Would I Like This to Be Me?

Long before we’re old enough to do anything on our own, we’re old enough to dress ourselves. When we stand bewildered in a closet or a department store dressing room, what we’re confronting is one of life’s fundamental questions: Is this me? And: Would I like this to be me? Under what stretch of the imagination might this possibly be me? And finally: Who am I? … Clothes are a constant act of self-definition …

~ Nora Ephron, Elle Magazine guest editor, October 2009

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12 Responses to “Would I Like This to Be Me?”

  1. Deja Pseu

    We define ourselves in many ways, but style and how we present ourselves to the world is such a vital one. Even before someone knows that we are a writer or a mother or a prize-winning gardener or a volunteer at a women's shelter, they will *see* us. So many basic aspects of ourselves are reflected in how we choose to clothe and adorn our bodies. Nora has nailed it here in those few sentences. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. RML- Being More Through Having Less

    I agree totally. I think this is something women notice more than men and the reason perhaps why women dress more for women than men these days. My friends are much more likely to notice how I try to express myself through my clothing than my husband.

  3. tishjett@yahoo.com

    Years ago when I was being interviewed for a job, the editor who would ultimately be my boss asked me: "Why would you want to write about clothes, parties, decoration all those frivolous things instead of more serious, meaningful subjects?"

    I replied that for me all the "frivolous stuff" was the most interesting of all because it is a reflection of who people really are or who they would like to believe or have others believe they are. Far more fascinating for me than covering "meaningful" news.

    I'm a huge fan of Nora Ephron.

  4. Stephanie

    This is great!

    There are so many times where I've found my wardrobe completely change, along with my personal style, as I grow and events shape the course of my life.

    Contrary to what my husband might believe (haha) the way we dress and present ourselves does matter! I love how an outfit can make me feel as well.

    Sometimes sitting around the house with nothing to do but laundry and cook dinner, getting dressed up (ridiculously) boosts my mood like no other! =D

  5. kristophine

    As a researcher in social psychology, I run into self-presentation a lot–it's particularly present in my line of research, since I deal with attitudes based on physical appearance. Self-presentation is incredibly nuanced, and there is a huge amount of information about someone that we pick up and process functionally instantaneously when we see them for the first time: age, gender, race, health, even sexual orientation.

    However, mostly what this makes me think is "I really should schedule that haircut I have been needing for three months."

  6. Rosie Unknown

    Thanks so much for sharing this! It really seems to apply to how I feel about my style at the moment.

  7. Cecilia

    That is so true. It is a constant anxiety, from the moment we first realize that what you wear really reflects who you are or want to be. Until we finally, hopefully, stop obsessing over it and just start being who we want to be and dressing like it. Then life gets good đŸ™‚

  8. neighbourhood.gal

    Yes. I have the honor of watching my daughters (and son to a lesser extent) work through these questions daily. And they (particularly my 4 year old daughter, but also my 6 year old son) watch me.

  9. Elissa

    Clothes make the man. Or woman. So much is said about a person by what they wear that it's a wonder more don't put more thought into it! Of course, you don't want to get paranoid like I sometimes do… "what does THIS belt say? What about these earrings? Oh no, this is all wrong."

  10. enc

    I read that. It's profound in a sad way. We women let ourselves get all hopped up with emotion when trying on clothes, whereas men (not all, I'm just making a sweeping generalization for the point here) can seemingly throw on anything and walk tall.

  11. The Seeker

    OMG Sal, this is totally me!!!!!
    I feel soooooooooo related to this text.How I'm feeling right now.

    Do you mind if I'll post it on my blog? I'll wait for you to answer.