Friday, April 24, 2009

What does a homemaker look like?

This is the picture that started it all and the comment that it received here on this blog:

“Hi Angie. You seem to be a very talented charming lady. Your site is very nice. I think your dark eye makeup sends a little bit of a mixed message. I'm not saying that you aren't pretty--you are so pretty! Nice blog! Cute post.”

This comment has inspired some awesome, funny comments and emails both from my "real life" friends and my online friends.

At first I laughed at the "mixed message comment", but then I was like, HEY! What exactly does that mean? Are people really so judgmental as to make assumtions based on what kind of make-up someone wears? I have good ideas, easy recipes, I’m a nice religious gal… How much does the way you dress affect how people think about you, even in blogland? And what message is my make-up sending?

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE vintage and girly and pink, but you rarely see that in the way that I dress. I do wear a lot of vintage jewelry, but clothes-wise I wear what is flattering on me. I have big brown eyes, which look washed out without black eyeliner. I’m self-conscious about my tummy and hips, so I like to wear black a lot. I have a larger chest, which means quite often my tops are tight through the chest area. I rarely wear jeans. I’m always in heels; I own two pair of shoes with skulls on them (I call them my pirate shoes…haha) and I own two pair of camo shoes that I wear a lot, even with my dress pants and white shirt at work. I always dress modestly. I have a style that is very much my own.

Just because you are a mom and a wife and a homemaker doesn’t mean you can’t look hot.  I know I am not a Barbie doll, but I do get up every day and put on makeup. I dress nicely almost all the time. I take care of my hair and baby my skin. I like to have my nails painted and yes they are painted black right now. I am not “high maintenance”. I spoil myself on a few things, like buying quality hair products and make-up, but over all I’m an extremely frugal person. All my clothes were extremely low clearances or thrift store finds, so I don’t feel bad about having a lot of them. It doesn’t cost a lot to look nice. It doesn’t take any longer to put on a pair of nice pants than it does to put on a pair of jeans or yoga pants.

What is wrong with not wanting to conform to what a “homemaker” is supposed to look like in these modern times. When I think of today's homemakers I often think frazzled and stressed out and yes, I am those things, but I don’t want to look it! I know women that are still in their pajamas when their husband gets home from work on a regular basis or that don’t feel like they have time for makeup or even showers because they have little kids. Take the time. You will feel much better about yourself as a women and your husband will appreciate it! You are more than just a mom and a homemaker. You are a smokin’ hot chick, so show it!

I look at the vintage homemakers of days gone by and I think how sad it is that we lost that way of life. I cook wearing my vintage aprons and high-heels and jewelry…  I dress up when we go out, even just to the movies.  If you look nice on the outside, it helps a lot on the inside.

I don’t think it’s vanity and I don’t think it’s narcissism. It’s taking care of yourself and feeling good about yourself and showing your husband that he is still worth getting dressed up for and showing yourself that you are more than just “mom”. I’d like to end with a quote by Brigham Young. I love this quote! I’ve mentioned it before, but here it is again.


Kafeyan Family said...

I read your blog everyday, Angie! I think you ROCK! I don't really understand the eyeliner comment at all. Your makeup is lovely. It doesn't sit well with me that homemakers have to dress or act a certain way. If someone DID want to wear crazy makeup or dress a certain way why would that make them any less of a homemaker? I think being a homemaker comes from within. I, too, believe that one should be neat and clean while presenting herself - but homemaking is for everyone no matter what fashions or makeup one chooses. But, yes be clean for goodness sake! lol

Another Suburban Mom said...

I think you rock too Angie! And from one homemaker to another, I think you are very cute!

Rosey Pollen said...

Well said! Homemakers deserve to look hot, too. Your black nails are pretty sweet.

The French Bear said...

What? Some people are just plain rude, that is not a lot of makeup! I think you are a sweet little chickie and certainly beautiful!!! I never even noticed the makeup, I agree with you, even if you are a stay at home Mom, you still need to indulge yourself! LOL don't even give it another thought!!!
Have super weekend, and don't change a thing sweetie!
Margaret B

Woman Interrupted said...

I'm glad you didn't take offense but instead decided to take the high road. (I might not have.) It would be easier to respond if the person had been specific about exactly what "message" your sending.

Hmm? and Oh well!

My husband jokes that he would really love it if I'd dress like June Cleaver with the full dress, heels and pearls. Poor guy, he's lucky if I put makeup on for him twice a week.

I admire you for taking the time to take care of yourself even with the busy schedule (and you still make homemade dinners every night!!)

ladyjanewriter said...

I'm not a mom, and am a lousy homemaker, but I am kind of sick and tired of women being judged about how a woman "should" be.

It's kind of amazing how wrapped up people can be about what a "good" woman is...or what a "beautiful" woman is.

This is, of course, is from the perspective of the Unitarian Universalist BBW with the buzz-cut. ;-)

Sonya said...

Oh gosh you are just to adorable so don't even pay attention to the whole eye liner bit. I am an american living in the netherlands and let me tell you I have had to suck it up in more ways than one when it comes to dealing with different cultures and what they "think" a woman needs to look like and how a stay at home mom needs to act and spend her days.

