There’s something to be said about the phrase “I got it from my mama.” As a daughter of a strong, caring, and vibrant lady, my mother has always had a strong influence in my life. Although I’m not a mother yet myself, I so enjoy learning about motherhood from my dear friends who are. That is why today I’m sharing with you a very special look into the important role a mother plays in her daughter’s life with the example of my friend Kristina. I’ve only known Kristina for a short while, but we’ve become quite close over these past few months. Of all Kristina’s wonderful qualities, her passion for motherhood was so infectious and pure that it truly stood out to me. I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn from her in many areas of life. Today she and her daughter, Alexandria graciously join me on the blog to share their story of being mother & daughter and how that relationship impacts both their overall body image and relationship with fashion. –Hannah What did you learn about yourself through this experience of taking photos and writing for the blog? We really enjoyed embracing who we were throughout this experience. Our thoughts as mother and daughter come from a relationship fostered in embracing individuality and loving every bit of who we are. Knowing yourself, and identifying your inner being, is something that I believe as a mother is crucial in teaching my daughter to love who she is, and be comfortable with the things that take her away from what society dictates. Through this experience, I was able to just let her be, pick out the wardrobe that suited her needs, and made her most comfortable in front of the camera.
A mother-daughter relationship is incredibly important to nurture and strengthen throughout life, not just in the moment, or when your child declares they need you. To me, they always need, you, whether they realize it or not. Life gets busy, and the daily to-do list often becomes stressful and tiring, however, remembering to laugh, respect each other, and listen, are what remind us to not lose sight of the relationship at the core of craziness.
What new thoughts do you have about each of your futures? I am not sure if either of us has new thoughts about the future, more like, thoughts that continue to evolve and change as we grow together as mother and daughter. Alex has a bright future, she’s a hard worker, open minded, free in spirit, yet surprisingly grounded at her age. Most importantly, she is very comfortable with who she is and does not fall into peer related pressures. At this age, peer groups can already be difficult, however, she remains true to herself, and helps all of her friends to get along. My fierce, but gentle peace keeper!
What have you learned about your mother from becoming a mother? Ha! That she was right! On a serious note, she gave me a great sense of self. I was empowered to be me, to like me, to accept me, and not change for others. This is something I have carried into my life as and adult, and as a mother. She was firm, and offered tough love when needed, always holding her ground. Never wavering in her love for me, and belief in me. My situation is and was unique, in that my parents could not have children, and chose to adopt me. It has been a beautiful and special relationship from the beginning, one that I am truly blessed to have. I still strive to be half as good as she, and to apply some of her parenting with my soul mixed in. So far, so good!
What’s your best hope for your daughter based on what you know about fashion, style, body image, and overall identity? I hope for Alex to identify with herself on all levels, not try to fit into any societal mold, but to just be. When you are a confident woman, stand tall, and find a style that is all your own, you become free from body image struggles, and insecurities. It is amazing how it just sets you free. A confident woman, a woman who knows who she is, and does not stray from the very nature of her soul, is a woman who is sexy. It is never about the look…..it is all about the being.
What worries you given the complexities your daughter faces, as she grows older? I worry about her education, her relationships with other women and her intimate relationships as well. I want her to understand that she needs her own path in life, not a path that suits others needs, but her own. I want her to understand that life is beautiful, full of wonder, and can take you to so many places. I hope she never limits herself but continues to push herself to be a better human and to have a great love of humanity. With the way, the world is at this time, and the hate that still exists, I hope I can raise a compassionate woman, who respects differences, faiths of all kinds, and the beautiful colors that make up humanity. I hope that she will impact people on some level, and empower others to be the best version of themselves they can be.
What are your thoughts as to how you can better prepare and equip her to face social pressures and other influences?There will always be social pressures, and negative influences, but with a solid foundation, and a strong sense of self, I believe she will be prepared to ward off such influences.
What are your thoughts about how fashion has impacted your previous as well as present life? I have always loved my sense of style, one that in ingrained in comfort and as I like to call it, sass! I dress in what makes me comfortable and feel pretty, not in what others think I should wear. Don’t get me wrong, I love to follow the latest trends, but I chose what I like, what will fit my body type, and what will make me smile. I have never been one to wear something just because a magazine says I should.
How has becoming a mother impacted and influenced your own present view on identity and fashion? As a mother, I have always enjoyed purchasing clothing for the kids and myself as well as my husband. I often look at the latest trends and then choose according to their likes and dislikes. I guess I choose based on my own way of thinking about style, that it can be your own. I have never wanted them to think about fashion as something that rules them, to me that is simply not healthy. Clothing should be an accessory to your soul, that’s what makes it work per individual.
Alexandria, what defines beauty in your mind? Being a good person, helping people, and not falling in a pattern that your friends think you should follow. I am ok with me, and I think that is beautiful.
How does what you wear impact how you see yourself? I like to be comfortable, and I love miss matched socks! I like it, and it’s funny, and I guess I see myself as funny. Yup, I am kind of a funny girl! If I am comfortable, then that makes me comfortable at school too. Mom says, stand tall and be you, so I do!
What are some ways that your mother influences your style and view of yourself? Mom sometimes gets tired of me wearing some of the same things often, but she knows they are my favorites, so she always lets me. My mom says I can just be me, and pick out things that represent me, not the kid next to me. And I am like, well yeah, why would I dress for someone else? My mom always looks nice, but I like to tease her. Mom said that I am a girl that is beautiful from the inside first, the outside is part of your inside….a reflection of who you are as a girl and person. So I say to myself, just be you, Alex!
Thinking about fashion and identity, what advice do you have for your friends? My friends are often focused on name brands, to the point that they make sure to comment when someone has something they want and don’t have or have that is not name brand. I don’t think it is okay to make fun of someone who does not have a name brand item on, that’s just not cool. Why? Because, what does it even matter anyway?! I say be comfortable, and it isn’t your business what other people wear or do, cause they are not you.
What do you like to wear and why? I love leggings, miss matched socks, and comfy shirts. Leggings are soft, and I love leggings with patterns because they are fun. Sometimes I wear fun heels or dressy boots, but I am usually a sneaker girl. I love Under Armour sneakers, cause they are really comfy for my feet all day. I like dressed sometimes, but nothing poofy! Less is more I say.
Kristina & Alexandria