Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'd like to be "low maintenance."

Me, in grade 12, I think.
It cracks me up, now, to think of the amount of time I spent on grooming when I was younger.

The plucking, shaving, perming, and moisturizing. The eye shadow, mascara, concealer, lipstick, and blush.

I fretted about the bags under my eyes and every out-of-place hair. The last thing I would do is go out au naturel. Only looking back do I realize that I could have, and would still have been pretty.

If I were to buck the beauty advice now, however, the results would be less palatable.

And lest you leap to my defense and chastise me for being hard on myself, I don't feel unattractive or unlovable without my make-up and underpinnings.

I just feel that Hollywood and the plastic-surgery machine have changed our expectations about female beauty, to the extent that I honestly wonder when I'll be able to stop the colouring, plucking, shaving, and layering on of cosmetics. Not to mention the "shapers" and underwire architectural support. And the manicures.

Last summer, I saw an elderly woman making her way across an intersection, dragging a bag cart behind her. She did not look like a homeless person, but she was not "done up" either. Her breasts swung low, a counterbalance to her stride. Her hair was clean, but not styled or dyed.

At first I silently mocked her: "Someone get that woman a bra!"

But, really, would it have made any difference to her? She was comfortable, independent. Does she also need to strive to be beautiful until her dying breath?

I don't see many men going to the lengths - and expense - that women do.

This may well be another step in my "crunchy" trend, but, honestly, I don't think 50 looks all that bad. So why should I fight it?

[Having written this entire rant, I'm now going to go put on concealer, lipstick, and a bra as I have a date with a handsome young man - who sees me like this every morning and still thinks I'm beautiful. The lipstick is for my own vanity, not his pleasure.]

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