Interview with Katie Farchione, a stay at home mother of six and a fashionista.
By: Hannah Farchione
Q: How would you sum up your fashion?
A: “Contemporary forward.”
Q: What are you favorite clothing stores and why?
A: “Kanuhs because they have stylish clothes at a great price point and different selections that you will find in the mainstream stores and Nordstrom.”
Q: What is your motto of how women should dress?
A: “Age appropriate with a little flair and look good feel good.”
Q: Why do you feel that looking nice is important?
A: “Because I think it affects your mental health. And make good impressions and put your best foot forward and you feel better about yourself and perform better.”
Q: What do you have to say to the women who don’t look nice?
A: “You don’t have to be thin or pretty or have a lot of money to look nice. You don’t need very many clothes just a few great basics with some accessories to put yourself together and you can look nice everyday even on a budget and also have you looked in the mirror? Why would you walk around looking bad when you can walk around looking good? And you should care about how you look.”
Q: Have you ever been made fun of or looked at poorly for how you dress?
A: “Yes. When I was in law school I was wearing the preppy look and people made fun of me. Even though it was in style at the time.”
Q: Have you felt any pressure to look a certain way?
A: “No not really. I just feel pressure to look nice when I go out with your Dad, but not to look a certain way. “
Q: What drives you to look nice?
A: “Because it makes me feel better about myself and I always want to put my best foot forward. Why not look nice? I always do my hair, I always have on makeup, I always want to look my best even in the backyard.”
Q: What are your limitations on looking nice?
A: “Budget, figure, and age. There are things you just can’t wear because of your age.”
Q: How does the way you dress affect your mothering?
A: “Well I would have to say dressing nicely makes me a better mother. Feeling good about myself helps me to take care of my children better.”
Q: Your friend Diana Hyland, who had cancer, what was her outlook on her fashion during her time before she passed away from cancer?
A: “She always just got up and got dressed. She never went anywhere without her make up on, not even the gym. Because her motto was look good feel good.”
Q: Do you think looking good and feeling good helped her deal with the cancer and helped her be a better mother?
A: “Yes I know it did. We talked about it.”
“Looking good and feeling good,” an idea that not many women address. What it breaks down into is that when you dress nicely, the emotional and psychological affect it has on you is great. Just putting makeup on and wearing nice clothing can change your whole outlook on life. Thus, making you a better mother. This is supported by a study done by Sharma, U. and Black, P. What they found is that there is a correlation between looking good and the emotions you feel. Thus, to be the best mother you can be, you must be in a great emotional state, due to the fact that when in the healthy emotional state, you can be a fully devoted mother. For if not in a place where you can you’re your best, your work as a mother will suffer.
Connors in her article states, “I cannot be a mother without being myself; I will not be myself if I sacrifice myself entirely on the altar of motherhood. I must, in other words, consider my own interests alongside those of my children in any decision that bears upon my motherhood if I am to be the kind of mother that I want to be – the happy mother, the fulfilled mother – if I am to be the only kind of mother that I can be.” So if taking care of your own interests means dressing nicely, then one should do so. Children do come first, but sometimes you cannot take care of them if you have not taken care of yourself.
However, there are limitations to looking good. A lot of mothers claim they don’t have the money or the time to look nice. But, as stated by Katie Farchione, it is all about the basics. You don’t need to have money to look good, only “a few basics”. So, the excuse that one does not have the money to do so seems void. All you need are some simple items that you can put together to look nice. Nothing expensive. Just basic. Also, dressing your figure and age are also crucial. One does not want to dress non-age appropriate or against one’s figure. You don’t want to be 45 years old and wear a mini skirt and a cropped top. That would just look bad.
In the interview I ask about Diana Hyland, a devoted mother and Katie Farchione’s friend, who died from cancer always looked nice. This is because she is the epitome of a strong fashion forward mother. In the face of something as terrible as cancer, she managed to keep her outlook optimistic just by the shear act of putting on makeup. In doing so, even with her cancer, the fact that she was optimistic and always happy helped her work as a mother. She was a strong woman and looking good helped her do so. Even though she was about to die from cancer. She even discussed with Mrs. Farchione about how she believed that looking good helped her deal with her battle better.
A scholarly article on cancer patients, written by Karen Kendrick, supports this idea. She argues that cancer patients will have an easier time coping with their issues if they look nice. What her conclusions were that looking nice does actually affect the way that women with cancer deal with it. So if you look nice and can deal with your cancer, then your work as a mother will benefit.
So what does this all boil down to? It boils down to the idea that if you look nice, you will feel better, and by feeling better you can be a better mother. I mean, even a terminally ill cancer patient still looked amazing, which in turn made her a better mother than most. So what is the moral of the story? Well, it’s what we have been talking about. There truly is a truth behind looking good helping you feel good. So mothers out there, take a few moments for yourself and get some clothes. You don’t need anything expensive, just a few basics. Remember to dress your age and your figure. And most of all just work it and look good.
Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas, Labor of Love
Kendrick, Karen. “Normalizing Female Cancer Patients: Look Good, Feel Better And Other Image Programs.” Disability & Society. 23.3 /92008) Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection.
Sharma, U., & Black, P. “Look Good, Feel Better: Beauty Therapy as Emotional Labor”. Sociology 35(4).