Want the Answer to “How Do I Look?” Ask Your Kids

The setting: a lazy summer afternoon on the beach with my then-boyfriend. Kicking back together and watching people in the truly carefree way that only college students can. We were playing one of those ill-advised “who do you think is hot” games. When Boyfriend pointed out a certain beach stroller as his pick, I quickly said, “Really? Did you see how fat her knees were?”

Her knees. Yes. I said that. I wish I could say I quickly caught myself but I didn’t. In fact, it wasn’t until years later that I had the epiphany – the one we all eventually have – that women are primarily concerned with how they look to other women.

Your dude, when you ask how you look.

Men are so oblivious to the details we obsess over! We see ungroomed eyebrows, chipped nail polish, dated colors, and dark roots. They see boobs. We see dorky hat, way-too-cutesy print, and cankles. They see booty. Or a nice smile. Or a sweet disposition. You get the idea. (More after the jump)

So who do you ask when you want to know how you look at any given moment? Not your husband or boyfriend, I hope. I’ve seen too many stand-up comics do the “Aagh! God! How are we supposed to answer when they ask if those jeans make them look fat?! Blergh, sputter sputter, women are so nuts” routine to trust any straight man. I’m not as worried about having my feelings hurt as I am concerned they’ll miss something. He’ll tell me I look great and later in the night I’ll see a pantyliner stuck to the back of my leg.

You know dudes are no help so you go to your girlfriends, right? WRONG. Girls, admit it: we are too busy validating the shit out of one another to say, “Noooo. Oh no. Do NOT leave the house with that dress on. The back view is heeeiinnousss.”

I challenge you to tell me that you’ve never experienced some variation on the following sequence:

1. Indulge in a late afternoon/early evening cocktail with your pals

2. Decide you should all go shopping (urging a friend to spend even more if she’s recently been wronged by a man – “Yeah! F**k him! You deserve something hot!”)

3. Each take turns picking up garments and squealing, “This would look awesome on you!” or exclaiming, “Oh my God! You look gorrrgeous!” without regard for accuracy

Your friends, lying to you.

4. Get home, slightly dazed, only to realize every overpriced thing you bought looks like ASS on you and you will soon have to face the grouchy salesperson as you return it all

You, realizing you’ve been had.

Right? It happens. I have a dress in my closet that I bought on a girls’ trip to Savannah last year that looks SO bad on me that every time I look at it, I want to cuss out those dumb tricks who urged me to buy it! (JkJk; love you girls.)

So it turns out you can’t trust broads either. That leaves kids. Kids are your #1 reliable source for meticulously-rendered real world feedback on your appearance.

One of my daughters had a friend over for a play date years ago. As I prepared snacks for them, the precious moppet poked my soft belly, cooing sweetly, “Are you gonna have another baaaabby, Ms. Lib?” I experienced simultaneous seething rage and crippling shame.

At a friend’s wedding in January, I decided to straighten my hair, something I never do. So many women (note: women!) told me how awesome I looked that I actually started asking myself why I didn’t straighten it more often. “Everyone loves it,” I thought. “Why did I think it looked bad?”

Fast forward 10 months. Last night my 15-year-old picked up a photo of me from the wedding and said, “Mom, never do that to your hair again. It looks terrible. Your face looks really long and it sort of emphasizes -”

“Ok! That’s ENOUGH!!” I replied, calmly and evenly. (Ha!) That’s when my very sweet-natured, totally mommy-loving 10-year old-stepped in to add, “Mom, it really didn’t look good.”

Your kids, calling you out on a bad look.

There you have it!

Before you leave the house next time, ask a kid how you’re doing. You may not like the answer, but it’ll be the truth.

Wanna leave the house looking like this? You know what to do.

Gif credits: realitytvgifs.tumblr.com and myfriendsaremarried.tumblr.com

10 thoughts on “Want the Answer to “How Do I Look?” Ask Your Kids

  1. One night, my kids wholeheartedly agreed that I looked like an old man.

    They were young enough for me to know that THEY COULDN’T BE KIDDING.

    I never left the house without makeup again.

    • reallyrealatlantahousewife says:

      I am telling the 100% truth: I just laughed audibly! An OLD MAN??! Yeesh. Kids. What were we thinking?

  2. Becky says:

    Love this post!!! I actually found myself asking the girls how a bathing suit looked on me this summer. Hopefully they were telling the truth because I kept it.

  3. Liz Baker says:

    If you take me drunk shopping I will tell you what’s up. For real. Plus my face hides nothing, unfortunately.

  4. Emma Covarrubias says:

    I’m on the opposite end of this, NEVER ask my kids if I look good, they have been trained by my husband with these little wise words “if she asks, tell her she looks great, even if it doesn’t. If she decides not to get it, then say nothing and let her make her decision alone”
    Yes, yes, my husband has trained them well. So I go shopping alone, because if I look in the mirror and I see that the dress or blouse or whatever I am buying looks terrible, it’s because it does..

    And I’ve been in your shoes, I’ve bought stuff my kids “adore” on me, only to go back the next day to return….

    Trust NO ONE, but the mirror!

  5. Gail Peck says:

    Had I not read the title, I thought you were heading towards, ask a gay man and you’ll get a straight answer. As for the kids, I mostly never had much luck on that front with my straight sons–probably because they were uninterested. I can’t tell you the number of garments Matt advised me to buy that receive compliments. Summing it up, if you have access to a gay man, that’s the ticket!

  6. reallyrealatlantahousewife says:

    That’s so funny, Gail, because when I read over this yesterday before posting, I thought, “Duh, most straight boy children don’t give a flip what their moms look like” and then it occurred to me also that I’d left out gay male friends. Sigh, I wish Matt could come shopping with me every time…

Talk to me.

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