Diva gets a bad rap. Images of a histrionic Maria Carrey in glam sparkles or Barbara Streisand flouncing about on stage come to mind. Or maybe, Tim Curry vamping in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
I had a diva moment once.
It happened a few years ago, during a business trip to Pittsburgh on an unseasonably warm, 72 degree day in February.
There I was, standing in front of a high-rise building downtown, sipping a Starbucks, wearing a black leather skirt, pumps, an ivory faux Chanel blazer and real Chanel pearls. The ones with the big, showy CC.
I’ll admit, I was feeling all that. Here, I’d flown in from California to grace this drab little town with my sexy SoCal presence.
As I glanced around to see who was noticing my glory, a flash of color caught my eye from across the street.
I saw her coming towards me, this queenly Black woman, head held high like a Masai warrior princess, the aqua blue of her pantsuit every bit the peacock.
As she passed, she turned, raised her eyebrows just so and called, You a Diva! Then she walked on slowly and deliberately, staring straight ahead.
I laughed under my breath, thinking — takes one to know one.
Maybe you don’t want to be a diva. That’s OK.
However, one of the ways I learned to stay connected with myself as a woman in the corporate world, was to make more conscious fashion and wardrobe selections.
As the years went by, and I got some experience under my belt, I began to rethink my default to basic black. I no longer had to prove myself by choosing sedate pantsuits and I began to explore color, textures, a scarf or a bright handbag here or there. And eventually – skirts!
Sometimes, it doesn’t take a lot. Just a touch. An interesting necklace, a colorful top.
Dressing more feminine helped me feel truer to myself and allowed me to carve out a notable, unique persona among my client base and colleagues. Often, my fashion choices gave people something to comment on, or connect about – or simply gave them joy.
After all, when you think about it, what’s so bad about being a diva — if it means owning yourself fully, embracing your bold or being just a little bit out there?