Earlier this week there was a maelstrom of controversy regarding a J.Crew ad that was emailed to customers. In the ad (above), creative director Jenna Lyons is featured painting her son’s toenails neon pink. The caption accompanying the image prompted Fox News and other conservative pundits to declare Lyons guilty of inflicting irreparable damage on the boy. He’ll be transgendered now! Her selfish fun will take years of therapy to reverse! (After her son reads the articles written up about this ad, yes…) Le sigh. On the bright side, the ad is positively charming and it’s wonderful to step back and realize that Lyons is indeed a smart, strong woman who may succeed Mickey Drexler as CEO of the company while raising her now possibly mutant offspring. To celebrate her boldness and her charm, I’m dedicating this weeks Piqued to growing up beautiful. I remember when I was younger playing around with my mother’s products (and trying on her slip and dancing around comes to mind as well.) There’s a photo of me as a child of six or so wearing a pair of sparkly red slippers á la Dorothy of Oz, a photo that’s well known in the family. My father bought them for me, because I asked. Having parents who were kind enough to buy me the things I asked for was a blessing that made me happy – they weren’t sowing the seeds of some future self-identity distortion (and it should be noted that I also asked for toy trucks and toy guns [le gasp] and my favorite color was and is blue, not pink). While at home last weekend I was rooting through more old family photos for PFMM and discovered that when it comes to growing up glamorous, the woman responsible for my own inclinations might not be my mother – but her’s.
The hair! The fur! The jewels! It’s pure movie star glam. I honestly only remember photos of my grandmother from when she was much older and seeing these candid portraits as she prepares to head out for a night on the town (presumably) provides an odd sense of reconnection. While I don’t necessarily associate my own mother with style or fashion as she’s one of those to whom comfort is top priority, thinking back on her glam routine I realize she’s always been a bit of a beauty addict. The hair upkeep! The lipsticks! The powders! The creams! The hair upkeep! Possibly I inherited my passion for style from the one woman, and my passion for NARS cosmetics from the other? Regardless of where these interests came from or to whom they can be attributed, I’m happy that I was able to grow up indulging in the things that make me happy – and as a talented, ambitious and arguably gorgeous twenty-something, I think it’s safe to say I make my parents happy too.
P.S. For more vintage photo goodness, visit the now-being-updated-again Photos From My Mother!