We all know I have a thing for 80s TV shows.
The fashion, the indefatigable positivity, the relatable-ness, the characterization…ugh, so much to love.
And while y’all might’ve heard of A-Team and MacGyver, maybe even Magnum PI or Remington Steele, I’ve yet to meet anyone who loves Scarecrow and Mrs King as much as I do.
Premise: single mom Amanda King gets inadvertently whisked out of suburbia by government super-spy (Lee Stetson, codename Scarecrow), and ends up being recruited by his boss to be their civilian liaison. She saves the day with her Boy-Scout-Den-Mother skills, by keeping up with the latest beauty buys, and doing her level best to imitate all the lingo she’s heard on TV. She trains by watching aerobics on TV at 9, and after a long day of chasing bad guys around the city/world, she has to hurry home to pick up her boys from soccer practice. Kate Jackson plays the role of Amanda King so terribly well and, while “80s single mom in the suburbs” isn’t exactly my chosen career path, she makes it look so #goals.
One of the big things Amanda struggles with is fitting in with the glitz and glamour of Lee’s “spy-friends”. In the first episode, Lee tells her to meet him at a country club, and when she comes in an outfit that she considers ‘dressed up’ (guess where the inspo for my look came from), she realizes she’s horribly under-dressed for a black tie costume party. One of Lee’s (platinum, sultry, etc.) coworkers sees Amanda’s outfit and laughs.
“You came as a housewife! Oh that’s nutty.”
Is there anything worse than your best being laughed at? Your nice, your ‘I tried’, your effort, being a joke to someone?
I don’t do this blog thing because I’m incredibly fashion forward. I don’t do it so you can have a glimpse at NYFW, or know which 4 inches of your shoulders it’s vogue to expose this season. TBH, ‘seasons’ makes me think of that line from “All I do the Whole Night Through, is Dream of You” from Singing in the Rain. Yep, I’m a real fashionista over here.
Some days, I feel like Amanda. I put on clothes that make me feel confident and maybe even pretty, and I love wearing them, then I hop over to Insta, and someone says something that knocks me down. Maybe it’s all in my head, maybe it’s a literal comment, but it makes me feel less-than. Like my body should look different, or like I should wear my clothes differently. This hair doesn’t photograph like anyone else’s on my newsfeed, better tie it back. That skirt is too short for these thighs, better wear jeans. Those shoes are too loud and call attention to unladylike feet, wear flats. Not edgy enough, not classic enough, not young enough, not professional enough, not vintage enough. When it’s me against Instagram, it’s not even a contest.
And maybe it’s dumb that I pulled an object lesson from an 80s TV shows about espionage, but here’s what I learned from Amanda King.
She does the spy thing, and she has fun and saves the day, but then she goes home. She helps her kids with spelling and their math homework, tries not to burn their dinner, tucks them into bed. Makes sure Lee has a place to go for Thanksgiving, and buys everyone at the agency a present for Christmas. Shakes her head as her mother bugs her about getting married again. She’s only human, after all: she worries and nags and gets overwhelmed when she leaves her lipstick at home. But what matters is who she is, not who she is perceived to be. Her life fits her, and her clothes fit her life.
The comparison game is an exhausting one, fam. Worry about who you are to people around you, not how you’re dressing. Your clothes will fit that life.