At the beginning of this month I decided to challenge myself a little more with respect to how I was dressing. See, I was wearing cute hats, shirts and pants, and while it was initially difficult it got to a point where I realized that I was dressing sort of the same as before, only now I only wore hats and long-sleeved shirts.

So I decided that, for the month of February (at least) I was going to try some headscarf action, and only wear skirts. The results have been really interesting.

1) I feel beautiful, and I get complimented a lot on how "elegant" or "classy" I look. I feel elegant.
2) At least five people who know me well did not recognize me with a headscarf on. This, according to several of them, is because I look like a Muslima, and they're not used to my looking like that. A few times, I've actually had to point to myself and say, "Lauren," when someone stares confusedly into my face when I greet them in the morning. Also contributing to this phenomenon, and more interesting because it's the opposite of what I expected:
3) NO ONE looks at me.

This last one is, according to those I have asked, because, "You try not to stare at people who are significantly different," especially Muslim women. We're taught, when we see a woman with a headscarf, not to stare at her to avoid making her uncomfortable. Makes sense, but it's the opposite of what I expected.

In general, I feel less trendy and less visible (although I'm sure people are staring at me when I'm not looking), but even more femininely beautiful.

Last Thursday I gave a sermon at Candler, and I wore makeup. I'll write more this week about how that felt-- it was truly shocking how much less-beautiful I felt, and how much more I worried about how I looked.

But for now, another brutal week in grad school is looming! If you'd like to hear the sermon (it was about immigration), go to "Sermons and Speeches on iTunes" in the center of this page:

Unitarian Universalist Student Service: Sermon

The name to look for is "Lauren Shields," down near the bottom.

Stay warm! (P.S. Headscarves are great for this...)

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