A Woman’s Greatest Battle Is With Herself

I woke up the other day and as most of us do— I immediately checked my iPhone. The news feeds of the day were downloading and one of the top headlines was, “JLO Showing Off Rock Hard Abs on Her 49th Birthday!” Well, after I read it twice to ensure that is in fact what it said, I cried a little and then peaked beneath the covers to see my soft, supple abs (fat roll) staring back at me. You see, my forty-F*ING-eight (48th) birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and as it draws near and I begin to embark on my 49th trip around the sun; I start to ponder… what will my birthday headline read next year?  Maybe something like— “Elaine Showing off FUPA While Straining to Blow Out All 49 Candles.”  (in case you are wondering… FUPA is an acronym for — Fat Upper Pelvic Area – some more vulgar types use the “other” P-word)

 

It seems like as we age, our birthdays tend to create more anxiety.  Inevitably, as the years pass, our mortality draws closer. AND!!! it doesn’t help anything that time seems to move faster and faster as each year passes. This leaves us feeling like we are on a runaway train heading the wrong way on a one-way track about to derail and crash straight into an assisted living facility. Needless to say, feeling vulnerable and questioning ourselves has become the norm. We start to ask ourselves— Did I accomplish what I set out to this year?  Have my nipples migrated farther south? Have I been a good mother, friend, boss, daughter, wife? All this and more plague us as we attempt to do and be it all in the allusive game of life.

 

This year feels especially vulnerable to me. I am in the midst of immense change. My son is leaving 3 days after my birthday for college (I’m not crying, you’re crying!), my company is in the middle of a restructuring, and I am releasing my first-ever book in a couple of weeks. It’s like I’m walking around naked all the time with no robe in sight to cover up my flaws and insecurities.  I mean, at least the Naked Cowboy in Time Square has a guitar to shield some judgment… I’ve got nothing. FUPA on full display, y’all.

 

In my new book, I devote an entire chapter to vulnerability. In one section I say,

 

“We women are perfectionists. We people-please. We believe in the big myth taught to us at a young age: If you’re “good enough,” it all works out in the end. We play many roles wearing many hats, all while suffocating under the illusion we can do it all and be it all. Misguided, often unrealistic expectations are placed on us as we seemingly glide through the overwhelming demands of everyday life. We accept those expectations and break our necks trying to be perfect all the time. And when we’re not, we lose it.

 

Research states that the top two areas for women of not feeling good enough are in relation to how we look and how we parent. Unfortunately, women are held up to impossible standards: Stay feminine, sweet, thin and modest, and make it all look easy.

 

How many times have you felt that way? No matter how much you do or how much you hustle, you still feel like it isn’t enough. The reality is we are human. Men and women alike. For instance, I know I’m aging: My hair is graying, my mind is tired, my body is swollen and no matter how many omega-3s I swallow, I still feel puffy. Thank God for Spanx, caftans, yoga pants and the color black, because there are some things kale and coconut oil just can’t solve. But why, oh why, do we do this to ourselves? It creates unsustainable, even detrimental conditions to exist within.

 

And like looking good isn’t enough pressure, there’s that whole other area where we continue to feel “less than”: parenting. While there are plenty of women who don’t have children and are perfectionists, there’s nothing quite as intense as a mom who feels the pressure to be perfect and to be …

 

… a GOOD mother. (Gulp.) Yep, I said it.

 

Chances are those standards we hold up for ourselves as mothers come from the outside: from society; from our family, friends and acquaintances; from television, movies and books. Basically, from what we’ve been taught are “good mom” traits … and we have no doubt pinned them on Pinterest for quick reference. And from what I can see, those traits create the dreaded, never-ending “should,” “always” and “never” word-vomit loop that gets stuck on repeat in our heads:

 

Always be happy.

Always listen to your baby. 

You should exclusively breastfeed your baby. 

You should stay home with your baby.

Always be patient with your child.

Never miss the important events. 

Always be consistent.

 

You know what I think? Being a mother doesn’t suddenly require perfection—if anything, it requires humanity, modeling for our kids that not everything is always picture-perfect, but that doesn’t mean it’s not awesome (or, shall we say, good enough). And just as important as allowing yourself the room to not be the world’s best mother is letting your kids see you f* up.

 

I think it’s imperative to show your child that you are not perfect. Show them you can make mistakes, and that you can work to correct them. That you can yell and maybe even hurt someone’s feelings, and you can apologize because you are truly sorry. Your children will still love you, and they will learn it’s possible to love someone who is imperfect, and thank God for that. And then they can grow up to be imperfect and love someone who is imperfect, instead of holding themselves and everyone around them to a Pinterest-level standard of perfection.”

