Having the Courage to Play Dress Up All Our Lives

Upon my visit to Orchard Cove a few weeks ago, I met  a lovely woman named Diana. She was intelligent, charming, elegant, beautiful, and she happened to be wearing a gorgeous red head wrap. I was instantly drawn to Diana because of her stunning hair accessory, and the way it which it framed her face, and elevated her presence. When I approached her and asked if I could take her photograph, she was shy at first, but really came alive in front of the camera.

After I took Diana’s photograph she shared a story with me. She told me that she was dining at a restaurant when a man approached her and  said, ” You know, when you see an elephant in a room, you run the other way.” Diana told me that she was hurt by these cruel words, but she didn’t let this stop her from wearing what makes her feel comfortable.

I, like the ladies and gentleman I photograph, have been dressing up
since I was a little kid. My grandmother would let me go through my
grandfather’s drawers and play dress up with his old hats, vest, ties
and argyle socks. As I have gotten older, I haven’t stopped “playing”
and enjoying the joy that accompanies this  creative expression. Why
should we stop playing dress up, just because we are no longer

I later found out that Diana started wearing different scarves and head embellishments due to the  effects of a medical condition. Since recovering she continues to wear her turbans and wraps and has a renewed sense of freedom.

  • I'm not sure I understand the man's words. Was he chastising her for not blending in?
    I have worn a head covering in the recent past. It was the most feminist thing I have ever done. I controlled who saw what. In an age where there is little privacy, controlling who saw my hair or not was an amazing thing.
    Your blog gives me courage to dress different and not to conform. That is very hard to do here in Colorado where a crease in your blue jeans is considered fancy.

  • Love this post – it's a great reminder that getting dressed can be FUN! It we have to cover ourselves, we should have a sense of play about it. Thank you for sharing the story of this most elegant lady…she looks a bit like Hellen Mirren, who I think is also a lovely, elegant lady =-)

  • Anonymous

    What a beautiful woman. I love her style. I have no idea what that man meant, but after seeing these stunning pictures of Diana I'm certain I want to be an elephant too.

  • I am forever surprised by rudeness. The man should have kept his counsel.

  • What a cruel thing for that "man" to say to her…..and good for Diane to have the chutzpah to wear whatever the hell she wants to……she looks fabulous

  • Diana is very beautiful…ethereal and lovely…

  • I so enjoy your photographs of these ladies in their golden years! To see their beauty reflected not only in their lined faces, but in their posture, their confidence, their eyes and smiles, is encouraging for one who is headed there fast! I only wish you could have photographed my very lovely grandmother!

  • We wouldn´t know of these magnificent and inspiring people if it wasn´t for you, ahhhhhhhhhhhh
    Diana is magic and so are you, my dear friend Ari.
    Much love and admiration ALWAYS.

  • Thank you for removing the WORD VERIFICARTION,yeahhhhhhhhhhhh

  • What an odd thing for that old man to say. Instead of being hurt, I hope she just laughed it off. He sounds senile. Diana looks lovely in her head dresses!

  • Anonymous

    lovely lady.

    the nasty man needs to be told that the only ones who run away from the elephant in the room are those who are AFRAID of it. the rest of us will come up and pet it.

    diana, you know you are doing something right when you tweak people like that. his response was about HIM not you. it was HIS STORY that made him react that way. he had a choice. we always do.

    know that, and keep on doing what you're doing. there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing pretty things, especially if they make you feel good. you make the rest of us smile and feel inspired.


  • Oh, I love the way the beaded scarf looks on her!

  • Well, that guy in the restaurant is obviously an ASS, and I would imagine has a very boring life. If I saw an elephant in the room, I would want to go up and learn more about it, but that's why people like you and I have more fun. She's beautiful, and I hope she continues to heal, and show the world her spirit.

  • I'm stunned by the story of the man in the restaurant. Bravo to Diana for not letting that small mean fool stop her from dressing as she wants to. She looks exotic and beautiful in her head wraps.

  • I think Diana's "head embellishments," as well as her own beauty and style, are STUNNINGLY gorgeous! Keep right on "playing dress up" dear lady 🙂

  • What courage and bravery in the face of cruelty. Diana obviously has a smashing fashion sense, but her generous, beautiful spirit is what really shines. Bravo for staying true to herself!

  • She is gorgeous. How dare anyone say otherwise.

  • Diana, you are so beautiful. Your love shines out. Don't give any importance to a thoughtless and cruel comment. You have the beauty inside and out to keep inspiring the rest of us. I truly think you are a georgeous woman. Elephants are some of the most intelligent and caring creatures on this planet and it is compliment to be compared to one (if that is what he was doing). People like him are ruled by fear. You are divine Diana!

  • Magnificent! (The man is a jerk)

  • I agree with all the chastising our 'unknown assailant' in this case is receiving. People seem to attack that which they don't understand, and obviously, this man had no style, in any sense of the word. Were I to see Diana in a restaurant, I would feel honoured by her presence and creativity, and that's worth celebrating any day of the year.

  • The "man" in the restaurant probably spends his life in jeans and a t-shirt. Cudos to Diana for not letting him stop her. Heck, she's found the best answer to a bad hair day. Used to wrap my own hair up in a big scarf like her turban style when I did outdoor markets and didn't want my hair blowing around in the wind. It was incredibly freeing not having to worry about my hair all day. Lovely lady, wonderful blog.

  • Manuela

    She is stunning!Just remember that the personalities we remember today for their impressive sense of style had a definite "fashion signature" (ex Coco Chanel) and always stood out of the crowd. Forget the man, obviously not a gentleman.

  • Love the title of this post.

  • I find elephants to be magnificently beautiful creatures, so the comment puzzles me. I guess you had to be there.

  • It's a shame that "grown ups" think that you give up your child self in exchange for an adult self. Inside us all is a kernel of the two year old, the eight year old, the eighteen year old, etc. Layers are added – but nothing should be taken away. Man she is just lovely. Lovely lovely and ethereal.

  • How rude of that man to comment on her way of dressing! I think this woman is beautiful and dresses beautifully too. People should respect other people's choices, also when it comes to their appearance.