"She's really let herself go."
It’s meant as an insult. It’s said in the workplace, the sports bar, the mommy play group and to your own reflection in the mirror. It's said by men and women about other women. Whenever a woman gains weight, or stops dressing in a particular way, or wearing make up, or styling her hair then "she has let herself go." Like she's not taking care of herself. She's sloppy and lazy. But what it really does is call out a woman for not living up to very particular standards of what she should look like: thin, well groomed and for gods sakes 'put together.' I mean, if she does not care enough about her looks, then she really can’t possibly have anything worthwhile to share with the world.
But hold the phone here one second...let me get this straight…letting yourself go would mean breaking free of all of that? The judgement, the standards, the pressure? Ummmmmmm, let me think on this REALLY hard here…
“Hell ya, I'm letting myself go!”
Whose with me?!?! I’m done with Let Herself Go as an insult. I’m ready for Let Herself Go as a celebration!
Let’s use our imaginations for just a couple of minutes (the minutes I have in between putting on under eye concealer and waxing my upper lip, cause right now I’m only halfway there) and dream of this:
Next time we hear "she's really let herself go” let’s think "oh yes, thank God, another one is free! she has let herself go! We should have a party for her and celebrate her new freedom!"
Maybe we could even actually throw a party for her? Imagine throwing a “Let Yourself Go” party for every woman who crosses that marker to freedom? Wowza. What fun would that be!?!?!
At the party we will say things like:
"Wow. Look at you! You've really let yourself go! Congratulations! How does it feel?"
"Do you know it took Susan 3 babies but she's finally let herself go! We are so proud of her!"
"I hear Dana is thinking about letting herself go. Wouldn’t that be amazing?"
And what exactly will we do at this party? Now that we have so much more time because we’re not shopping, grooming and cleaning out closets? Well, here’s what I want at my “Let Yourself Go Party:"
And really lets think about this. What’s the opposite of “letting yourself go?” Holding it together. Towing the line. Maintaining the status quo. Pffffft. I'll choose letting go over that any day.
Let yourself go. Whatever that means for you. Go! Go towards what makes you feel whole, brings you peace and brings you joy.
Next time you overhear “she’s really let herself go” can you celebrate for her? I know I will.
**Here you can see I've chosen to "let myself go" in order to spend more time cleaning my kitchen and spending quality time with my children**
Karen Barré is an accomplished mom of 3 that can make snacks ALL day long and still find the time to make light-sabers out of paper and duct tape. As long as the conditions are perfect. And everyone slept the night. And we have groceries in the house. Or paper. Okay, I did it once, it was a highlight.