I need to get up everyday and put makeup on. I sometimes fall into the why bother category..but it does matter and I need to remember that I matter aswell.
Thanks for the much needed nudge.

Launi said...

Holy Cow! Good for you. What a fabulous post! I'm actually a million years older than you and I've searched for a way to say EXACTLY what you just said, in my blog. This planet sure does need to hear that you CAN take the time to make yourself attractive. My daughter is a SAHM and she wears "pirate" clothes and jewlery and sometimes safety pin earrings. She is adorable. I've been showering and wearing make-up since I was 12. If I didn't--I'm sure my kids wouldn't know me.
I would love to link to this article or post it directly as a "guest" author. Would you let me know which you would prefer?
Thank you so much for this!

Kimmie said...

Awesome post! I totally agree with everything you are saying here. I as well am a working mom (albeit part-time...I work 7am to 1pm), but I have come home many a day and my neighbors that are stay at home moms still are not ready for the day at 1:30 in the afternoon.

I always make sure I put on fresh lipstick and make sure my hair is spruced up before my hubby walks in the door each day.

My favorite quote ever is from Spencer W. Kimball in a book called "John and Mary". (advice given to a couple getting married).

"And so Mary, you will remain at home making it attractive and heavenly; and when John comes home tired;
You will be fresh and pleasant.
The house will be orderly.
The dinner will be tempting.
and life will have REAL meaning"!

Great post in letting people know that YES, even though you are a homemaker, you can have your OWN look and yes it's okay to be BOLD!!

Raggedy Girl said...

My very first pastor always used to say...
If the barn needs painting, then paint it.

I have gone through so many fashion transitions in my life from overly trashy to almost Amish. But no matter what I wore I was always me. I think you look really cute and sweet and know you to be a wonderful person. I think it is terrible when we judge people on how they look instead of by the content of their character and their actions. Great post.

Happy Pink Saturday
from the Raggedy Girl-Roberta Anne

Anonymous said...

YESYESYES! I agree with YOU Angie! Where did those days go that ppl used to "dress" the part? Like heels for the women, and slacks for the men! I think it's important to keep yourself up, not vanity, but just show that you care about yourself. You show your daughters how to dress, and your sons what to look for later in life. =)
btw, I do just about every color of the rainbow on my nails ( as long as it works for me, and black is ONE of those!!) =)

Anonymous said...

I'll never forget the time my husband and I tried to finance some furniture. (That was before we got smart.) The sales girl asked our occupations and I said "engineer". She looked at me and said, "No seriously." :| I was like, "I am serious." "Well, you don't look like an engineer." I decided to take it as a compliment. lol.

Ann said...

Okay, guess this homeschooling mom needs to let the hair grow, lose the make-up and go out and buy some long skirts and flat shoes. And even though you don't think you are being judgemental, you really are. Like you said, don't take offense.

The American Homemaker said...

Ann- I'm not being judgmental at all and you definitely didn't offend me.

I said these are just stereotypes we all have in our heads. And it's true. I don't always dress to fit the homemaker/mom stereotype and it sounds like you don't dress to fit the homeschooler stereotype. Good for you!

The whole point of this was to say break the mold :) I'm encouraging people TO put on makeup... LOL Why would you go lose yours? And hey, I have a couple of long skirts and flat shoes... Plus... I never mentioned long skirts OR flat shoes so that must be a stereotype YOU had in your head... see, we all do it. Thanks for the input.

Raggedy Girl said...


I am back with a follow-up comment. right after I read this we went out to lunch and there was a girl with tight pink pants on and on her tushie it said Juicy in silver lame letters. And her man kept patting her rear while they were ordering sandwiches. I told my hubby about your post and how we should not judge a book by the cover but I have to tell you I was having one heck of a time not feeling like this girl needed some direction in her life.

Roberta Anne

Anonymous said...

I started to read the newest post, but decided to understand what was going on I had better scroll down and read this post first.

I don't think it matters what you wear as a mom, if you are happy, comfy, living the standards you have set for your self and are busy being the best you can. We are all at different stages of life. Have different styles, looks and taste. Which makes us as daughters of God, Wonderful. Who would want us all to be the same?

I love your black eye liner, nails and clothing. This comes from some one who was what my daughter calls today a goth. That was my style when growing up. I have really toned it down as I have aged. But from time to time I like to wear all black. It is a great comfort color for me.

Your awesome!

janie @ mommy has a blog... said...

Angie, you so rock for doing this post (and the follow up too!) This girl wears black eyeliner on a daily basis (and for the exact same reason you do) and I don't consider myself high maintenance either, I just embrace my femininity for myself and for my husband, the way my mother always did. I do housework in a dress or a skirt; just never been a sweat pant kind of girl and even going grocery shopping I might just feel like dressing up and there are those that just don't "get" that... but that's just me. Pearls, aprons, housedresses. Love it. I admire the ways of the "vintage" homemaker and am sad that things are so different now. I could go on, but as always, you said it all just right :)

Zebu said...


I, too, love the vintage homemaker look. There is something wholesome about it.