Do you feel frumpy?

Look, no one has to live up to society’s standard of beauty. No one needs to be a size 4. But what I’m talking about has nothing to do with your figure and everything to do with the amount of effort we decide to put into our appearance.

Why should it matter? Because deciding to look put together is also saying, “I take myself seriously. I respect myself.”

And it’s saying one other thing, too. One reader recently left this comment:

One time my hubby came home from work and I was still in my pjs. He asked if I or the kids were sick, and when I said no he asked why I wasn’t dressed. I said I wasn’t going anywhere, so why shower and get dressed? He looked at me sadly and said,”am I not worth looking nice?”. From then on I have always tried to look good for my sweetie, even if I’m not going anywhere.

It’s showing your husband respect when you look put together! Why do we try to look our best for strangers, rather than the man who is supposed to enjoy looking at us?

So welcome to Fight the Frump Week!

Fight the Frump Week! A week's worth of challenges to help you NOT feel frumpy--and see how fast and easy it can be!

This is what we’re going to be talking about all week! We’re going to be looking at how to fight the frump and feel better about ourselves. We’re going to feel more put together. More organized. More ready to take on the one world! And, especially, more confident with our husbands!

I did this four years ago on the blog, too, and I’ve decided that it’s time to do it again, because it’s super important! How we present ourselves is an extension of how we see ourselves. And when we don’t see ourselves as worth much, that’s going to affect everything–our marriage, our parenting, even our spiritual life.

I think a lot of frump is based in our own personal shame.

Many of you know about my 31 Days to Great Sex book, but that started out as a blog series here, the 29 Days to Great Sex challenge. When I did those challenges, I had immediate feedback from readers on how they were doing. And the challenge that women  had the hardest time with was the day I asked women to name five things they liked about their bodies. People gave up in frustration. When I rewrote the challenge for couples as 31 Days to Great Sex, I asked husbands to help their wives with this, because many of us women just can’t do it. All too many of us truly hate our bodies.

And so you hide them in oversized clothes, or ugly clothes, or all black and neutral clothes. You want to forget about your body. You want to ignore it. That’s hardly the recipe for a good sex life or a good marriage! Yours is the only body your husband is allowed to look at. If you’re confident and have fun with your body, so will he.

And God meant for you to enjoy your body. Do you really want to settle for less than God wants for you?

This week, ladies, we’re going to fight back! We’re going to fight the frump, and the attitudes that make us dress frumpy in the first place.

But before I tell you how, let’s go over some of our reasons for looking frumpy. Usually they go something like this:

No one’s going to see me but the kids anyway. And someone’s probably going to spit up on me! Sure I have to go to the grocery store, but so what? And I just want to be comfortable. I have nothing that fits. I don’t have any money for new clothes.

Stop making excuses! Here’s the truth. When we choose (and it is a choice) to look frumpy, it’s usually because we’re thinking one of these things:
  • I don’t have time to look put together. I’m running ragged all day!
  • I want to be comfortable!
  • I’m scared to go shopping because I don’t want to confront what my body actually looks like.
  • I don’t want to spend money on me.
  • I just don’t know how to dress my body type.

So let’s deal with these one one by one.

1. I don’t have time to fight the frump

To fight this one, let me show you something.

I asked my daughter Katie to help take a video last night of me putting on frumpy clothes vs. non-frumpy clothes. And you know what? It takes basically the same amount of time.

It takes no more time to get dressed in clothes that flatter you than it does to get dressed in clothes that don’t flatter you!

And it takes very, very little time to do your hair and makeup, too, if you have a good hairstyle and makeup ready. (We’ll be looking at that tomorrow!)

But look at this: You can wear sweat pants and an oversized T-shirt.

But it takes no more time, really, to get dressed in something super comfortable that fits! (And I deliberately chose something grey with no colour so that all of you who hate wearing colour have no excuses!).

I didn’t even do my hair and makeup. But I still look a whole lot better.

2. I want to be comfortable!

I get it. There are clothes I wear to church or out speaking that I take off immediately when i come home, because I can’t move as easily in them. But guess what? There are plenty of clothing options that you CAN move in that still look great (like the dark grey top in the video!).

