I've been graced with two new photos of the lovely Martinique and couldn't wait to share them with you. Without further ado.......
Above we have Martinique as a kicky foreign exchange student studying fashion design in Paris. Oh La La! When not in class, I imagine she fills her days strolling through the Picasso Museum or Musee Picasso in the fashionable Marais district. Or perhaps she sips espresso and nibbles pain au chocolat with friends at a trendy outdoor bistro. I believe my nephew titled this "Sparkly from head to toe." And I'd respond, "Oui, c'est vrai."
That above photo about made my head pop off. Martinique and my nephew have clearly outdone themselves here. The short hair/ short dress combo, the blue bow in the hair perfectly echoing the bows on the shoes, and just a pinch of bling is what I'd call genius styling. Martinique is ready to own the red carpet at the Grammys or be the star at some swank soiree. Brah-voh!
I was wondering how it is that Martinique seemingly got an entirely brand new wardrobe overnight? Well, I was just catching up with my sister and she shared a pretty great story with me. It's one of support, compassion, and $hopping.
Seems my nephew, who has always had an affinity for glamorous things, prefers to shop at Forever 21 over the boy's department at Target or The Gap. He thinks that boy's cloths are pretty limited and looks at girl's clothing as inspiring and full of possibilities. Up until recently he had only window-shopped at Forever 21 but never had felt the joy of walking up the counter, plopping down a sequined spaghetti-strap top, and saying, "Yes, that's for me. What's my total?"
My sister feeling her son's pain and disappointment at a world that frowns on boys who occasionally might opt for a skirt over a pair of cargo pants, walked hand and hand into Forever 21 with her son, grabbed an arm load of the most colorful items (which he picked out), and the two of them spent an hour in the dressing room as he tried on each and every garment. In the end, she dropped $100 and my nephew and Martinique are all the more beautiful as a result. It's clear how inspired he's been with all these great new outfits he's created, photographed, and sent me pictures of. A round of applause please for my sister and for her son. Clap, clap and a snap, snap!
What I know from personal experience is some kids reject the idea that there are "rules" when it comes to gender-related dress codes. If I'd been given the option, I would have definitely chosen skirts over the corduroy pants I wore when I was a kid. I remember at around age 9 sneaking into my mom's closet and trying on some of her cloths. I preferred the feeling and freedom of slipping into a knee-length pleated skirt over the restrictive sensation I got from my Tuffskin jeans. Doesn't mean I wanted to be a girl, far from it. I was quite happy being a boy. I just didn't understand why it was "wrong" that I liked the way my mom's Egyptian inspired bracelet looked on my wrist. Or why my brother would make fun of me if I occasionally put on a little lipstick. What's the big deal? I was digging around my mom's closet when I was about 10 and found a box which contained a gray fur stole and a long, curly, black wig and it was like Christmas morning. I later discovered those items had belonged to my grandmother. My mom would never, ever wear fur or a wig for that matter, but being that she's basically a hoarder- she keeps any and everything that's given to her. Especially if it came from her mom. I used to wear that stole all the time in my bedroom. I'd put it on and do my homework. I also remember going into my parent's bathroom (which had the only door that locked in the whole house), turning on their radio, putting on that wig, and dancing for about five minutes. Did that make me a junior drag queen? Well, kind of. And does that make me ashamed? Of course not! Thank goodness we're not all the same. My only grievance in hindsight is that I had to hide my behavior. That's what makes it seem off. I should have been able to wear that fur stole to the grocery store with my mom at age 10 or perhaps sport a Nephriti bracelet at 11 to the post office without receiving stares, comments, or worse. Right?
Cheers to everyone who refuses to fit in! I look forward to more Martinique photos and stories about marching to your own drumbeat. Or skipping to your own drumbeat. Or sashaying to your own drumbeat.