Summer camp or fashion show?

Although it’s a cold day in December, I find my mind drifting back to my teenage years at summer camp …  a.k.a. fashion week.

I was young and determined—determined to make the guys think I looked hot. Never mind the fact that I was in a remote spot in the mountains of northern California. I battled the dust and sweat and elements by changing outfits at least three times a day. Not just any outfit would do—I spent hours planning and filling my suitcases with the cutest name-brand clothes my closet boasted.  

There was always a cute dress or skirt to begin the day—despite the chill of the morning air. After lunch, I sported shorts and a tank top and ran the bases and spiked the ball until supper time. After eating, I returned to my cabin once again to change into jeans and a sweater before heading to the outdoor amphitheater for worship.

Only worship wasn’t my focus. Even as I sang about how great and beautiful my God was, I was filled with insecurity and jealousy. This midwestern girl was doing everything she could to compete with the California beauties for the attention of her Christian brothers. After all, there were "limited resources," and I only had a week to make an impression before heading back to the cornfields of Illinois.

Can you relate? Do you feel you have to look or dress a certain way to capture the attention of a guy? Do you find yourself competing with other girls for the attention of the guys around you? What goes through your mind when you get dressed each morning?  

About Author

Paula Marsteller no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her two young sons and seeking to practice "radically ordinary hospitality." She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in Central New York. You can catch her writing on

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