 

 So, JLo, I see your abs and I’ll raise you a FUPA. I can turn 48 without letting a 49-year-old goddess (with a team of trainers, I might add) make me feel like I’m turning 48 years old in the wrong way. After feeling a little sorry for myself and doing an endless set of crunches last Saturday morning and seeing no change in my ab tone on Saturday evening I decided this…

 

My birthday wish is that no matter where you are in your life or who you hold as measure of perfection, I hope you allow yourself the grace to find your worth. Your worth is neither added or subtracted by someone’s life, body, bank account, or perfect children. Your worth is up to you and the value you add to the world by staying true to yourself …and maybe your FUPA.

 

With that vulnerability in mind, I’d like to invite you to share three (or one!) self-affirmations in the comments below that demonstrate you have value. Just try it and see how it feels. You are worthy.

 

XO,

Elaine

A fashionable journey.

Fashion has this funny way of connecting us all. We all experience the cyclical trends together. One moment we are all bell-bottomed out coiffing our Farrah Fawcett hair and the next minute we are tossing aside the wide bottomed jeans for wide shoulders (shoulder pads should have never happened) and perms. These moments are cringe-worthy when we look back, but the moment we zipped up those jeans and slid a doily-collared shirt over our perfectly permed hair we felt like we ruled the world. Fashion gives us power…albeit that power comes with a few tragic fashion memories.

Even the untouchable Gwynnie had a moment that makes us think “what the goop?!” But, there’s no doubt that when she hand selected this trash bag skirt and see-through tank she felt like the baddest bitch on the red carpet. I’ll bet her organically moisturized hands get a little sweaty when she sees this picture.

Just kidding. Gwen doesn’t sweat.

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(2002 Oscars in Alexander McQueen)

 

Gwyneth has also had moments that make her bone broth boil, because she is on FIRE! I actually feel the need to bow when I see this picture. You done good girl.

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(2012 Oscars in Tom Ford)

The point is… it’s a journey, PEOPLE. An evolution if you will. And, as I stated in my new book, Breaking the Glass Slipper, “Most of us, no matter how fashion savvy, don’t realize just how much fashion carries us through big moments in our lives: graduation gowns, wedding gowns, first power suit, maternity clothes, nursing tops (where were those for all my postpartum nip slips?!), mom jeans, etc. Fashion plays a huge role in so many of life’s big moments or transitions and we often forget just how defining those fashion choices are to our memories. These fashion choices make important memories seem more tangible. I think fashion sense is almost as powerful as the sense of smell. Remembering exactly what you were wearing can put you right back in that moment again. It’s pretty damn powerful if you think about it. Should we have a moment of silence here?”

 

So, in an effort to bring this full circle and to strengthen our bond I’m sharing some of my big moments… these gems I pulled from my archives, dusted, cringed over, scanned and now I’m posting them on the internet (sober, might I add).

Without further ado, the good, the bad, and the fugly. Give me grace.

 

Circa 1975-1979

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Here I am after I raided my Mom’s closet, when I first discovered the formidable power of fashion. The goal was to look just like my Mom and I think I achieved it. Job well done, E. The weird thing is, this outfit was put together in homage of pure dignity and grace yet it could now take me to straight to Coachella. Maybe I’ll dig it out and catch you by the ferris wheel so we can exchange glow sticks before Post Malone? Kidding, I’d only stand in the desert for U2.

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Here I am channeling a version of Sound of Music meets Captain and Tenille. I was in that phase of experimentation across all areas- hair, dress and accessories- (note the hat).

 

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I’m about ten years old in this picture. This is the onset of my doily addiction around this age. Stay tuned. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate the effort put into those bangs. That kind of lift and curl takes planning people.

 

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Here I am staying true to the 1970’s vibe of wearing a denim vest with just about anything. Once a denim lover, always a denim lover.

 

Circa 1988

The word to define this phase of my fashion life seems to be Big.

Big hair. Big dreams. Big regrets.

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This is my senior graduation picture- the doily made its way back to me- WHY?? Am I supposed to learn something about myself through the doily? Is the doily my spirit animal?

Well- I am not going to be so hard on myself because gorgeous Kate Middleton is still sportin’ them in 2018. I guess I was her fashion idol long before she was mine. 🙂

 

Who wore it better? Actually, no. Keep your comments to yourself.

 

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Senior Prom 1988. I actually don’t feel the need to say anything about this picture…but I will.

I love it. DAMN. I. Look. Good.  The white peplum and white gloves are just so right. I remember feeling completely in control here. I owned it. I unashamedly love the 80’s. Also, a leo has to make mention of her hair. My hair looks incredible here and I’m sure my date agrees. I’m also 99.9% sure I asked him to hairspray it again at some point during the night. NEVER LET THE POUF FALL.

 

Circa late 1990’s- early 2000’s

When I jumped into motherhood and a fashion business all at once. Pregnancy brain does weird things y’all…like convince you entrepreneurship is a cake walk. (Spoiler alert- it’s not. Don’t get me wrong though, there is cake…when you are eating your feelings.)

