Shoulder Pads, Side Parts and Self-Confidence

Huddle up, ladies.

I’m calling a Mom Meeting.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to change into anything fancy, like the lovely Michael Myers-inspired coveralls from Target.

Your yoga pants are welcome here.

You are safe.

I called this meeting because someone has to discuss these ridiculous fashion trends and, like the #TargetDressChallenge, I will be The One.

I also came to confess: I’m also not parting my hair to the middle just because a girl said you’re old if you part it to the side.

Trust me. I tried it in the past, and let’s just say I’m leaving the middle part at the feet of Jesus.

It wasn’t always this way.

We didn’t have social media, influencers didn’t exist, and Tik Tok leggings weren’t a thing.

We weren’t bombarded with girls “Hopping on here real quick to share a skincare regimen” that no one really asked for.

We weren’t constantly made to feel inadequate and on the brink of needing Life Alert.

And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the aforementioned list, none of it really matters in terms of fashioning my identity – pun intended.

Why? Because confidence trumps any trend.

This is something I’m trying to instill in my own daughter, and something I try to walk out in my own life.

Speaking of walking…

I recently met my friends for brunch on a busy Saturday morning. As I approached a crosswalk, a sea of young girls stood nearby…all wearing the same style of jeans, shoes, and shirts. It was like a school of fish moving in unison as one. And there were so many middle parts.

I realized in real-time that I was passing the type of girl who judged MY generation.

And there I was, wearing strappy sandals, cutoffs, a blazer that had been thrifted, with a side part on full display.

But, like heads turning in a Wimbledon match, the Gen Zs were all watching me breeze by with a story in my strut.

Maybe it was because they heard my “old” knees popping like a glow stick. Or maybe it was the confidence carrying me across the crosswalk in an ensemble all of my own that left them looking.

See, age will do that to you: allow you to subscribe to less conformity and to more self-confidence.

Moms, we may have more stretch marks and varicose veins, but by God, we know who we are. We’re the ones moving unapologetically throughout this cruel world like savvy sharks, not fish.

And whether we’re changing laws or changing diapers, we’re also influencers.

It’s just that, at this stage in life, we’re using our influence to craft our children, engineer equality, and advance important agendas. There is no time to worry about which jeans make us look the youngest.

So ladies, if you want to part your hair in the middle, by all means, do it. But do it because it suits you, not because a teenager who’s never experienced hair loss postpartum convinces you it’s in your best interest.

In the meantime, if the kids want to sport shoulder pads like the cast of Designing Women, that’s perfectly fine. I mean won’t partake, but it’s fine.  

I will pledge, however, to stay forever focused on how my personal style serves me the best, whether that’s “on trend” or not.

Cheers to crossing streets and turning heads in whatever the heck we want.  

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Meredith Garrett
By day, Meredith works as a full time legal assistant at a family law firm. By night, she’s working as the owner of Marked by Meredith, helping people design their homes, plan events and style their life. When she’s not preparing pleadings or painting a statement wall, she’s adventuring around Oklahoma City with her son, Grayson (2009), and her daughter, Sutton (2011). Meredith grew up in Oklahoma City, then studied Communication and Creative Writing at the University of Tulsa. In her spare time, she’s spending time with family and friends, fueling herself with coffee and learning how to be a new Cat Mom.


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