Sad to say, I finally picked up a copy of Lucky magazine. It’s not really meant for me, per se, as I’ve aged beyond Lucky’s target audience, but I liked it even so. I especially found joy in the back page closer, “My Mom, the Style Icon.” Women send in photos of their mothers fashionably dressed for their time, whatever decade that might be, and invariably, many of those classic pieces are still in vogue today.
My Mom, the Style Icon began as a blog, and now it’s also a book. The women submitting the photos include fond recollections of seeing their mother in the pictured outfits, or simply overall memories of her innate style.
My own mother exhaled 60s-70s fashion in ways the Mad Men ladies could only dream of, but the Style Icon blog also stirred thoughts of my godmother. She, too, ignored trends for tailored, creative pieces, often reflecting her latest visit to Senagal or France. When I think of her, though, I remember her intellect, sophistication and grace.
The experience has made me ponder once more how many ways we each leave our mark on others, intentionally or not. And so, I ask: Who is your NotMom icon? Do you have one? Was there a woman in your youth who never had children of her own but helped to shape the woman you’ve become? Give voice to her story, here or elsewhere. Prove that children are never a woman’s only legacy.
A deeper thought is that a popular comment about NotMoms who are “good with kids” is, “Tsk. She would have made a terrific Mom.” But the truth is, maybe she wouldn’t have. Maybe the childfree life was exactly right for her, and without it, perhaps she would not have been such a good influence on anyone.
*This is one of the few photos I have of my godmother (L front) and mother (R front) together. This is from 1952. Believe it or not, they’re only in high school here, waiting their turn in a local oratorical contest.