Every week, Preen tackles motherhood sans the rose-tinted glasses. Our columnists L. Juliano, Marla Darwin, Monica Eleazar-Manzano, Rossana Unson, and Ronna Capili-Bonifacio tell their personal experiences like it is—at times frustrating, oftentimes confusing, but always enlightening.
As much as I want to detach myself from material things, Lord help me, I just love to shop. Extra pair of the same shoes and two more colors of the same dress design? Guilty as charged! Fashion will always be a part of my life. But now in my 30s, I’ve noticed that I see it very differently than how I used to.
Growing up, especially in those crucial teenage years of seeking identity while battling with borderline OCD, I turned to clothing and possessions to label who I am. The need to have a solid look that connects to the person I think I was became an obsession. I was more concerned of what others think of me than I how I really felt about myself.
As I grew out of the phase and learned to work around my condition, my views on fashion changed as well. Yes, it’s still very much connected to who I am, but it’s not a sole identifier. It’s merely an expression of a multifaceted human being. Instead of buying items precise to a style book, I just buy whatever I fancy. I don’t let it define me, I give clothes my own definition. It’s this kind of owning the perspective and embracing the varied identities one can possess that I want my daughter to emulate.
And teaching this really does start very early on. I grew up very insecure. After my parents separated, my mom had to battle depression and it wasn’t very ideal for us siblings. My sister and I often talk about how much we had to un-learn notions we were taught growing up, and how hard it is to do so than just instilling the right principles and beliefs from the get go.
I see that this means I should be mindful of my purchases as I model the right behavior to my daughter. That translates to valuing the source of our purchases from food to fashion. I’ve become more attracted to brands that promote sustainability, are produced locally, and take good care of their employees. I focus on items that provide the best value for money like things that will last and will not contribute to landfill. I choose wisely and buy pieces that are timeless even if the fashion seasons change. And finally, I give back when I decide to let go. Every year, clothing that I haven’t used are donated to the right charities and causes.
In this world we currently live in, I wish for her to mature as a kind, responsible, sensitive, and conscious individual. That is the crucial goal I remind myself everyday. This cascades to everything else I want her to become, even with her sense of fashion.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.
Art by Lara Intong
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