June 9, 2014
Are you still watching AMC’s Mad Men? “Waterloo,” marked the mid-season finale of season seven, and it was a good one.
For those of you who watch and follow the show, this episode was Peggy Olson’s beautiful transformation from meek employee to masterful messenger of change, in more ways than one.
About 17 minutes into the show there is a moment between Peggy and her young neighbor, Julio, that illuminates a common question that women have been asking themselves for decades.
No, it isn’t “Does my bottom look big in these pants?”
What do I wear?
She didn’t exactly ask this question but her query was about which outfit she should wear. Her options were a lovely charcoal gray suit dress that is “more manly” as she puts it, or another look, which is more colorful, stylish (for the time), and decidedly more comfortable (she won’t “sweat in it”).
It was at this moment in the show that I was inspired to write this blog post. You see, this season/episode takes place in 1969 and this was a decade before personal color theories were adapted and applied to wardrobe and cosmetic choice.
It occurs to me that this moment (late 60s) is one that could have been a pivotal point in the need for a personal coloring system, and I will tell you why.
The 1960s were a time when women were making their way in the workforce and it is this male-dominated workforce where we, as women, had to learn how to compete.
Whether we were the secretary (often the case) or the executive (not so often), as the woman in the office, our struggle was not just for equal pay, or the great job, but also how to be taken seriously, as a woman and not a sex object. The question then becomes how to project power without losing our personality or color?
I digress on that and go back to Peggy.
When Peggy was asking the question of which outfit to wear it wasn’t just about the clothes but it was also about making an impression, FINALLY having the shot at the spotlight, and feeling comfortable and confident enough to stand in front of a room full of men. Vindication at last!
How do we project confidence in a room full of men and not be objectified but still project femininity and be true to who we are? One word, COLOR.
I won’t spoil the show for you but I can say that her colorful choice was well embraced and I look forward to 2015, when the show comes back for its final season, to see how Peggy’s choices affect her future at SCD& P.
Move over Don, make way for women!