And here’s another thing: Many people don’t want to wear their “good”, that they actually like, around the house in case they get splatter on them or the baby spits up. So you wear ugly T-shirts instead that you figure are disposable. But laundry stain remover can get out a lot of bad stuff. And “good” clothes don’t have to be expensive. Sometimes we think of “good” as anything we look good in, so then we’re deliberately not wearing the stuff that we like so that we don’t wreck it. But then we never, ever wear it. That’s hardly a recipe for happiness!

3. I’m embarrassed about my body

Ladies, society wants us to feel ugly. If we feel ugly, we’ll be dissatisfied. We’ll need to fill that void with something. So we’ll buy more food to kill the pain, or we’ll buy vacations, or more weight loss programs, or more magazines to motivate us. If we all felt great in our bodies, if we all owned just a few outfits that made us feel fabulous, why on earth would we need to keep spending money?

Society has a vested interest in you feeling ugly.

Do you want to give our culture that kind of power?

You were bought at a price. God thinks of you as His beautiful bride. God looks at your inner beauty. Who cares what size you are?

Are you letting body image affect your libido?

Boost Your Libido Tall 1 - Fight the Frump: Let's Get Dressed!
Do you feel so embarrassed or ashamed of your body that it’s really hard to want your husband to see it?

Or really weird to think of enjoying your body?

Don’t let body image rob you of a great marriage! I talk about body image a ton in my Boost Your Libido course–and I want to help you have an awesome sex life, no matter what you feel you look like.

 4. I don’t want to spend money on me

I understand the money issue. You want to spend the money on your family! But do you think it helps your children or your husband to feel as if their mom takes no pride in herself? And I have a friend who is struggling on very little money. She has three kids and she pays for them to have new clothes every year. They always look great.

But she does, too. She’s a very attractive woman, though she’s hardly a size 6! But she knows how to flatter her body. She owns a grand total of 3 pairs of pants (she only has one pair of dress pants). All of her clothes fit in a really small closet. All of her kids have more clothes than she does. But she still looks good, because the clothes she does have fit her and flatter her, and she just pulls on a belt and some jewelry and some nice makeup and she looks all set to go.

I am not saying that you need a closetful of clothes–not at all. I believe that most of us would do far better having five outfits that make us feel amazing than 25 that we bought off of the clearance rack that make us feel lousy. And it is better to spend $35 on two tops that will last and look great than buy 10 $6 tops from a bargain outlet that won’t withstand more than one season of washing in the washing machine.

Sometimes just buying value is so important.

5. I don’t know how to look good. I don’t think it’s possible with my body type.

Most of you reading this managed to give birth. You taught those kids how to use the potty. You fed them and kept them alive when they couldn’t even sit up. You learned everything there was to know about babies.

And you’re telling me that you can’t take 5 minutes and really analyze what body shape you are and what types of clothes flatter that body shape? I know it can take longer than 5 minutes to find a pair of pants that fit, but that’s no reason to give up! When you find some that do fit, you’ve crossed a milestone, and you’ll feel so much more confident about it. So what if it takes trying on 20? It’s not an indictment about your size; it’s just that we’re all made a little differently, that’s all.

And shopping is easier than ever before! I shop for my clothes online now. Online retailers have such elaborate measurements written on their website that all you need is a measuring tape and you’ll know exactly what size to order. And if it doesn’t look good you can often mail it right back–for free! So you don’t even have to drag little ones to the mall. This can be a lot less intimidating than trying on dresses and pants there.

No matter your body type, every woman can look beautiful, and every woman can look put together. Every woman can take pride in herself. When you do this, your marriage improves overnight, because you become more confident in your body, and that reaps huge dividends.

So will you join me and fight the frump with me?

The rest of the Fight the Frump challenge:

Let’s do this, ladies! What helps you fight the frump? What makes you feel frumpy? Let’s talk in the comments!

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - Fight the Frump: Let's Get Dressed! Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 27 years and happily married for 22! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature "Girl Talk" about sex and marriage. And she's written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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