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5 Millennial Moms On How Having Kids Changed Their Personal Style

Style

One of the greatest titles in the world is "Mom." There is no denying the love of a mother and the value that matriarchs bring to this planet. I don't know what my life would be without my mother's prayers, guidance, and love.


"Ain't a woman alive that could take my mama's place." -2Pac

In my eyes, my mom could save the world without breaking a sweat because she made ways where there were none for my brothers and I. While inheriting her resilience and strength, I was also inspired to find my sense of style in watching her get dressed for work or social activities.

She brilliantly found a way to express herself through her fashions and best believe her children were dressed to the 9s as well. I can only imagine that maintaining your sense of style while being supermom can be another task added to the to-do list. With Mother's Day right around the corner, I was inspired to find mothers who also do it all while sustaining an effortless sense of style.

Bree

@l0vebbz

I love being a mom because it's the purest form of love known to man! Watching her grow and learn has been quite an amazing journey. She's only two but she has taught me so much in such a short time. I became a mom at 27 and it was like a rebirth. I no longer had just me to think about; I am in charge of a whole other life. It's my job to keep her safe and help shape her into an intelligent, kind, polite, and humble little human and that's not a job I take lightly. She has taught me to slow down, enjoy every single moment of everyday, and never give up because she's counting on me and always watching me.

Kenzie has made me a better person all around in just two short years.

@l0vebbz

I feel like style is something you can't be taught – it's as natural as breathing. Wearing designers does not make you fashionable. It definitely enhances outfits but doesn't pull them together, that takes vision. I get inspiration from everywhere from Instagram to celebrities and everyday people.

I love thrifting and creating statement pieces, oversized clothing and menswear. I take Kenzie's style just as seriously as I take my own. When you become a mom, your style has to be functional as well as fashionable. Your clothes are no longer your own when you have a toddler clinging to your leg or wiping their nose on you. I might look great in heels for photos or going out but you better believe I am throwing on some fuzzy slides to go grab pizza with Kenzie.

Tysh

@styledtoatea

I love being a mom because there is no greater love than the love of your child. Their faith in our ability as mothers is the push that we all need to remind us to keep going.

I maintain my style by remembering that my appearance is an unspoken introduction. I want my son to be proud when his mother picks him up from school! Because I'm a mom, I don't have as much money as I use to have to spend on clothes, so I am always thinking of new fly ways to rock pieces that I already have.

@styledtoatea

I am heavily inspired by June Ambrose and Kahlana Barfield's tomboy chic, mom-on-the-go style. I love oversized clothing, I like to be comfortable while running around with my mini around.

Jae

@lifebyjae

There are so many things that I love about being a mom but I would say the number one thing is that I have learned to appreciate the small things in life again. I get so excited when my son says a new word or points out every single car, bike, train and plane when we go for a walk. It really is the little things that make motherhood worthwhile.

@lifebyjae

I would say my style is versatile and could be described as sassy, athletic, chic or a combination, given the day. Even with a busy schedule between work and my family, I stay true to my style by incorporating prints and colors, whether its a floral blouse and jeans or funky color sneakers when I'm chasing my toddler outside.

Yamel

@kurlycrown

I love being a mom because although I am challenged daily, the love I receive from them and the love I am able to express to my children overflows my soul. Motherhood is much like the the ocean it's so big and never ending. The needs of my children from eldest (20 years old) to my youngest (two years old), although vastly different and unique, they still require all my strength, wisdom, and techniques that mothering five children has gifted me.

Motherhood is much like an ocean because it has its waves rocking back and forth.

With those waves we hold our children tight, we hold our wishes for them so firm in our arms and pray continuously that those ginormous wishes come to fruition in their life.

@kurlycrown

For many, being a mom comes with that of losing yourself in that journey. However, I am convinced that remaining true to our personal identity is extremely beneficial to our audience: our children. I noted that I could lose myself very early on in MY journey of motherhood and I have put a lot of effort into remaining true to myself and always channel my inner style by not allowing this title to completely define me. Although being a mom is the most wonderful title I have, I also enjoy being me – a gal that appreciates ripped denim, a timeless handbag, an amazing matte lip, a flirty blouse, and, above all, confidence that I want to always transmit to my children.

Christian

@mrschrish

I love being a mom because it is such a divine and beautiful experience to witness the development, birth, and growth of my child who is forever a part of me. It really is an indescribable feeling that I feel blessed to experience. The way my son looks at me melts my heart every single time. Naturally, during my pregnancy, my body experienced so much change. After giving birth to my son, for some naive reason, I expected for everything to go back to normal immediately after having my son. However, unexpectedly, I ended up having a C-Section and not a vaginal birth, so I really had no clue about what to experience after my surgery.

@mrschrish

Immediately, I had to learn to be patient with myself and my healing.

It took nine months for my little one to arrive so naturally it will take some time for my body to heal and adjust back to normal. With that being said comfort, convenience, and whatever fits really drives my style choices. Of course, there are days where I don't feel so stylish or in the mood to dress up, but I am learning to have fun with my style in this new chapter of my life and choose pieces in my closet that flatter my shape and make me feel comfortable.

Featured image courtesy of Christian

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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