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I am at my wedding dress fitting in NYC with my mom. As you will read in the book- I had some insecurities about wearing a dress that was sleeveless. But this picture brings back a flood of emotion, and that look on my face tells me I made the right choice. I was a garden princess on my wedding day and I wouldn’t change a single detail (even the sleeves).

 

 

These pictures were taken right after I started my business. The casual power suit became my go to! I kept wearing suits but they were much more casual than the ones I wore in NYC. I was a career woman but I was beginning to dress down- I had a new baby and a new business. And if you are asking yourself, ” Is she insane?”

Yes.

The answer is yes. I am insane.

But, what’s not insane? I’m pretty sure the sneakers I’m rocking are WAY ahead of the current sneaker trend. Ten points Elaine!

 

Modern Day

This is me. This is now.

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Here I am in the Elaine Turner Landa caftan dress. I seem to gravitate to anything kaftan nowadays. I also gravitate towards places to sit. Cut me some slack though, I have two teenagers, a fashion business, and a husband who’s shop talk is now handbags, shoes, and hem lengths. In all seriousness though, caftans are God’s gift to women. They look great and leave room for perimenopause puffiness? Can I get an amen?

 

So see, Guys?! We are on this journey together. I was brave enough to post my fashion journey and honor the place I was in when I chose doilies because at that moment it felt right. The doilies felt powerful.

 

Let’s Break the Glass Slipper by being vulnerable enough together to share and own the fashion choices we have made over the years. The power in this is knowing we don’t have to fit a certain mold or pretend we are perfect. Fashion has the ability to transform who you are or who you want to be. We simply need to all be ourselves and own exactly who we are regardless of poufy hair, white gloves and doilies.

 

I’d love hear your fashion journey, too! Has there ever been a moment when you felt so empowered by your choices or like you may have missed the mark? Let me know in the comments below!

 

XO, Elaine

#BreaktheGlassSlipper

Confession.

I have a confession to make.

 

A big one.

 

One that has me feeling like I haven’t been completely honest with you. I consider us sisters, a girl gang, a Spanx wearing, wine loving tribe – and I hate that I haven’t been transparent with you.

Over the last 6 months I’ve been in hiding – carb loading, emotional, and a little (read: A LOT) drained. BUT, I’ve been in this place for you. For us. For our sisterhood.

 

So, here’s to you:

 

“To the girl bosses and the CEOs of the household. To helicopter moms, cool moms, single moms and dog moms. To the women who feel like they are burning the candle at both ends working split-shift jobs and showing up late for T-ball games. To the women who intentionally chose not to have children, who live and breathe by grabbing a seat at the boardroom table or C-suite, and women who are gypsies and fully live a life of creativity and wonder. To the women who eat their feelings and refer to wine as just another one of their girlfriends (remind me to call Kim Crawford later). To the women who keep everything together even when it seems like it’s all falling apart. To the women who dream and the women who think they have forgotten how to dream.”

 

I wrote a book for YOU.

 

To remind you that…

 “You are brave, strong and resilient. You have the power to change the world and the lies it tells us. But to do that, you have to bend and flex, ebb and flow. You have to shatter the stiff, cold glass slipper. The slipper that doesn’t allow you to move with grace when life deals you a blow. The slipper that restricts your movement and squeezes you into someone else’s idea of perfection. The slipper that makes you feel fragile and easy to fracture.

 

Break the mold by taking back the truths about WHO you are and WHAT you can achieve. Push aside the myths, lies and bullshit that have you feeling “less than.” Once you do, the only thing you’ll fear at midnight is whether or not you have clean underwear for tomorrow. “

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THE BOOK IS TITLED BREAKING THE GLASS SLIPPER.

 Breaking the Glass Slipper has been a labor of love, and finally telling you about it feels like taking off your bra at the end of a long day. It’s freeing, and if I’m honest, almost euphoric – like angels orchestrating the biggest symphony above us. Cue the lights and set your calendar for August 23rd, 2018. On this day, I candidly share with you the mission my fashion business has set me on. A mission that debunks the myths that are holding women back.

 

I hope you will join me on this raw, hilarious, and painfully honest journey, or as we like to call it, movement. My goal with ALL of this is for us to share, connect and inspire one another. Every week until the release of the book on August 23rd, I will share a #BreaktheGlassSlipper story with you that reflects back to each chapter in the book. Next week we will start with our first chapter the Myth: Fashion is Frivolous and go from there. This should be fun! (and maybe a little cleansing)

 

Please join our email list (click here) to learn more about the book. We will keep you informed of the latest updates, happenings and all things worth sharing with regard to Breaking the Glass Slipper.

 

Cant wait to begin this incredible journey with you!

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XO, Elaine