something because it’s the style right now. Buy smart!

Some say the best things in life are free. Will you be to proud to accept it? My church does a yearly giveaway and we are instructed to give things that we would want to receive. We are told that we should give that thing that we want to keep. See, when you give like that you are sure to be a blessing.  I’ll never forget a family that came to the giveaway and found a winter coat for their son. It was a big black, bubble-coat. It was quite stylish, so the little boy who was probably about eight or nine was happy to receive it. More than the look on the little boy’s face was the look on his father’s face.  I could have cried when seeing the relief it brought to that father who would not have to figure out how to adjust the family’s finances or neglect paying a bill to  get his little boy a coat. Look on listings like Craigslist and you will see a section that simply says FREE. You will find listing for giveaways, people simply wanting to give all kinds of articles from furniture to exercise equipment to clothes.

You can find things that represent you within your budget, but you have to be willing to do the work. Aren’t you a worthy cause?

September 22, 2010

Take good care of your temple!

I just saw a story about a new treat (???) called fried butter. The inventor of this snack takes part of a stick of butter, wraps it tightly in dough and deep fries it. When it comes out of the deep fryer, you bite the dough and a surge of melted butter seeps through the bread and in your mouth. Incredible…huh? What will they think of next?

Fried butter is not the best option for those wanting to take good care of their temples.

Although, there is a hint of disgust for this overly indulgent carnival food, I have to admit I was slightly…well, okay, very interested in finding out how this cardiac arrest on a plate actually tasted. However, it made me think about the scripture which says, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are (I Corinthians 3:17).”

Did you know you are God’s temple? When the Holy Spirit lives in you, you no longer belong to yourself. So it’s imperative that we take care of ourselves spiritually and physically. God’s word also says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth (3 John 1:2).” God wants the best for us. He wants us to have good things and be in good health, but the prerequisite is our soul must be healthy first.

Reading the Bible is one of the best ways to feed your spirit.

When you ask God what He wants you to do, your decisions will be quite different than if you were making the decision on your own. God knows what’s best for us and He would never tell us to do anything that would damage our physical bodies. We can act like we don’t have an expiration date, but it doesn’t change the fact that none of us are getting any younger and what we do in these bodies today will show up in these same bodies tomorrow.  So lay off the fried butter, drink lots of water, eat your fruits and vegetables, and get your exercise daily.

Be proactive in taking care of your temple physically and spiritually.

Be informed about what you put into and on on your physical body. Invest in yourself and buy the good products. No frills is understandable in this economy. Many of us are doing what we can to make our budgets work, but sometimes you need to treat your temple to the best quality products you can afford.

There’s also no need for us to look shabby either. Represent the kingdom of God well! Look your best. Ask the Holy Spirit how to dress your temple? Yes, He will give you the answers to what looks best on you. The word doesn’t say “…acknowledge Him in all thy ways and He shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).” for nothing.

Even more than the physical, think about the things you put in your body spiritually. Only Christ is good enough to feed the spirit and nurture the soul. Take good care of your temple; it’s on loan from the Lord and you will have to answer for what you do to it.

Beautifully yours, Monica Johnson, Avon Representative

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