"The Hippopotamus Ballerina"

They say "a picture's worth a thousand words", yet the picture below shows a powerful, strong confident woman who doesn't care at all whatsoever what anyone says about her outfit.... And yet, that couldn't be farther from the truth. 

After spending most of my adult life convincing others to "take risks" and branch out of their comfort zone when it comes to fashion trends, I am probably the last person to jump on the Runway Train and try it myself. In an attempt to challenge myself to "get comfortable in the uncomfortable", I picked the trend that would get the most notice and #yolo.

No, that's not a "hippopotamus ballerina", a thought I had when I first saw my reflection in the mirror which says a lot about my daily battle with my body. If I think it, then obviously the hundreds of people I see on my commute to work, will think even worse. 

With a deep breath and sigh, I take a second glance. 

Ok. This isn't that ridiculous. I've paired it with one of my favorite summer chambray tops, my favorite sandals, and, of course, my summer to fall obsession, a magenta matte lipstain (Sephora, GET AT ME!), three things I love. So in total, only one of these pieces is foreign, three outta four, ain't bad! We can do this, Marge! Of course this look will catch attention, good, bad or otherwise, so be it. If I act like I love it, own it, and know I look awesome, then, as a wise friend told me, "f*ck that noise!" Much easier said than done, let the battle begin!

Never has "fake it till you make it", resonated so much. I grabbed my bag and walked out the door with Kelly Clarkson's "Invincible" blasting in my ears for extra encouragement. (Sidenote: Men, do you have a go-to artist for positive encouragement and parallel to total diva-slayer? I'm intrigued to learn!)

With each layer of tulle as a barrier between what the world saw and what I felt they saw, I made it out of my apartment. I got some looks on the bus as, of course, it was packed and I got the last available seat, squished next to an older woman who gave a very sweet yet kurt smile when my tulle skirt bubbled over my designated seat, but I did everything to keep the demon thoughts at bay. Oh, you aren't familiar with "demon thoughts"? Ya know that little voice in your head that sometimes sounds like the voice of your least favorite social studies teacher, or maybe that awkward friend that always seemed to hit you in the guts from time to time when you voiced your hopes and dreams, they utter the deep dark thoughts about your body or intelligence that your brain creates out of sheer boredom and lack of new episodes of The New Girl.

In case you're wondering what Marge's Demon thoughts sound like, and you haven't read about them in one of their many debuts in past posts, here's my favorite from this particular day. ("How do you remember these thoughts, Marge?" Oh, I don't know! My brain chooses to remember the extremely happy and the extremely dark moments, because it's half-masochist living in a "glass half full" body, yet, if you asked me if I ate lunch yesterday, I have no clue.)

Demon Tutu Thoughts:

"Oh, he thinks you look like a moron,"

"Ya, she thinks I'm going to sing Disney songs to children in a library somewhere,"

and my personal favorite that surfaces at least once a week, even on a good day:

"you're fat enough, why are you adding to what you've got? Have you forgotten everything? Remember high school?" 

Whoah Marge, too real! Honestly, if you've read my other posts, this is nothing. But this says something about our brain, mentality and how we perceive ourselves. Let's continue on with the day and see if things changed...foreshadowing!

I made it to work, on a crowded PATH train and walked, with Kelly blasting her magical, musical combination of melodic motivation, the six avenue blocks in the workd's fashion center in the peak of Monday rush hour, a challenge in it of itself. 

Looks, but more importantly, smiles greeted me when I stepped into my office. Friends and colleagues both were marveled at my skirt and, what I can only take as stunned, as I usually wear some level of modestly, black apparel on any given day. Here I was, dressed in a full-blown tutu, purposely, not for a office prank or dress-up event. 

After sharing the above photo on Instagram and Facebook, to document this monumental occasion, of course, those demon thoughts slowly began to slither back into their corner. As the likes, genuine smiles and compliments came, I started to believe them, a rarity in my life, and feel comfortable living in the whimsical feel of the outfit. The Marge they thought was reliable and predictable, was in fact, a bit quirky and maybe even a bit daring and confident...ha! Maybe not that far. But nonetheless, as it surprised them, I was surprised by my own mood and confidence as it grew throughout the course of the day...even helped me hold my head high at the #PlusisEqual event in Times Square surrounded by hundreds of other fashionistas! 

So here's the "inspired wit" of it all...every so often, challenge yourself. Be daring, courageous, even if it seems like a small task, take a risk, not just for you, but for the others who see you and are inspired themselves. Try something new because not trying and wishing you did is much worse. Oh, and demon thoughts are the worst, BUT if you surround yourself with people who know and love you for who you are inside the clothes, they'll only love you more for wearing them...or not 😉...just kidding, mom!