Rachel Aranyi is from University of Illinoi. Her mom is her Role Model. Rachel has secured 2nd place in our essay competition and has won $220. Her chosen topic is:
What does Fashion mean to you?
Accompanied by the accessory of a vacuum, clad in baggy sweat pants and passé crocs, my fashion icon ran the catwalk of our small rental house with expert precision. Her next outfit, even better than the first, would be bland, worn blue scrubs with white, clunky nurses shoes.
My mother, a single mother of three with a full time job at a doctor’s office scurry to make dinner, clean, work and be home to put us to bed by eight-thirty.
When I was younger, I hated her slouchy, ill fitting jeans and bleach stained t-shirts. I was sure whenever we left the house everyone was laughing at my dowdy mothers clothing. And I hated her for it! She was iconic in our neighborhood or dressing like a poor person. Looking back, it was because we were poor. She never let me realize it. She would try her best to provide me with presentable clothing. She scoured the aisles of Salvation Army and GoodWill for discarded designer pants she could put in a pretty box to make me think they were “new” slacks. She would never buy anything “new” for herself, contended by the knowledge the extraneous cash was being put towards rent or the car payment.
There was one outfit she would occasionally sport that made me proud. You see, I was raised to believe that education was of the utmost importance. It was more important than looking pretty or having fancy things. So, when she struts around in her University of Georgia sweatshirt, pride oozing from her smile, her aura of radiance would overcome her exhaustion from her long days of mothering and work. I would mimic her by wearing a second hand t-shirt with a screen printed logo of my school, knowing there was nothing more fashionable than exuding intellectual prowess.
Like clockwork, every Sunday afternoon she would wear her little league sweat-shirt. Along with all the beer guzzling fathers, she was the only female coach. Her uniform would signal to all that her gender wouldn’t stand in her way of participating in her kid’s athletics. The way in which my fellow female teammates looked at my mother with a religious reverence made me realise that my mother is cool! Too modest to ever admit it, she showed each child that women can fill any role typically associated with men. Due to my mom being a trailblazer, the following season, four other moms became coaches. They too wore little league gear.
Looking back, my mom was incredibly stylish. Not because of the clothes she wore, but because she was true to herself and her values. She gave up years of beauty to provide a good life for my brothers and me. Today, when I walk next to my mother, clad in baggy sweat pants and passé crocs, I understand that she is more than any cute outfit. She is my role model. She is my inspiration to receive an education. She is a horribly dressed saint, a true icon. This is what fashion means to me!