What’s my Style?
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 96 Comments
Interpretation vs. Replication
How do I choose to dress myself today . . .
and how does that affect my brain?
© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Brain-Based Series
2nd Collaboration with Jodie’s Touch of Style
Even if you’ve never been aware of the concept of “Mom Jeans” before you read it here, the Moms with teen-aged daughters anywhere near their size don’t need a definition:
If your daughter hasn’t already tried to abscond with your favorite pair of jeans, put them in the Mom Jeans pile, meaning, according to the Saturday Night Live sketch, “Over the hill, lady, just give it up!”
Related Video: Original Mom Jeans Parody
Apparently, 7-9″ zippers are verboten, since waistbands are not allowed anywhere near anyone’s natural waistline anymore.
Even those styles that first came out as “hip huggers” many decades ago ride too high to please teen-aged fashionistas or the networks today.
Still unsure of their own opinions, the kids band together to undercut everyone who no longer has (or never had) the body to dress like they do, and the networks seem willing to do practically anything to curry favor with this demographic.
Something similar seems to happen every generation. We Boomers, remember, turned a skank eye on all of the preferences of the grown-up population when we were teens: “Don’t trust anyone over 30!”
Nobody’s Safe from Censure
Get real. Bodies change as time goes by.
Priorities change too.
Moms & Dads agree
Working hard to be able to send the twins to college somehow totally eclipses spending time in the gym to keep those washboard abs in show-off shape.
Paying for braces for those teen teeth means that questions about fashion are likely to be replaced by far more practical concerns:
- Does it fit at all?
- Is it clean enough?
- Does it need mending? Or ironing?
- Can I breathe in it?
And who cares anyway?
Everybody knows they won’t be pleased until they are decades older themselves, no matter what we choose to put on our bodies.
And aren’t we pleased as punch that we are no longer in the throes of a time when fitting in with the in-crowd – or rebelling against them – was all that mattered?
Still, being comfortable in our own skin doesn’t necessarily mean giving up, giving in, freezing solid in time, or attempting to keep up with the Joneses’ kids.
So I am continuing the 3-part series with Fashion Blogger Jodie Filogomo of Jodie’s Touch of Style. We are using the various ways in which women play with the idea of fashion at different points of their lives to illustrate the importance of play, choice and change to healthy brain aging, taking advantage of the miracle of neuroplasticity.
Just Tuning In?
Jodie models looks and clothing more likely to appeal to 40-50-somethings, her stepmom, Nancy is the 60’s model, and her mom, Charlotte is the 70’s model.
- Making friends with CHANGE – introducing the link between neuroplasticity, epigenetics & playing with fashion
- Change your Clothes, Change your Brain? – introducing the first challenge – beginning to make friends with change
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Resisting the Lure of the Absolute
Brains like things settled and decided for more than a few reasons.
Biology hasn’t been able to keep up with the speed of technology, so our brains are lagging a great deal more than a little bit behind what we expect of them.
- The brain developed to cram a lot of computational power into a relatively small skull, so it prefers to reuse as many “sub-routines” as possible – time slicing and juggling as it goes.
- In terms of cognitive currency, pattern matching is resource conserving: this is “me” – this is not. Decisions are expensive. What if those resources were suddenly needed to figure out whether to run from a swarm of killer bees or fight off a sabre tooth tiger?
- Since the human brain equates certainty with safety and security, it LOVES absolutes; black and white thinking reduces the anxiety that comes with the uncertainty of choice. I like this – hate that. Settled!
However, brains that are never challenged never develop!
Change is challenging
To move forward in life, we ALL need to learn to identify and let go of the patterns of thought that leave us judging ourselves when we deviate from “norms” that haven’t been reexamined in years.
Think of your brain a little bit like a great many sharks:
if it stops moving forward, it dies.
As I said in Monday’s segment of this exploration of change and fashion, Change your Clothes, Change your Brain? . . .
Changing anything is brain-friendly. Not only is “playing dress-ups” in your own closet and shopping for a few new alternatives not a frivolous waste of time, it is actually a relatively quick and easy-to-do creative activity that supports remaining cognitively nimble as you move through life.
However, in terms of brain resources, looking at a picture in a magazine or on a blog and duplicating it in your wardrobe isn’t really changing much.
Any brain can replicate without breaking a sweat.
No exercise, no brain benefit.
To keep our brains young and vital as we grow older, the goal is to build a choice of strong pathways to get it where it needs to go should a metaphorical detour become necessary.
Creativity is what interpretation is all about – and that’s where your brain gets a workout.
Interpretation takes some thinking outside the box – especially when you are limited to what you already have in your closet, which is part of this second challenge.
Think of it as brain aerobics!
Here’s the other part: find an inspiration outfit from someone years younger than you are, and figure out how to interpret it to shake up your “look.”
As Jodie begins in her Wednesday article:
Many of us worry that we would be trying to dress too young if we copy what the younger girls are wearing! But I want to show you how it could be done with what you have already in your closet!
… we want to try to prove that you can recreate some of the looks that you like on the younger women without being inappropriate.
Click HERE to see what they did, and to read my comments about the brain-based changes their interpretations inspired.
DO Try This at Home
I hope everybody reading along is also playing along – for at least a week or more – and that you will take the time to journal your changes as the time frame progresses, deepening your new neural pathways by making them conscious.
The more modalities you employ, the more change-friendly adaptations you will activate:
- think it up
- change it up
- try it all on & strut your stuff
- journal your changes
- read ’em back – and
- drop back by to let us all know how you did!
I’ll bet you’ll surprise yourselves when you look back over some of the changes you’ve forced your brain to embrace in areas other than what you put on your body.
1-Choose an inspiration outfit from somebody young and trendy, then
2-Shop your closet for a way to interpret the look in a manner that makes better sense for who you are, stretching your answer to the title of this post just a bit outside your brain’s comfort zone.
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(in case you missed them above or below)
- Brain-based Coaching with Madelyn Griffith-Haynie
- Group Coaching Information LinkList
- Private Coaching Formats & Fees
- Moving from Black or White to GREY
- Change, Growth and Decision Dilemmas
- Changing A Habit to Change your LIFE
Other supports for this article
A Few LinkLists by Category (to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)
- The Optimal Functioning (Challenges) Series of articles
(about the Inventory & articles from each category)
- The Black and White Thinking Articles
Related Articles ’round the net
- Can Restyling Your Clothing Pieces be Good for your Brain?
- How to Take What the Younger Girls are Wearing and Make it Yours
- YouTube Video of the Saturday Night Live Mothers Day Ad parody
- How our thoughts control our DNA
- How to ‘game your brain’: the benefits of neuroplasticity (Wired)
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