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Fashion Wisdom From a Food Icon

Sunday, September 27, 2009



Along with the stack of fashion books on my bedside table — John Fairchild's The Fashionable Savages; Who What Wear from the super-cute Who What Wear website gals; the hilariously insightful Retail Hell by Freeman Hall — I've got a stack of food books (not that I can actually cook or anything, but a girl's got to be well-rounded).

I'm halfway through Julia Child's memoir My Life in France (just. delightful!), and I was really struck by a comment Julia had made after she cooked a terrible meal for a friend one day.
"We ate the lunch with painful politeness and avoided discussing its taste. I made sure not to apologize for it. This was a rule of mine.

I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one's hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as "Oh, I don't know how to cook...," or "Poor little me...," or "This may taste awful...," it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one's shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, "Yes, you're right, this really is an awful meal!"

...The cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile — and learn from her mistakes."

My immediate thought was that this mindset should apply to fashion as well. Often, when we can be feeling out of sorts or unstylish — even those of us who do this for a living — we quickly start making self-conscious, self-deprecating comments about our outfit or appearance. Well, no more. Julia's right — it just calls attention to what other people probably aren't noticing in the first place.

In short: If you're having a bad hair day, don't offer apologies. Just rock it. You'll do better next time.

11 comments :

Mich said...

I like this! I cut my bangs the other day a little too short in my opinion and started to do this apologizing thing and someone told me they thought it looked fine and to be quiet about it. haha! its so true. Thanks!

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I am guilty of apologies!! I just saw Julie and Julia last night and loved it! It was all very inspiring to me.

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Likely said...

I always think of this when considering the state of our households. I hate when women start immediately apologizing when you walk into their home -- I am sorry, my house is a wreck, the kids.... my laundry, I am so sorry....

BLAH!

I have made a rule to never apologize for my home. I wish everyone else would too. Great quote. thanks!

I ♥ NY said...

i love this! thank you julia and ms. spinach :) so many of us apologize profusely, for what? you're right!

shoppingsmycardio said...

just wanted to say thank you for this perfectly-timed post...i was in need of some good advice, of any sort, and this was just what i needed.

sweet_goodnight said...

This is absolutely fab and so true! Maybe if we all embraced our not-so-great days we could all learn to love ourselves a little more. Thanks as always to the lovely ms. spinach and the epic Julia Child.
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