I have a love/hate relationship with the weekly ‘challenges’ Wrapunzel runs. I absolutely LOVE looking at the amazing tichel photos, and I look forward to hearing what the new challenge of the week is going to be! But at the same time, I rarely participate. I’m not a newbie tichel wearer, but I’m not as put together as the other posters! I have a hard time creating pleats and I never get lace to look nice on me without having it “hurt” later in the day. I’m never sure if I’m wrapping my tichel right, I just kind of “put-it-on”. I have lots of scarves in my collection, but I don’t really have the time to play with new wraps, and sometimes I just throw on a hat to do my grocery shopping. I feel like everyone else goes to Target while wearing an amazing tichel. I dunno, seeing the photos makes me feel dowdy. Any advice?
The Frumpy Tichel Wearer”
Dear Wrapstar –
So, first of all, repeat after me: I am not dowdy. I don’t care if you are wearing a pair of oversized sweats with pink fuzzy socks while reading this — you still are not dowdy.
It sounds like you are feeling a little overwhelmed and even a bit insecure about your tichel wrapping ability. The goal of the “wrapunzeledin” challenges was never to make anyone feel intimidated, but I can feel your frustration.
I’d like to share with you something that one of my favorite professors used to say constantly. She told us to remember that when we entered a patient’s room, even if we had worked with the patient 2 million times, we were still walking in “IN THE MIDDLE.” What does this mean? When walking into a patient’s room, we were seeing a snapshot of the person. We were seeing one moment from that person’s life. If we were to run into him at another time while in Starbucks, we would like see a totally different snapshot. But in the hospital, the patient is in the middle of some type of crisis.
Even if in theory we know “everything going on” in the crisis (especially since we have a medical chart), the truth of the matter is that we are only able to see part of the story. We really don’t know what happened five minutes before. Did the patient just find out that he has to stay another night? Even though we might have known about that possibility, maybe the patient didn’t. Maybe in addition to the crisis lens, we also need to apply the “missing my pet cat” lens. Did the patient’s best friend just come by for a visit and she brought smoothies with her? That can change the lens as well.
Why am I blathering on about being “IN THE MIDDLE”? Well, because that’s exactly what an Internet selfie is! You are logging into the conversation and entering “IN THE MIDDLE.” The beauty of the Wrapunzel Fangroup is that it connects many Wrapunzelistas and gives us a sense of community. Many of us don’t live close enough to each other to socialize in person, and the Fangroup offers that opportunity. At the same time, the picture that someone posts captures only one moment from a person’s day.
The photos in the Fangroup are just that – photos. They don’t tell the whole story. They tell only the information that the poster feels comfortable sharing! And while there is that rare breed that manages to look good all of the time, the truth is that the rest of us are usually “winging it” as we go. That gorgeous tichel someone posted might have taken three attempts to accomplish. Even if the poster wrote: “I had some frustration this morning,” since a picture is worth a thousand words, your brain will register the picture over the comment.
Someone else might have cropped out their tummy/chest in order to hide the fact that they’ve recently gained or lost weight. Another person might have artfully used a necklace to quickly cover a ketchup stain that an adorable toddler blessed mommy with during lunch. Another wrapstar might be posting a photo during her thirty-minute lunch break – the first time all day that she had a second to tie a tichel or apply makeup. Had you seen her two hours prior while she was on the phone dealing with “that client” (you know, the one that makes you question your career choice), she would have looked slightly less polished. Or or or or or….the list is endless.
Also keep in mind that people tend to use their nicer photos as their profile pictures. So while you always see “Tamar Adina Campbell” commenting on Facebook from behind a profile picture that looks phenomenal, the real me might be typing while sitting on the couch and wearing a raggedy old college sweatshirt (yep, guilty as charged).
So while it might look like everyone else is “constantly put together,” very likely that is not quite the case. Some women will wear tichels for a week, and then take a break from elaborate ties while dealing with a sick spouse, or while on a business trip. With the number of women on the Fangroup nearing the thousands, you might not realize that a particular poster only puts a selfie up every few days.
But – (because I know there is a but), what about those women that post a tichel of the day everyday?! Or those women that I know in real life that always seem to look good? Well, the truth again might be that you are again only joining “IN THE MIDDLE”. You see the one selfie that looks amazing, you don’t see the 5 others that were deleted. You see the one tie that looks great, you don’t see that moment where she ran around trying to figure out where her shaper disappeared to.
Lastly, remember that we are our own worst critics. Nobody else will judge us nearly as harshly as we judge ourselves. So while you look in the mirror and see a messy back of the tichel, or a pleat that isn’t perfect, nobody else is giving you condemnation. In fact, it’s more likely that you will inspire someone to share their own wrap! So keep your chin up, and be proud of what you can do – we are all doing our best, and that means different things at different times.